This is the kind of post I dread, because it's not the kind of news I want to share. I want to be able to tell you all everything's awesome and moving along at lightning speed and I'm right on track and books will be appearing online soon.
But I can't. I've been thinking about this for a while now, so please don't think this is a spur of the moment decision. And please don't try to talk me out of it.
I'm giving myself permission to fail. To be a failure.
I've mentioned it before, but I got my publishing contract for The Peasant Queen the same week we got the final notice from our mortgage company that we had to leave our home. That was late 2009/early 2010. TPQ did not subsequently do as well as I or my publisher had hoped, and I know that in large part it was because my ambitious marketing plan that I sent them fell by the wayside. Yes, it was difficult that they kept replacing their marketing team that whole year or so that I was trying to market my book, and ever email to them was a reminder of who I am and what I published and basically starting from scratch. I got discouraged and gave up on them. But I didn't do all the things I said I'd do either. I was trying to patch my family back together, trying to make living in that stupid duplex apartment okay--and it was never going to be okay.
And ever since then my life has been a crazy roller coaster of never having enough money, of trying to balance writing and working and my family and every time something dear to me fails to get the attention it needs. I know God wants me to write and share my words with the world, but I also know with equal certainty that He doesn't want me to sacrifice my relationships to do it.
I mention that because recently I had my daughter in for a psych evaluation to determine what was the best course of action to help get her back on track. She traced her misery and woe to the time we had to leave our home. I realized then that, as much as we had tried to make things okay for the kids, what happened left deep scars on them as well as on us. Granted, most of the kids have fared really well, but not all of them. And those shortages need attention.
On me. All of this led to some self reflection, and I realized I've been trying to fill buckets from an empty well. I'm empty. I have moments where I feel very confident and full of God's encouragement and make lofty writing and publishing goals--and then berate myself for every day I don't do anything and fall more and more behind. Because, for me at least, it's not an "every day is a new day to start fresh" kind of thing. Every day I don't write or edit that book or that project, I fall more behind on my ultimate goals for this year. And every day I feel worse and worse about myself as a writer, and that negativity spills over into other aspects of my life.
I'm failing as a writer. I'm failing as a mom. I'm failing as a wife. You get the picture. I've got two church callings right now and can barely pull myself together enough sometimes to function in them.
When I heeded the Spirit's call to "quit my job and write" I may have read to much into it. He didn't say "quit your job and publish." He didn't even say "quit your job and stress about money to the point that you paralyze yourself and can't even get out of bed until noon."
People, I'm broken. More broken than I think I realized. And I'm giving myself permission to be broken. You have to acknowledge a problem before you can fix it, right? So, I'm taking EVERY LAST ONE OF MY PUBLISHING GOALS for 2013 and putting them on hold. Or chucking them entirely. Right now 3 published novels are going to have to be enough. I'm going to follow the Spirit to the letter and WRITE. I'm taking all the pressure off, at least what I can. It's a shortage of faith to always stress about the money, but I'm working on that every day I draw air.
I'm just going to write. For me and God. And for now let that be enough. And hope that my readers, and my friends, can understand.