A Creator’s Journey #10–Just Can’t Stop

Sometimes I wonder why I’m still writing.

It’s not as though I have a hungry readership chomping at the bit, nor do I really understand how to get one despite my research. Oh, sure, I do have a fingerful of people who like and/or comment on a semi-regular basis, and while I’m grateful to them, it’s not much.

Some might say you write to those people, then. The problem is they change. I’ve been blogging for four years and I’ve seen people come and devour everything I read, then fizzle away, apparently bored with my words. Then, new ones come, and then they leave. My hit count remains stagnant.

Beyond that, what I write isn’t what you’d call helpful. I don’t have much advice to give, mostly because I’m still looking for it myself. I’m hardly an expert in anything. The truth is I’m just an ordinary person with thoughts of his own, like everybody else on the planet. That’s not exactly marketable.

The books I write fall between the cracks. Not Christian enough for the Christians and not edgy enough for everybody else. Not enough fantasy, originality, diversity, humor, or smut, depending on whom you ask.

Even my dreams are too eclectic. I want to make books, movies, video games, comics, all kinds of things. I want to be a creator more than just a writer (which is why this is called “A Creator’s Journey,” not “A Writer’s Journey”). Unfortunately, all I know are words, and I can’t seem to find people in other fields, so I’m stuck.

This doesn’t even mention my failures as a writer. Book ideas rejected by publishers and agents alike, crowdfunding campaigns that yielded nothing and left me heartbroken, a mishandled novel published by a scammer that’s left me with more shame than fame, and a blog that after four years still writes to an audience of one.

The worst part is no one really asks how my writing is going. When they do, few really want to know; they’re just paying lip service. So it seems, at least. And what’s the point in creating if you can’t share it?

So why am I here? Why am I still writing?

Well…I just can’t seem to stop.

No matter how low I sink, no matter how frustrated I get, I always return to the keyboard, whether it’s for one more hopeful blog post or another chapter to a novel that sits on the everlasting back-burner.

At this point, I don’t even know if that’s determination or stubbornness. They’re so like. Am I sticking to my guns or burying my head in the sand?

Who knows?

If this post seems a tad melancholic, well, that’s part of the journey. This particular blog series is about the journey of being a creator, the ups and downs and all the weird turns that happen on a week-by-week basis.

This week, I feel down. More than down, like a failure, really. Depressed. Trapped. Helpless and ignorant. In fairness, this is also tied to a lot of other things happening in my life right now–bit of a mess at the moment.

Still, that’s the journey this week. This creator is trudging through a swamp, struggling to pick off the leeches before they suck him dry. Artistry is hard work, emotionally as well as physically.

Perhaps that’s it: perhaps this is just a bad day, or a bad week, rather. Perhaps next week things will turn up and I’ll have some happy news. Perhaps this week’s reflections will spark some changes to my writing.

I don’t know. All I know is where I am right now: frustrated, tired, praying to God for a way out.

Even so, I just can’t stop writing. I love it too much.

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8 thoughts on “A Creator’s Journey #10–Just Can’t Stop

  1. Love the raw honesty, Mike.
    I’m in the pit of discouragement myself. I hear ya. But God will pull us out of it. We won’t stay there forever.

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  2. Sharing the times of discouragement is the most encouraging thing you can do sometimes. We all struggle, but it’s hard to remember (or maybe acknowledge) that commonality when we’re in the depths of it. The only way to get anywhere is to take another step. Keep walking brother.

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  3. Thank you for your honesty.

    If you could find the people in the other fields, would you add video game creation or movie-making in your crafts?

    Would ever consider making a graphic novel?

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  4. Even if it doesn’t seem all that successful now – keep writing. If Jane Austen can write a novel about a character that even she hates (Emma) and have it last as classic literature for centuries, you can TOTALLY write a story that’ll grab the world by it’s collective (insert part of the human anatomy here) and capture their hearts. You can do this!

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