The End of the World! (Or at least of this tiny spot over here that has world-like qualities)

I have these moments where my failures at publishing feel like the end of everything.

I have let these failures trip me up and tie me down. I’ve hardly written anything worthwhile in over a month. It is ridiculous. My writing life is not exactly fuel for the universe.

Writing is just spending some time putting some lines on some paper instead of watching TV. Plenty of people work really hard to put stuff on TV for us to watch.


Would it be the end of everything if I gave up this publishing path and just posted a few things on my blog and moved on? Does it matter?

I spent a lot of time convincing myself that I could handle as much rejection as the world could dish out.

Now I’m feeling less enamored of the whole process.


9 responses to “The End of the World! (Or at least of this tiny spot over here that has world-like qualities)

  1. Oh, Marta, Marta. What a terrible place to be. I know it well. I let go of the writing when I was there, and it freed me. The world didn’t end, and no one thought less of me. Things have changed, but it’s not worse, only different. That was my experience.

    Others would say never give up. That works for some people, and the world is full of stories of those who never surrendered and finally broke through. Maybe you would come through this rough patch with your writing faith intact.

    But you know, it is all right to let go, if you feel it will give you back your sanity. It doesn’t have to be forever, and you could use that time to broaden your view of things. I feel like you’re leaning toward taking a break, but I’m honestly not trying to sway you one way or the other. Either way is valid. Take care of yourself.

    • Well, I know I do not want to let go of the writing. That I want even though I struggle to find the energy. I could say struggle to find the time..and that is true to an extent, but the biggest problem is that I’m so tired that when I have the time, I just want to nap.

      And you know how it is–so much to do and so little money–how do you justify the time on something that no will pay for and next to know one will even see. Feels self-indulgent, selfish, foolish…

      Thanks, Sherri. It helps to know someone is listening and understands.

      • I guess I misspoke–I didn’t necessarily let go of the writing, but when I fired my agent I let go of the pursuit of publishing. The publishing had taken over everything in my writing. But firing the agent was the second time I’d let go–the first time I was despondent, and I probably wouldn’t have been ready the second time if I hadn’t gone through that.

        But I still write down story ideas, and I think I will publish one of my books on Smashwords–just to say I did–and see if it sparks some creative desire to continue the series. You’re a different kind of writer than I am, with a devotion to the act of writing that I can’t seem to muster. I know you won’t stop writing completely.

  2. You’ve gotta do what feels right for you, doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks. Letting go is one of the healthiest actions in life, and it as Sherri says above, it doesn’t have to be forever.

    I use this barometer – when anything stops being ‘fun’, stop doing it. Otherwise, what’s the point? When I gave up the traditional publishing route, I immediately felt free, as though the weight of the world was off my shoulders. No more rejections, I sang ‘I did it my way’, Frank Sinatra style. I fell in love with writing again. So now I write for me, and whatever lonely reader happens to download my book. It doesn’t pay my bills, but it feeds my soul.

    Best of luck with whatever decision you make 😉

    • More and more, Nancy, self-publishing sits there waiting… I’m not sure I’m ready for the work that takes either. And heaven knows that if I self-publish and my work still sinks below the waves (in that vast sea of words put out in the world every day), I won’t feel any better.

      But doing it you way…that’s powerful.

      Feeding your soul is powerful.

      I just don’t know. I’m not the most decisive person, so I’ve got to muddle through to the answer.

      • I think it would be an interesting experiment if you self-epublished a short story collection or a novel. I’d love to see Labyrinth House get out there. And yeah, it probably wouldn’t sell like hotcakes, because that’s the nature of the beast. But you have a pretty solid network that would help get the word out, and I have no doubt you’d make a few dollars. Maybe then you’d feel like you have the right to spend your time writing.

  3. Some writing-advice sources concede the point that writing and selling the writing require two different skillsets. The main thing that’s different, though, isn’t really a skill but a mindset. And the mindset required to write actually conflicts with the mindset required to sell. They also offer different sorts of satisfaction.

    Personally, I’m with you, sorta — having to fight discouragement over not selling well (although I haven’t been even trying, for a good while now). In a way, though, I’d really really hate the alternative — if I were really good at selling, and thus sold a lot of writing… but hated what I was selling. It’s a little weird to admit this, but I’m happy enough doing the writing I do, that I’ll probably continue to do it regardless of publishing success. (Unlike you and Sherri, I think, I don’t have a lot of satisfying things other than writing which claim my time. I like my day job well enough, but I’d drop it in a heartbeat if I didn’t need the income.)

    • JES, when I worked at places at JC Penney and Pier One Imports, I often got excellent reviews for reliability, work ethic, getting along well with coworkers and superiors, and the like. The only thing I ever got poor scores on and kept getting nagged about and actually got fired from Pier One over was my inability to sell. I mean, hey, if you need help and are looking for something, I’m the person to talk to. But if the boss expected me to talk people into buying stuff…well,..

      Anyway, selling has been a problem for me in so many ways it can’t begin to explain them all.

      If I could write and not sell and not take time away from very important things–like being a mom, a wife, a teacher–then I would not care so much about the selling. It is just that when I haven’t graded student homework and haven’t filled out some form for my child for school, I start to wonder if I can justify myself.

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