And From the Ashes?

The following is a scheduled post. I’ve set it for close to a month after I reached the decision stated here. That you are reading it means nothing has happened in that timeframe to change my mind.

Hello, readers mine. I always felt that this day would come. I’m thankful to you all for standing by me while I fought the long defeat.

To paraphrase a certain wizened halfling, I must bid you all a very fond farewell. I must step away from my novels, and from creative writing as a whole. I don’t want to. I’d much rather stay here and keep writing–for myself, and for all of you who’ve been kind enough to join me. But… I’ve reached a point where I must make peace with letting go of the things I wanted from this life. I did write out a long-form essay to explain my reasoning and personal state in full. In truth, that attempt was just for me. It’s 5,000 words; a bit long to expect anyone else to read.

So, to lay out my three biggest reasons:

  1. My novels are passion projects. I write for myself first and foremost; if potential readers happen to like the same things I do, wonderful. If not, I’m afraid my books make no attempt to appeal to the things they do like. It’s rather silly for me to hammer away at endless niche works, then expect others to engage with writing that doesn’t try to engage with them.
  2. The opportunities I hoped would bridge the above gap and help to secure me financially have all proven to be dead ends. Without them, I see no way forward as a writer. And if this exercise in futility continues to be, well, futile, then my funds will soon run out. I’m still tempted to try, but the effort would be less heroic than silly at this point, no?
  3. My voice is not essential. To continue acting as though the fantasy genre will lose anything irreplaceable by my withdrawal is ridiculous. There are so many wonderful, vibrant, skillful writers out there. The craft is in good hands.

If anything happens to me in the future, I respectfully request that no one else try to finish my books. I don’t use outlines and I haven’t written down the vast majority of my intentions. The Necromancer and the Reaping Spear‘s first draft is 190K+ words; to finish it according to my current vision, it could reach 300k. This would mean replacing many of the existing 190k as well. I simply haven’t written down enough of my ideas for anyone else to work from. So please, do not think to “honor” my legacy by taking it from me.

I plan to live a long time yet. But if chance or malice strike me down before I find the opportunity I hope for? Well, then my first series must go forever unfinished. If it comes to that you have my blessing to use my ideas as inspiration for your own tales–well, moreso than you already do–but please, don’t think to finish my remaining stories for me. Don’t publish them in their current states, either. If my legacy to this world must be all unfinished tales, that’s alright.

My writing has always held on to the theme that there can be something beautiful and worthwhile in a passionate defeat. An end gains poignance from the fullness of events which led to it. Maybe that’s foolish, maybe my failure just means I shouldn’t have tried, but even so–if I end up living out my own themes, I can’t rightly complain. I became rather good by the end, didn’t I, at making meaning out of things left undone? Just let them remain mine.

I do hope to return to writing one day. Will that day ever come? Likely not. I don’t like putting that so dryly; that feels as much as disservice to those of you who stayed with me as it does to myself. That said, asking you to read thousands on thousands of words to address it in full is just as great a disservice. There are bigger problems in this world than giving up a dream.

I still don’t want it all to end like this. If I had the power to make things turn out differently… but that’s the trouble, isn’t it? If I ever had that power, I’d already have used it. I don’t want this to be goodbye. But, in all likelihood, it is. I can’t make this work on my own. I can’t ask others to help make it work when they could use their energy for other, more pressing worries. I’ll leave my first book up for purchase in hopes that somehow, some day, I’ll have the chance to return and finish the series.

For now… for now I must say farewell, readers mine. If my fear comes to fruition, if this is truly forever? It’ll be alright. I hope you all live beautiful lives–my friends.

The journey to this moment is still worth it to me.

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