I’ve been writing seriously for almost 11 years. In that time I’ve written 4 novels, or more like 10 if you count all the revisions Cold Burn Goodbye has gone through. I’ve also written dozens of short stories. Or a dozen or so if you discount the stories that were really novels. In all that time and all those words I have only ever gotten one short story published. And that was in Finnish, when mostly I write in English.
I’m not even going to begin to pretend that it’s not frustrating. I’ve spent countless hours on becoming a better writer. Those hours are also the reason I don’t actually believe I have a talent. What I have is thousands of hours of actively working toward becoming a writer. But that’s another blog post entirely.
For me, it’s mostly that I don’t know how to stop. I’ve gone so long with trying to carve out more time to write that I don’t know how to do without. I wouldn’t call it an addiction, but I do start feeling itchy when I take a break for a week or so. Part of it is that I have filled so much of my life with writing-related work. At first, whenever I step back, I start wondering what it is that people do all day every day. Evenings stretch out before me like fathomless pits. Eventually, I fill up my evenings with other activities. But I still miss the writing. It’s like a piece of chocolate cake made without salt in it. It’s perfectly nice and better than no cake but it doesn’t have that pop that a chocolate cake with salt does.
I’m not going to give up the hope of someday making a career out of writing. But in general, I think I have a very Dory-ish approach to writing. Just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing. I don’t know if I’ll ever sell more than a handful of stories anywhere, but I don’t really want to stop either. Your mileage may vary. I’m not here to tell anyone how they should act.
But in case you, dear reader, need the permission or encouragement; go forth and create. Regardless of it has a future.