I don't know why I'm writing this. It started with an idea that seemed good, but before I even wrote the first word, I started to question myself. "Why bother? Only a handful of people are going to read it, and they don't care. They might leave some supportive comments, but at the end of the day, they'll go on with their lives just the same as if they hadn't read it. It doesn't matter."
That's what goes through my head (or some variant of it) every day I try to write something. Doesn't matter if it's another chapter of my latest book, a dumb blog about video games, or something like this. And it doesn't go away after writing for a few minutes, not usually anyway. At least not with this one. Sometimes I get into the groove, and get some serious work done, but not as often as I used to be able to. Back when I was young and naïve. You know, a couple years ago.
Let me give some back story here, because I'm starting to lose the thread a little with regards to the main point. I've been writing blogs about video games on and off since...2006, I think. A lot of the older stuff is lost to time (and good riddance to it), but I've written a lot of stuff on the internet. And even of the stuff that's still there, most of it is nonsense. Intentionally so, mind you, but still nonsense. I've had a lot of fun, and I've met some great people in the course of doing so over the years.
But then, in 2011, while I was still in college, I had the brilliant idea to start writing a novel, because clearly that was a better use of my time than trying to figure out what kind of a career to get after I graduated. Because, obviously, I was going to be able to write a hit novel, and never have to get a real job because the money would come flooding in.
Like I said, I was young and naïve. But, I stuck with it, and about a year later, I had a finished product that I was happy with. Of course, during the course of that year I gave up on trying to get it actually published, because that process seemed too hard and time consuming, so I just self-published it on Amazon. There I met a rousing success where tens of people downloaded the book, and most of them were from when the book was free to "promote" it. The idea being that people get it free, read it, like it, and recommend it to people that then pay money for it. I'm pretty sure most of them just downloaded it, and never touched it again.
However, I wasn't deterred. I had written a book, and my friends/a couple people on the internet said they legitimately liked it. So, I started working on a sequel. But I wanted to aim higher, and make something bigger and more ambitious. And I did. As a result, it ended up taking longer to write than the first. Of course, it didn't help that during the course of the later editing stages, I ran into "small" problems like a month-long bout with some of the worst depression of my life, and being hospitalized and then diagnosed with an incurable intestinal disease (nothing life threatening).
But, I eventually got it to a state where I thought it was acceptable to publish, and I did. Where I met a rousing success where tens of people downloaded it, almost all of them from a free promotion. As downtrodden as I was by my continued failures, I couldn't stop. While the first book could have stood alone, the second clearly left it open for the third in the trilogy, and I had to see it through to the end.
And now, here I am.
It's been a couple months since I started writing it. Probably closer to four, actually, I don't really know off hand. I started strong, but ran into some issues early on. I was trying too hard to make the third book "edgier," for lack of a better word, and ended up scrapping a lot of the three or four chapters that I had written. I started over, and got onto a much better track than I had been on.
But the more time that passed, the harder and harder I've found it to focus on what I've been writing. It's hard to justify working on something that maybe three or four other people will actually read to completion, most of them being close friends that are reading it not because they would have sought out this thing and read it anyway, but because I wrote it, and I asked them to.
It's demoralizing, and I think I may be approaching my breaking point. I thought that by writing this, maybe I would get a better grip on what I have accomplished as a writer, and that would boost my morale. And, it is an accomplishment. I've written two full novels, both of which are good (according to my friends), and that's more than most people can say. Hell, that's probably more than most authors can say. It should be something that I'm proud of, and that I brag about.
It's not. I just get disgusted and depressed when I think about it. That I've spent countless hours of my life working on these stupid books that no one cares about. And when I say "countless," I mean it literally. I have no idea how many hours I've spent either actually writing, or just thinking about these books. Walking around, I'll be thinking about what to do next, what characters I need to create, how to justify including stupid things like a castle siege, or a bank heist into them. There were times in college when I couldn't get this stuff off my mind, and I was spending all of my waking hours thinking about it.
Like I said before, I don't know why I'm writing this. It's only making me feel worse, not better. A part of me thought that maybe it could at least be some well written thing that helps examine some deep, inner meaning, or some BS like that. Just seems like a rambling mess to me. I shouldn't even post this, but I will, because I've spent time working on it instead of my book. Or studying for that driver's license test I've got to take before my permit expires next month.
I don't even remember what the original point of all this was. Something about the books, and it not being good enough? In retrospect, of course it was stupid of me to expect anything more than what has happened. And it's my fault too, for not putting in the effort to try to get an actual publisher to actually publish one of these books. But what's the point? No one's going to read these books and say, "Oh yeah, I'll approve company resources to print this dumb thing and sell it in stores." Nothing about what I've written seems anything at all like what people want to read these days, or at least what publishers think that people want to read these days. And of course they don't, I'm a weirdo writing to my own, weird tastes. I could try to write something that appeals to more people. Just ape the boring "young adult" novels that seem to be all the craze today. But why do that when I can write a sweeping space opera that has everything from Space Nazis to Guerrilla Dragons fighting for freedom with GUNS?
I think I figured out why I've written all this. It's because I'm depressed, angry, blaming myself, and don't have any other way to try to vent my frustrations. And would you have guessed that it's not working, and only making me feel worse? I think I already said it's made me feel worse, actually.
I'm not going to stop writing though. Not yet. I'm maybe a third of the way into this next book, perhaps even forty percent. Even if the end product ends up a terrible piece of steaming garbage, I'll feel worse in the long run if I just give up. I have no clue when it'll be done, but I'll finish it one day. And at this rate, it'll probably be the last thing I ever write. Or the last big thing, at least.
If you've actually read all this, then thanks. It still means something when people actually care enough to read all the way through, even if I acknowledge that it's not very good. Unless you just skipped to the end, at which point you are basically history's newest greatest monster.