This is a different kind of blog post than many people will be used to seeing. In fact it’s more a somber reflection and pouring out of the heart than anything else. As such, it will be a serious, personal and slightly more pessimistic blog than usual. If this isn’t the kind of thing you’re interested in reading; don’t. It’s more for a personal emptying of my heart’s weight than anything else.
Closing the chapters on your life’s great goals and accomplishments can be a very emotional and difficult thing to do. They’re far easier to bring to closure when you find yourself having accomplished the task. Doing so with unfinished things is not, very much not. It’s important to know what, and how, to focus your energies, however. Time is a limited resource which seems to grow more precious as we age. I find myself looking at the various open chapters in my life and facing a crossroads. In order to finish one, the many will have to die.
Now that the latest round of rejection letters, or rejection silence as some cases may be, has finished trickling in, I’m deciding to put my writing to rest. No, this isn’t a temporary thing. I don’t take lightly what I’ve managed to accomplish so far. I put over 120,000 words to paper, revised, wrote another 20,000, revised and wrote again. This is no small accomplishment, and it’s one that I’m very proud of. However, it’s become more and more clear that a pursuit of publication and further writing simply is no longer possible.
It should be noted that recent reviews or personal opinions are not the cause of this. I’ve noted before that writing is an objective business, we must all be able to man up and take people’s input. While reviews and critiques have revealed certain writing issues, they are not the reason. Not directly at least. What critiques often create are revisions. Writing, as any major life en devour, is very time consuming. Hours are spent pouring into research and outlines, careful story crafting and whatnot.
A key factor in closing this chapter of my life is my professional life. It’s become more and more clear that advancement professionally hinges on building specialization. I’ve blogged in the past about getting certifications for certain IT specialties; none of which have yet happened. There is an old Chinese proverb that states: “He who chases many rabbits will never catch one”. I am chasing after way too many rabbits. I’ve known this proverb for years and its wisdom has plagued the back of my mind, openly scorning me when I bounce from ambition to ambition. I’ve gleefully shoved it aside, believing in ignorance that all could be accomplished in tandem. The road I walk is paved with incomplete or failed ambitions. I’ve decided it’s time to focus. It’s time to free up time.
Now I realize the irony in leaving yet another ambition incomplete in the name of stopping so. I see no other way, however. My spare time will be consumed with focusing on bettering myself professionally. I also see my kids growing up way too fast before my eyes. I’m already starting to miss milestones in their lives and I don’t want that to be a trend which continues. Time with my wife, one on one, pays the price as well. I love spending it with her, but am too often busy chasing rabbits to actually do so. My professional career also directly effects my family, as it meets our needs. Things like writing, while ambitious, simply don’t meet those needs. In fact, by chasing so many rabbits, I’ve often exasperated those needs.
To cut an emotional rant short, I’m not writing anymore. Yes, I will still blog as I’ve done before. No, there will be no more query letters to agents. No, there will be no further revisions to THE KINGS OF CARNIN: RISE OF ARI. No, it’s sequel will not be finished. No, I will not participate in NaNoWriMo this coming year or any after. Sadly, unless there is a substantial change in the current publication path of the book, none of these answers will change. It’s time to put this one to rest, close this chapter. For now, I’m hoping to chase one rabbit.
And, by golly, maybe I’ll finally catch it this time.