My entire life has been wrapped around writing my emotions, thoughts, and feelings down on a piece of paper. Then one day having the courage to put those thoughts into a fictional succession of events created a powerful novel that was published. I can recall writing from the edge of my window sill, a poem about how the night changed. Every detail of the crisp air, the change in the light, and my moods as they switched from wide awake to requiring sleep. That was a poem I wish I owned to this day because that was when I realized I wanted to feel like that my whole life. I wanted to view the world through my perspective and help the reader feel exactly what I felt at that moment. To me, there couldn’t be anything greater than that.
Until the day Readers Digest published an article about the freeing spirit of running. I was a runner at one time, and the way that one’s body floats in the air without any pain or consideration for the human body illuminated the short story. I was hooked because people would tell me that they wanted to feel that feeling. That meant to me that I touched about their minds and maybe their hearts.
In my adult life, I published two novels. I was taken by the worst of publishers. I was shunned in the industry for being aligned with an irrefutable publisher and my work was never regarded as credible. I fought for it to be so. I rewrote, published under a different name, became a bestseller, and all of the sudden the industry welcomed me. What I didn’t expect to happen was that the culture of the lower percentage would shake the core of all that was ever written, all that changed the way we believe would soon succumb to the wishes of a few. I noticed that the reading age dropped to eighth grade. Bookstores closed, and the publishing industry locked its gateway to only those who represented that one percent of our population. In short, if you didn’t write in the perimeters they were willing to purchase, your work, no matter how good it was, would be trashed. This more than broke my heart. This killed my desire to read the word of the new work being put into circulation. This business module made me so sick that I couldn’t justify the benign opinion less nonoffensive drivel that is now entering the literary world. And that is the crap (I say that without hesitation) that is getting awards.
There was a day when these kinds of trivial books were a small sector of the reading availability. When they became the majority, I knew that my time in the industry was finished. I knew that I had too much intellect, needed too much story arc, too many multi-dimensional characters, and way too much of an unpredictable storyline to ever be satisfied with the trash that is being published. No matter how pretty the cover is, the content is still filled with nonsense. Then add the thousands of author-want-to-be’s that feel just because they wrote a nonedited, no arc or character defined piece of work and uploaded it to Amazon they can now call themselves an author. Amazon does not separate the true gatekeeper work from the rags that are called books and so the American public is left paying for books that are so poorly written or edited that it is infuriating. Finally, I got it. I do not want to be associated with this kind of industry any longer. I have lost my respect for authors, for publishers, and for this new thinking that the only material we want to read should be wrapped around the 1% political beliefs.
Last week I brought down my website. Pulled my books from circulation. Stopped helping authors. I have decided, I do not know what yet, but my passions need to lie somewhere a whole lot more credible than what has now become equal to the used car sales business. I think that it takes great courage to change your life passions at my age, but I know that I can do it. If you’re searching for your own passion, please consider pulling that trigger. I cannot tell you how completely freeing it is not to be emotionally or otherwise invested in a dying industry.
I may write again someday. I may not. After all, it is like a divorce. There’s no hard feelings, no pain, no more emotional attachment. It is fantastic to move on. And somewhere down the road, tiny pieces of my passion will fill my soul. Then and only then I may fall back in love with the written word; who knows. For now, I am profoundly changing the way I think. Looking for that reason to get me up in the morning.