If no one was really going to ever read what you write and you were never going to make much money from it, if any, would you still write?
Apparently, my answer to that is no and I’m not sure if I’m happy about that or not. After watching my latest book languish for almost two years, (yep, you read that right – two years – but things are changing on that front too), I found it harder and harder to want to write another word. Three books and hundreds of columns later and I was out of words. I’m not sure if it was because it might mean no one would be reading along with me and sharing their experiences or because I was really out of things to say.
The latter seemed a little hard to swallow since I had always gotten the same kind of internal high from writing that a really good stretch of running had given me. There was a connection to some greater feeling even while typing away, alone at the keyboard. But I had spent two years immersing myself in social media, publicity, and setting up a suitable blog until most of my writing was reduced to less than 140 characters. The business side of writing seemed to be draining all the joy of writing, right out of me.
So, I’m waving the white flag and going back to focusing on what I love, the writing and letting go of the virtual arm-waving to attract more followers or readers or whatever you might want to call it.
Part of my resurgence of joy and optimism has to do with the new agent I’ve connected with who’s going old school and wants me to focus on writing. Genius.
I’m still going to tweet or update but without the frenzy or sense of urgency and just trust that it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to. All of that time that was spent trying to do what every other writer seemed to be doing is going to get redirected to just hanging out with other writers in my hometown of Chicago and not so we can just talk about writing. Some of that will be spent talking about our spouses or children or even the weather. Then, when I sit down to write I’ll actually be glad to spin another tale. More adventures to follow.