Two years ago, my first novel was published. Hooray! I cried and jumped for joy. I celebrated, and I was right do so.
My gradually that dream come true turned into a soul-crushing defeat. I won't go into all the reasons. Maybe my expectations were too high. I don't know. The fact of the matter is that I have no more hopes or dreams.* I can't bring myself to hope or to dream. It hurts too much.
I have spent months telling myself I shouldn't feel this way. I shouldn't be discouraged. I should persevere and be positive. And I really believe that. But the fact remains that my heart is broken. I am grieving and I need to allow myself to do so.
I am just beginning to realize that I want two different things.
I want to write books.
To be specific, I want to write the books that speak to my soul. I want to write books about my own people and my own worldview and everything I find exciting and wonderful.
I also want to sell books.
A story does not live until it is shared with someone else. I don't need to make a lot of money. I don't need to be a best seller. But I need something. I need enough to feel I am not just wasting my time. And right now, I don't have that.
You might think these two things are compatible, but in my case they are not.
I feel I must make a choice.
I can keep writing what I long to write and give up on the hope of selling many books or being profitable.
I can write different books that I know will sell better.
I can retire.** (That sounds so much better than giving up, doesn't it.)
I have loads of reasons, both good and bad, for making any one of these decisions. I'm honestly not sure which way I will go. I do know one thing, though. Retiring is the only option if I can't find a way to hope and dream again. Believe me, I am trying. I am plodding forward without hope, in the hopes that hope will return. :)
*This pertains only to writing. I have many hopes and dreams in other aspects of my life that bring me great joy.
**For the record, I intend to finish the Defenders of the Covenant series. The last book is out with beta readers, so I will definitely carry that through to the end.