I Swear I’ll Talk About Writing Here

This week has been busy with non-writing stuff and just plain exhausting.  Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.  Though, an accident when working on the new entertainment center comes to mind.  We were moving it out of the way and I didn’t get my foot to safety.  Sliced a toe from the side and along the cuticle and that’s kind of how the week started.  The humidity came back too.  By the way, I’m writing this on Wednesday because I have no idea how around I’ll be until September.  (2 zoo trips and a Halloween Costume Hunt have occurred since writing this.  If you get whimpers and groans as responses then here is why.)

Let’s get into the writing, which is going to be kind of a rant.  It’s difficult to do this because, as stated many times, I have a lot of lurkers.  These are people that will read my sadder posts and contact me with a ‘sorry/not sorry’ message that puts me in an awkward position.  In fact, pointing this out might trigger the reaction.  We’ve kind of established that I’ve been depressed for most of this year because nothing has gone right and much of it stems from the writing situation.  This would be where several people stop reading and jump to the comments to give advice or suggest taking a break.  Sorry to come off like an ass here, but it gets rather frustrating when that’s the most common suggestion even after you explain why it won’t help.

The truth is that I feel like I’ve spent most of 2016 on a break or in stasis.  With my wife losing her job in 2015, things took a bad turn and other events compounded on that.  How does this relate to writing?  Well, I started this year being told that I have to prove myself in order to continue writing and publishing in 2017.  Yet, I’m constantly running into obstacles and situations that knock me back.  I recently noticed that two of the smaller promo sites I use have been silent for a while.  I can’t find any interviews that I haven’t already done and I lack the time to jump into a review group.  I’m struggling to balance so much and it feels like something crashes to the ground every week.  All of this is adding to the stress that I’ll have to close up shop next year.

I know people are going to say that I can balance writing and a full-time job, but I’ve already proven that it can’t happen for me.  Hell, that’s what I tried for 10 years and the full-time job won every fucking time.  Not everyone has a life where they can balance these things.  For me, it’s one or the other and I know I can’t come back to writing if I walk away at this point.  It would be starting from scratch, but with several forgotten books to revive in some fashion.  That’s if I could ever come back since retirement these days is almost laughable for anyone getting a job now.  This sounds dark, but I really feel like I’m staring at a firing squad and I don’t know whether to be angry, sad, or accept that there were too many things against me.

I’ve spent the last month trying to think of ways to boost my books to a level that will get people off my fucking back.  As much as I hate to be an author who focuses entirely on the money side of things, I’m being shoved there out of survival.  Yet, I’m trying to stay true to myself and that isn’t meshing well.  I can’t figure out what the next step is aside from staying the course, but I have no idea what that would be.  Can’t draw well enough to make Windemere comics or animate to do YouTube episodes based on the books.  That’s really as far as I went because I think adding a second medium would be useful in promoting the books and vice versa.  Still, I have no idea how to do that.

A lot of this feels like stuff I’ve said before and I feel trapped.  These goal posts have become venting platforms because this is what’s on my mind.  This week was a family one, so I don’t have any writing stuff to report and I get backlash if I bring up the private stuff or post too many kid pictures.  Will things change in September when Charms of the Feykin is out, my son is back in school, and I get to work on Path of the Traitors?  I have no idea.  Maybe I’ve taken too many hits this year and I need a big stroke of good luck to turn things around.  God knows I’ve had enough bad luck to last until 2018.

I have no goals for next week.  School is still out and I have no idea what my schedule will be.  Maybe I’ll get to fiddle with an outline.  More then likely, I’ll exhaust myself and stare at a notebook every night while my mind wanders back to this topic.  I really don’t know what I’m going to do once 2017 hits because it seems I’m expected to make a decision that involves walking away.  The only hope I have is that I can write the rest of Legends of Windemere before the end of the year, so I can still publish them.  Not really sure if that’s going to happen either unless I go back-to-back on 14 and 15.  Maybe a week between them to work on the outline.  Going to stop rambling.  Later.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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33 Responses to I Swear I’ll Talk About Writing Here

  1. Elle Knowles says:

    All you can do is press on Charles…With H now retired, my writing space has been invaded and my mind is mush when I finally do get the opportunity. I know how you feel. ~Elle

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  2. I wish I had something to offer here. Writing is a tough gig, and there is more than enough disappointment to go around. Maybe you can sell the whole thing to Tor or someone and go that route. Maybe not. A smaller publisher might be impressed with your social media presence, your blog, your contacts, and the volume of your output. They may assist with proofreading editing, and things that generally take a lot of time. I always consider that writing is self entertainment. I get a big kick out of creating my stories. There has been no profit in it so far. Only two have covered their initial expenses. (A third is very close) I am entertained though. My long game is different than yours, I’d like to be able to supplement my retirement in ten years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I tried ‘Tor’ a lot in the past and eventually hit a point where I didn’t even get rejection letters. I’ve looked at self-publishers, but fantasy seems to be a rare request. At least the kind I write with quests and not solely aimed at Young Adults. Might go hunting again near the end of the year to see what’s out there. Noticed a lot of people saying that their small publisher was going under or refusing submissions, so it felt like that arena was slowing down.

