For me giving up is a spiritual practice. I tend to be dogged about everything, banging my head against a wall for hours when I can’t get to the bottom of things. (I’m a Capricorn) But between politics, tech, and selling books, I’ve come to the end of my tether.
Politics was first. I’ve been ranting for years now about all the things that are wrong with this country. This latest debacle with the Supreme Court signaled that our government took a wrong turn a long time ago and that getting upset about it is only bad for me. Because there is NOTHING I can do about it other than sign petitions and put my voice out into the wilderness. I have spent hours looking up astrological predictions, trying to understand what it all means in terms of day-to-day reality. Getting caught up in the crazy chaos is not a way out. It’s a way to get stuck.
Technology came next. Glitches with the internet, constant trouble getting onto sites I belong to that require endless hoop jumping. Slow internet. Having to call to find out why something isn’t working — hours on the phone waiting. And my marketing has become a nightmare of false starts and endless frustration. In lieu of having a nervous breakdown, I now walk away. It just plain isn’t worth it. Which leads me into selling books.
Why my sales are down is not something I understand. Perhaps people aren’t reading? Or if they are they don’t want to read what I write. I’ve come to the place of: ‘why am I even bothering?’ It is beyond discouraging to look at sales platforms and realize what a small readership I have. And yet away from the electronic world I have had some tiny modicum of success. Doing book readings, selling paperbacks. Appreciative audience. Fretting about it gets me nowhere. Writing is who I am and I’m not doing it to sell — and yet…in this society, selling is the only measure of success or lack thereof. I have to remind myself over and over how many writers are out there. That number has increased exponentially in the last decade. Self-publishing has made it easy for anyone to join in.
All of us need to stop measuring our worth in these terms. So many artists and authors work quietly in the background, doing what they love and putting beauty back into a world that seems very bleak at the moment. I, for one, write about the current state of affairs, my fantasies filled with the crisis du jour. Instead of facing it head-on, I weave it into a story that might take place in the past or the future, or some, like my Coyote shifter books, that take place in the here and now. They are love stories, metaphors, parables, or simply about the end result of a failing world that the hero needs to solve.
As discouraged as I get, I continue to write my books. What I’m giving up is actually something outside myself, not what my heart is calling for. So when like me, you find yourself despairing, remember that whatever is in your heart brings light into the world and dispels the darkness. If you have any interest in checking out my books, please visit my website.