Hitting the pause button.

The last two months have been, without a doubt, the most difficult of my life. It doesn’t serve a cause here to go into the what and who of it all. Suffice to say, I’ve been in a dark place, brought there both by my own self-destructive and self-sabotaging perspectives, and after some truths I held to be self-evident were revealed to be total fallacy. While I don’t have control over the latter, I most certainly do on the former, but I couldn’t see that. I was too far in to back myself out. On top of that, I had to back out of attending the RT conference in New Orleans, an event I had been looking forward to all year. RT is one of the few chances I get to see author friends and access writer education events. Sadly, with everything going on, it just couldn’t be, and that felt like the last straw. Everything seemed to go so bad, so fast, I lost perspective on a lot of things. I felt I was being sucked down the drain without a way to pull myself out of the water.

So, I hit the pause button on all things writing, and what’s happened has been miraculous. I used to obsess over my sales numbers, and fall in to a pit of despair when they would flat line. Lately, I just focus on getting the next book out. Bad reviews would be enough to set me reeling the whole day. In the last few months, in addition to several kind or flattering reviews, I’ve gotten some terrible ones. I respect the reviewers and just let it go. I used to put way too much time following the going-ons of others. This led me to neglect noticing some things that were going on in my own life. Now I’m redirecting the energy I allocated to following other’s news to making the people who really matter in my life the center of my world.

Most indies are pretty good at putting on a tough face and a stiff upper lip, invoking the whole “fake it until you make it” philosophy. Not me, but I took it to extremes. The level of pessimism I’ve subscribed to for the last year took on a life of its own. Without my realizing how bad it had gotten, it started poisoning my family, my work, and my friends, some of whom I may have regrettably lost forever. In my wallowing, I believed that my ranting and self-belittling was justified because, after all, all the bad things that happened really happened. In the end, in the act of hurting myself emotionally and of my own free will, I hurt many people around me. It was only in hitting pause and looking in detail at the picture on the screen that I came to this realization.

Finally, there is some semblance of normalcy creeping back into my life, and I’m getting some professional help to keep upward momentum. It’s not easy by any means, but it is worth it. Why did I write this post? Part of it is just practical; I wanted readers desperately waiting for Pure Souls 3 and Altunai 2 to know that those releases will be delayed while I’m sorting these things out. The other is, for whatever measure it’s worth, to make this public statement so that the friends I upset and alienated know I’ve now realized what I’ve done, and I’m sorry. Another reason, however, is to tell others going through this that I know where you are. I am where you are. Any one who journeys never journeys alone. We can do this. We can rise above this. We can endure and we can excel. We’ll do it, day by day, step by step, and minute by minute.

14 Comments  to  Hitting the pause button.

  1. Lavishone says:

    It’s never easy to make changes, but it sounds like you are headed in a positive direction and I wish you all the best.

  2. Norman Hood says:

    Your journey, though traveled by legions, is still a lonely one.
    You have, as expected, articulated it beautifully.
    Thank you for bringing a bright light and lucid understanding to the dark place into which many creative minds slip.
    Norm Hood

  3. Hi Killian,

    This is a really brave and honest post to share, and definitely shows a difficult side to being a writer that I’m sure a lot of other writers identify with. I’m glad you’re overcoming some of those hardships. What’s more, the same bravery and honesty you have here are also qualities in successful writers. Being a writer is to be brave in may ways. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wishing you the best!

  4. Beth Bolden says:

    I hope things are going better for you. It’s hard to take that tough, unapologetic look at yourself (I’ve had to do it once or twice myself) and come out the better for it on the other side. You will get better and begin to write again. I trust in that. Good luck.

    • Killian says:

      Beth,

      Indeed. We are not butterflies; we do not have one grand transformation in our lives. We are more like crabs, growing perpetually and every so often having to molt or find a new shell. Thank you for your comment.

  5. Lynwood Burkhalter says:

    Dear Miss Killian,
    I liked the crab commentary. Having to find a new shell once or twice myself, I can identify with the sentiment. All of us experience the roller coaster at one time or another. Writers and comedians, seemingly, are particularly vulnerable. I suspect that it has something to do with the personal investiture of ones soul in the finished product.
    We look forward to the next installments – when the time comes. Remember, when in doubt, grin, – make them wonder what you are up to or on…..
    Take Care,
    Lynwood

  6. eyvie8 says:

    Thank you for sharing, Killian. I’m so glad that things are looking up for you, love.

  7. Gillian says:

    Wow sometimes we forget that authors are humans too. Sorry you are going through a tuff time, keep your chin up and look for the light at the end of the tunnel. We will be there waiting. Thanks for sharing your life with us. All the best for the future hope it brightens up for you.
    Love Gillian

  8. Solid Granite says:

    I know this post is somewhat “late” in coming, but I sincerely hope you’re doing much better. I’ve listened to the audio version of 12-21-12 several times, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each time. You are a talented writer and storyteller, and that’s abundantly obvious in your work. Have faith in yourself, and your abilities. Regardless of whatever else is going on in your life, you’ve already accomplished more than the vast majority of writers ever will…you’ve written an engrossing, entertaining and super imaginative book! Thank you for sharing your “art” with us!

    • Killian says:

      That’s very kind of you, thank you. Yes, doing better these days. Things are settling down and looking up.

      • Solid Granite says:

        You’re very welcome. I’m looking forward to more of your writing, and hope that you’ll narrate it, too. And if “trouble comes knocking” just remember that “this too shall pass”…

Your two cents appreciated: