About six months ago, I realized I was done with writing romance, a conclusion that may or may not prove final. The joy was gone, and all I could see was how little I seemed to have accomplished in the more than seven years since I’d begun to seriously pursue a writing career.
It wasn’t the rejections or the critical evaluations — I understand no one can please everyone. And it wasn’t the amount of effort it took to produce the books I completed.
But we are granted just so many minutes in life, and we must choose how to use them. If we are spending much of our time pursuing an activity that brings us little satisfaction, it’s time to consider whether that activity is still worth our time.
I looked at the time I spent writing and decided the answer was no.
Sure, I could have stuck it out, become the poster child of “Look how many times she was rejected before finally getting published,” but frankly, I have only so many years left, and wasn’t sure I wanted to spend them querying and waiting for replies.
So I stopped.
Does this mean I’ll never write again? Probably not.
Does it mean I plan to sever all ties to the romance writing/reading community? I couldn’t. I have made too many good friends there and will always enjoy a well-written romance.
I’m not sure where I go from here. Perhaps I’ll finally make good on my threat to self-publish Keeping A-Breast: Cancer Lessons, based on my other blog (which I have also been shamefully ignoring).
It’s time, I think.
Also, I’m now an intern at Entangled Publishing, reading and evaluating submissions. (Yes, it is a bit unusual to be an intern again at 54, but I know the experience will be both valuable and interesting.)
Soon there will be more changes. Darling Daughter graduates from college in May, and plans to take a gap year to work (and travel, if she can swing it) before pursuing her MLIS. At the same time, The Engineer’s job seems to be entering a new — and not necessarily welcome — phase involving more travel.
After a recent discussion with a counselor at the Ohio Publice Employee Retirement System, I may choose to end my long and varied career in libraries sooner rather than expected, opening the door to even more possibilities.
Thus, as this year ends and I look forward to 2016, I know our lives may be quite different a year from now.
I hope you’ll stick around to find out.