As 2018 winds down, it’s time to look ahead. For me, that has meant re-evaluating what I need and how to meet those needs. It’s meant deciding what I want out of 2019, and pondering how to best achieve that. I’ve been doing a lot of agonizing, as some of you saw on my recent Twitter thread. After a lot of mental gymnastics and fretting and freaking out; after talking things over with friends, colleagues, my agent and my husband, I’ve got some much needed clarity. I’ve come to a decision.
I’m taking a hiatus from professional writing.
Before anyone freaks out, let’s get a few things clear:
I AM NOT QUITTING.
I AM GOING TO WRITE AGAIN.
CAT SHARP AND COMPANY WILL RETURN. THAT SERIES WILL BE COMPLETED.
I’M STILL GOING TO BE MAKING ART.
You might be wondering why I’m stepping back. There are several factors, but I think what it comes down to is that old saying about how you can’t pour from an empty cup. Over the past 3 years it has felt like my cup has not only gotten emptier, but smaller. Between health issues (physical and mental), family losses, family joys, trips… and then add in what a shit storm the news can be and how that contributes to anxiety, depression…. yeah. My tanks need to be refilled. A lot.
I don’t know how long this will last, only that it’s temporary. Hell, I might write while on this hiatus, but I need to do it without the pressure of markets and price points and audiences and all that other clutter that is the business of publishing and selling. I’ve been working as a full time writer since 2008, editing since 2011 (I think? Shit…). I’ve run Kickstarters and Patreons. I’ve been a freelancer for Cracked. I’ve attended conventions and done guest stints on podcasts. I’ve written stories and articles that no one will ever see in their current forms. It’s been 10 years of being a professional creative. And it’s difficult. I need a break.
What will I be doing while on this hiatus, you ask? Living the Homemaker life a la Peggy Bundy eating bon bons and getting my toes done? Nah. Part of my “problem” right now is that I have so much to express. I have creative needs that still ache to be met. But writing isn’t scratching the itch. Writing isn’t the right language.
I’m switching gears.
I’m going to learn to paint.
I have a deep need to work with color and use that as a form of expression. I need to learn something new. The idea of painting it out actually makes my sparks fly.
Know what else is poking me out of my rut? Comedy. Watching it, critiquing it, and even conceptualizing a stand-up monologue of my very own. So there’s going to be something in the works there. Not sure what its final form will be, but time will tell. Watch this space.
I wanted to let you guys know about my decision before the next Patreon pay cycle so that if you feel you need or want to withdraw your pledge, you can do so. No worries. No harm or insult. You do you. I’m eternally grateful to all of my supporters and their contributions. My husband recently got a new job and our family is in a better position than we could’ve imagined. I plan to still post there as I create art, or find new outlets of expression.
I gotta tell you. Since consciously making this decision, I’ve felt relieved. It’s the right move.
So yeah. I’m going to take the time I need to refill my cup. I’m going to work on some of Chuck Wendig’s best practices. I’m going to play, and explore some new art forms while relishing in my enjoyment of others. I’m going to read more books. I’m going to revamp this website cause it’s stale. Everything feels stale right now. So it’s time to refresh.
Any questions? Comments? Cuss words?
How ‘bout you? How are you doing? What are you going to do in the new year to refresh yourself?