Well now, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and I keep hopping over the fence and changing my decision, but the time has come to make a choice.
Put simply: Writing isn’t making me happy any more.
Or rather, to be more accurate, trying to make writing fiction a career choice isn’t making me happy any more. The whole reason I wrote and self-published my first collection was because I could. I embraced the punk, DIY, grassroots-ness of it and it was fantastic fun. And the truth is, I absolutely love writing. Dreaming up stories and creating new worlds and characters is incredibly exciting for me. But I’ve lost sight of why I’m doing it. And it’s sucking all the joy out of it. I’m terrible at the hustle. I hate social media. Between rejection sensitivity dysphoria and imposter syndrome my mental health is like a sack of angry weasels. And I’m just so incredibly tired.
So, I’m calling time and taking a step back. I’m going to focus on what I enjoy the most and doing what I want to do, not what I think I should.
I’ll be spending time focusing on my family and my job outside of writing. I’ll be releasing a second collection later this year, probably around September time, but I won’t be writing for callouts any more. I will put my energy into a very important (to me) ongoing project — Memento Vitae — and pitching ideas to nonfiction publishers, which incidentally, was how I got into being paid for my written work over fifteen years ago.
Writing this now and committing to my decision, I can already feel the stress leaving my body. The weight floating from my shoulders. I’m aware that this could come across as a load of self-indulgent waffle, but I needed to share it for that sense of accountability. To stop myself from straddling the fence of indecision any more.
It’s so easy to get bogged down in thoughts of “I should” and “I must” that we often forget “I want to.” Saying “yes” to everything in case you miss an opening. Pushing yourself to burnout so you don’t get left behind. You are enough and you have enough time. Saying “no” doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you recognise that you need to set boundaries, or that you need to rest and rejuvenate.
Right now, I’m heading into a period of hibernation. Winding down and conserving my energy. It won’t be forever, I know myself too well, I’ll be back and (hopefully) better than before.
Thanks for reading me. Thanks for supporting me. And always remember, when it comes to doing things you love, if it’s not a “hell, yeah!” say “no.”