      Funny that you mention long game. I don’t think the people who are bugging me about progress realize that being an author is about going the distance. It’s a marathon and not a sprint if you want to last.

      Liked by 4 people

      • So true about the marathon. Maybe make some inquiries to those who are with a small press. Find out what they like about it, what they don’t, and whether they’re open to something like Windemere. We’ve had many conversations behind the scenes, and this might be a good way to gather data.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe. Those I know are connected to YA presses, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. The only concern is if that means I have to take everything off Amazon. One would guess that those who already bought the books won’t do so again, so that could be a problem.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Might be an issue, but you won’t know if you don’t ask. Maybe it’s not a good option, but it could free up some time and bring in a bit of income too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Possibly. If anything, I have most of the series done. So a selling point is that there’s little wait time between volumes.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Excellent salesmanship.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hugh Howey made nothing for 10 years, then he rewrote the first book and somehow became a household name. Marathon it is. If only the people in our lives could see that…

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      • I remember looking up how he did it a while back. Forgot what I found, but I think it had something to do with pursuing certain venues. I remember 4-5 years ago, hearing about all these indie authors that came out of nowhere to grab contracts. Now, I never hear about that or most of those authors. Hugh Howey is the only name I see turn up from time to time. Maybe the system has changed.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As you and Craig work on ideas I for one hope it works out since I would hate to have a reading world without Charles Yallowitz.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. twixie13 says:

    Hoping for the best, and wishing I could help with the thought of going into a visual medium with it. Your work is great, and there are a lot of people out there that’d love to see more!

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  5. I totally understand, Charles. I’ve been there. A few decades ago, I was an at-home Mom with two kids, because day care was more than our mortgage, and I tried to get my feet on the ground with writing at the same time. Then my husband lost his job and it took several months to find a new one. Work won out for me, too, although ironically I went to work at my kids’ school. At least I got inspiration for the children’s writing piece of my career.

    Based on what I went through, I’d suggest that you make sure your family is strong. I mean you, your wife, and your child — not the extended family that you’ve previously mentioned as not being very supportive. Your wife must be devastated to have lost her job. Pamper her as much as you can afford to. Take her and your son for walks in the evenings. Fix foods they like. As long as your family is intact, the rest will come.

    I’d also suggest you should not give up your writing. Maybe the form needs to change, but writing is your art, and your art keeps you whole. Possibly you can let go of the idea that writing is about money, and write some things no one will ever see. Write stories just for your wife or son. Maybe journal about what you’re going through.

    I’m sure I seem like a busybody and a know-it-all, but what I’m trying to say is that you’re not alone with this. It sounds like things need to change for you, but life is change. I hope you can find a way to manage the changes in a positive way. I’ll be thinking of you, Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My wife is taking the job loss as best as she can. She’s listening my ‘silver lining’ talks more than before, which is helping. The extended family is a tough one to ignore since we live with my parents. I’m trying to help out around the house as much as I can like cooking, buying the groceries, etc. I think we’re just worn down from all of these sideswipes. One starts to wonder if the universe is out to get them when things repeatedly happen beyond their control.

      I do write a bunch that people don’t see. In fact, I spent 10 years doing that with poems and outlines since I love the creation side of things. Yet, I always wanted to be a published (self, indie, or whatever) and I find it hard to give that part up. I was rather miserable writing only for myself because one of my goals when writing is to draw other people into the worlds I create.

      One of the things that is frustrating me a lot this year is that it’s the worst one for people to label as my ‘final chance’. I’ve had so many delays, distractions, and downfalls that it’s ridiculous. It’s August and I’ve only released 1 Windemere book, which wasn’t very long ago. That meant the first 4-5 months were treading water. Not to mention book sales for nearly everyone I talk to have plummeted this year, including those who were in a better spot than myself. Something is off and beyond my control, which is why I don’t like the idea of this being anything other than a year of survival.

