It’s a start, right?

New graphic and same old grouchy grumblings.

Behold, the working cover for my next Rough Passages Tale.

Oh, I haven’t written the story. Posted a few paragraphs to utter silence on Facebook a while back and haven’t touched it since. I haven’t written anything  except blog posts and essays in quite a while. I haven’t sold a damned thing in weeks.

Yes, there’s a connection. The more days go by without a single blip of interest in my existing prose, the less urgency I feel to complete anything new.  Why rush? The delay could hardly affect my sales or my “professional visibility” (HAH!)  any less. Might as well take my time. Play with graphics. Learn print formatting. Take up other new hobbies. Dawdle, even.

No worries, I’ll keep sitting down and staring at one of my stories every day, but if nothing happens, I’ll go watch a movie or vacuum the cat. And the world will continue to spin.

A friend once thought it a hilarious joke to give me a button that read, “Why do some people spend years writing a book when they could just go out and buy one?”

We’re not friends any more.

I’m sick of lectures about writing from the soul, writing for myself and all the rest. Guess what?  I am a big bundle of don’t fucking care, and that’s that. I will put in time daily. I will make words. But publishing them? Well. That’ll happen when it happens, because  I’m going to write as slowly as I damned well please.

And it will be slow, in fits and starts, because my imagination traps and terrifies me. I can’t live in a dreamworld and remember to pay the bills, feed the cat, put gas in the car, put food in my belly, put keys in my pockets, etc. Some can balance their creative and practical sides. Me, I screw up one or the other.  Strangely, “I was caught up in writing” is not considered a legit excuse for any real-world failure.

Walking through the veil into my own realities takes its toll on my peace of mind, a cost measured in frustration, hurt feelings, and guilt. I don’t build up the courage to brave those consequences as easily as I once did. I seldom look forward to getting story-lost these days. I yearn for it, I itch and twitch from withdrawal , but worry paralyzes me in the present. The weight of authoring tasks only adds to the problem.

I’ll keep writing, but stories are patient. Life is not. If my pace is unsteady, well, then. I’ll still be moving. I’m counting that a victory.


By K. M. Herkes

Author, gardener, and cat wrangler.

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