Fake it until you make it? Yeah, I’m tired of that. I’ve been trying to do that for years and you know what? It’s exhausting! Whether it was under a pen name or my own name, I’ve maintained a professional author website and social media accounts for years.
I’ve banged out stories, polished them to the best of my ability and then sent them on their way, mostly just to get a plethora of rejection letters back or no response at all. That’s the nature of the business. But on top of that, I kept putting pressure on myself to write faster than I was comfortable with and stressed over non-existent deadlines. I had come to believe that if I was going to be a professional author, I had to have a certain level of output. It was toxic.
To make matters worse, the writing industry kept pounding on the fact that we needed to build our author platform while we were writing. We needed worry about follower counts, engagement, networking with others in the writing industry and providing valuable content to our readers, even if we weren’t published yet. It was said we needed to be professional yet also be relatable, which meant sharing bits of our lives outside of writing. As an introvert and a private person, I had a hard time with this. I don’t share easily but I also don’t believe the content I post, outside of my stories or poems, provide value. It was a constant struggle and still is.
I’ve subjected myself to all this pressure and stress for years and for what? I’m nowhere closer to my dream. It takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication to make a career out of writing, especially when you’re already working a full-time job. Quite frankly, I don’t have the energy to do it anymore. I’m tired of platform building, arbitrary deadlines, tracking writing metrics and taking the job of writing so seriously. I want to get back to the joy of writing. I want to lose myself in my stories and not think about what happens when I’m done with them. I want the freedom to explore the worlds I dream up and just have fun with it. I want to be a hobbyist again. I want to be ME again. So, that’s what I’m going to do!
I’m going to make changes. I’ve already refreshed my website to make it more me and less professional author. I plan to convert it into an online journal over the next little bit. I’ll still touch on my writing, but it’ll be more about me as a whole and what’s happening in my life, in a LiveJournal kind of way. I’ve wiped my social media accounts and refreshed their designs to match my website so that they’re more personal. I’ll just take them a day at a time and see where they go. And with writing? No more daily quotas. No more tracking metrics. No more pressure. It’ll just be me playing with words.
Music: Bad Wolves – “Zombie”