      Liked by 3 people

      • “Final chance…” Are you on life support? There is no final chance, ever!

        But I do know how those messages can grind you down. People think they’re helping, or so they claim. But you have to wonder.

        Take care, Charles.

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      • That’s the difficult thing to figure out. I can’t see myself restarting all of this if I leave for a while. The books are out there and I’d have a difficult time reviving them after a period of dormancy. Some people think I can simply stop, get a ‘real job’, retire, and pick up where I left off here. Forget the fact that I have nearly 100 other books outlined for the overall Windemere adventures. The chance of retiring seems rather slim to begin with, so it doesn’t look like it would play out the perfect way that I’m being told it would.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Bookwraiths says:

    Take care, brother. My thoughts and best wishes for a run of good luck are with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. L. Marie says:

    Oh Charles. This has been a tough year for you. I really hope for a breakthrough for you. (I hear you on Tor. I’ve been rejected by them too.)

    I’ve been given the “you need to take any job” speech many times by people who are sick of my hanging on to writing. When I worked full time, I barely wrote anything, because my work days, combined with commuting, were 12 hours long. All I had time to do was come home, eat, then crash.

    I wish people understood that writing is such a big part of you. Negative comments take energy from you. 😦

    Hoping for the best for you!

    Like

    • That’s kind of what was happening to me when I worked. Get up early to fight traffic, work in a cube, fight traffic back home, and then get some time in with the kid. That’s the tough part about the balance. I kept being put in a position where my choices were my son or my writing. The kid won every time, but that also meant I wasn’t making any progress. It wasn’t like I had the energy to write a coherent chapter section within 2 hours before collapsing.

      I never understood the ‘take any job’ thing these days. That leads to retail and food services, which don’t pay as well as they used to. Those end up being supplemental jobs more than main ones unless you become a manager.

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. Marie says:

        I’ve applied for many types of jobs, including office manager. Didn’t get any of them. So the advice to “take anything” is often spoken by people who make assumptions. They assume you can instantly get a job simply by applying. It’s like my younger brother told me. He wouldn’t hire someone in a retail position who didn’t have a passion for the job, but who was just going the “take anything” route and would probably quit in six months.

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      • Oh yeah. Love the ‘just apply and you will get something’. I point out how rough a time my wife is having and she should have the stronger resume. One problem is that the current approach to hiring is to find reasons not to take a person on more than why they would fit. It’s like employers refuse to accept anything less than a flawless, perfect candidate, but end up settling for the least flawed person any way.

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  8. N. N. Light says:

    Charles, I read this last night and I’ve been trying to think of what to say to you. My heart goes out to you, your wife and son. I’m sorry for being all positive in some of my answers in the past; what you need is a plan, not a hug. I get that and I have to tell you, all of us authors/writers go through this. Every single day we struggle against the surge of non-supportive family wave. I hear your frustration and with the shifting winds of publishing, we’re all feeling this way.

    You’re going through the year of Job (as my hubby and I call it) and we can relate. 2016 has been a bastard with so many obstacles, we’re ready to ring in the new year tonight. Positive spin: only 4 more months to go. 😉

    Here’s my thought on your situation: Have you ever thought about writing a screenplay and/or submitting your Windemere series to production companies? You’re close to NYC and there are so many indie production companies out there. I truly believe that your series is good enough for television. I have a friend of mine who submits his books to various production companies every week. There’s many contests/awards out there and with the huge success of GOT, audiences are clamoring for epic fantasy.

    Another option for you is ghostwriting/business writing type of thing. You’re a very talented writer and websites are always looking for great content to buy.

    At the end of the day, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. Ignore the critics from your family; they don’t know sh*t anyway.

    Like

    • It’s surprising how many people I know have had a terrible 2016. This year is so horrible for some bizarre reason. As far as a screenplay, I’ve tried, but I can’t get the structure down. I’ve also looked into movies and TV with not much luck. Seems I’d need an agent to get my foot in the door and fantasy requires a lot of special effects. Do you have a list of the contests/awards or a site I could look at?

      One issue is that audiences seem to be clamoring for GoT style fantasy, which isn’t me. I don’t do the politics, sex, and deaths that people seem to want.

      (Trying to reply while the kid throws a tantrum that has to be ignored.)

      I’ll look into the ghostwriting. People suggest technical writing a lot. Only thing is that it’s an issue of time because that would take most of my writing time.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ellespeth says:

    I’m for a recall of 2016! Horrible year.
    I’m thinking of you, Charles.
    Ellespeth

    Like

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