Well, after a couple of stellar months in the progress department, it all fell off in October.
I'm not sure what happened, really. I started off fairly well, as I mentioned in the last post. I worked on edits for that Cafe short story. I brainstormed for a romance novel. And I even poked at SP. Then, Jack and I spent a weekend camping, and I did some writing by hand for my writing date with Rachel. I actually got over 600 words written on the romance novel I'd brainstormed for.
But that's all I did last month.
I got to feeling like I was only keeping writing dates with Rachel to keep her working. I wasn't getting any enjoyment out of attempting to write, and she always seemed to be looking for an excuse not to write, so I didn't press. We even talked about starting writing again once November hit. Doing our own "secret NaNo" as it were. But. We haven't done that, either.
I just haven't felt like writing at all. Or editing, for that matter. It's been a huge load off, not worrying about NaNo this month. And it's also been a really freeing feeling, reminding myself that I don't have to be a writer anymore if I don't want to. I don't have to remember quirky things I see to maybe incorporate in a book, or try to find the words to describe a beautiful scene. I can just be and enjoy the moment.
I've been thinking a lot about my future the last few weeks. I've spent the last decade or so intently focused on writing and editing. I wanted to write and edit fantasy novels for a living. I had hopes that I might be able to quit my day job to do those things within ten years. I looked forward to trying to make that my whole life.
And now? I don't know. Maybe it's the disillusionment of having two novels rejected completely by the publishing world. Maybe I have gotten tired of the imposter syndrome any time I have to edit anything. Maybe it's realizing that, after twenty years of writing, I'm not really all that good at it. It was the same with the clarinet. I played that damn thing for fifteen years and was never better than passable at it. It was easier than I expected to quit it entirely.
Now, I don't see myself ever quitting writing entirely. But. I think I've settled into the idea that it's a hobby. When I don't feel like doing it, or don't have time to do it, it's okay. I don't have to. I no longer have a self-publishing timeline. I don't have to spend thousands of dollars to try to self-publish a mediocre trilogy about vampires and vengeance. I don't have to torture myself to write a sequel to a book I don't love, or finish books I've put down because I've lost interest. I don't even have to try to be funny and quirky with my fantasy adventure series unless I'm really feeling it.
Now, did it feel good to finish those two short stories? Hell yes, it did. Does it feel amazing to go back and read something I'm really proud of? Definitely. So. Yeah. I'll keep writing and editing for myself. But forcing myself to write when I don't feel up to it is a great way to snuff out that writing flame, as I keep saying.
It's entirely possible this is part of a midlife crisis, but I think I'm going to take my life in a new direction. I am tired of trying to be an editor. As much as I love certain aspects of my job, I do not actually like what I'm doing most of the time. And I get very anxious when I have to do actual editing for it. Still. Even after five years of doing this. So after a lot of thought and internet searches, I have tentatively decided to aim for a career change over the next few years. I want to do something with nature. Something that gets me outside. Because that's always been the hardest part of being a writer. After spending all day long in front of a computer for work, it was sometimes difficult to make myself sit at a computer for a few more hours to work on writing.
That's all I'll say about that here, since this is a writing blog. But. As I enter my 40th year next year, I may start updating this blog quarterly, or when I've had a good writing/editing month. It may be time to retire this blog. This blog I started when I turned 30, with the goal to have a book published by my 40th birthday.
I did not meet that goal. Not really. But. With the help of this blog, I did work toward that goal fairly diligently for the last decade. It kept me accountable. It kept me hopeful when I'd given up hope. It reminded me that I love writing, even when it's hard or seems fruitless. Writing is its own reward. And by letting go of my ten-year goal of being published, I can go back to the days where I wrote for the sheer joy of putting words on a page. Nobody ever has to see what I write, anymore. And I'm giving myself the space to pursue other things.
And maybe I'll make a new blog to focus on my new journey to work outside. I do hope that within the next ten years, I can make a living doing something with forestry. New decade, new goals.
I know I've said before that I might stop updating here, and I keep coming back. So I haven't given up on this blog, yet. I won't make any promises of updates or lack of updates in the future. I will play it by ear. And as the months march ever onward, I will continue to be a Prospective Writer.