Dropping Off The Face Of The Planet And Surviving

Since I haven’t blogged since, oh, December, I’ve strongly considered quitting blogging altogether. I’ve asked myself, is it productive and satisfying for me anymore? Is it a waste of time? Because it does take a significant amount of time. But then I realized it’s not only blogging I stopped doing — it was Facebook and Twitter and other social networks. I stopped marketing my books. I stopped talking about my books. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. I stopped CARING, honestly.

So what brought me to this state, you ask? Did I burn myself out? I have nine titles published. Why would I stop now? But I think losing my publisher when they closed their doors back in 2013 is still something I’m working through emotionally. I had a plan and it fell through. I fell through. My books fell through, and I hate to admit that I pretty much failed after picking myself up after the fallout — meaning I bounced back, but then I fell over and I’m still lying in a heap on the floor. I feel broken and I’m not sure how to fix it.

So I’ve survived. I got a job to help pay bills because heaven knows my royalties don’t cover all of those. I’ve stayed healthy. I’ve moved to a new place. My family is happy and I’m doing fine. But I feel like a huge part of me has been on hold for a long time. Just recently, I attended the Teen Author Boot Camp writing conference. I was on panels with some agents and really great authors. I got to talk to a lot of aspiring authors. I may have even helped some of them. That conference has injected a little bit of excitement in me to get up off my butt and start moving forward again. I have the Storymakers conference coming up, where I’ll be teaching a cover design class. I have a novel that is 3/4 of the way finished (that I’ve been trying to finish for over a year now) and can probably be queried once it’s edited. I think I’d like an agent now. I have a few thin plans that I hope will set a little bit over time.

I suppose this blog post isn’t anything special. It’s not. But it feels like a huge step right now because I’m making decisions again. I’m starting to care a little bit more. And that’s something worth shouting about. So yay! One step at a time.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle

18 comments

Hey Michelle,
Yeah, I felt your depression long-distance. Good to have you back, my friend.

“Personal Growth is a Journey taken One step at a Time.”

A gift from my parents when I was stuck at one of my lowest life points. It hangs where I walk by and can see it every hour.

Sounds to me like you habe stood back up and are taking that first step. Great job, Michelle!! I hope that posting this gave you a bit of the satisfaction you have been missing in your life and spark your personal fire.

Kind of like, you had a rebound, and then you realized it was a rebound, and now you’re trying for something better. (This is not a commentary on types of publishing, just the order of things here.) Well, you’ve got a fan in me. Even though I am apparently an enormously picky fan. I believe in you!

Rena Willemin

Michelle,
Amen to your post. I don’t know how many times I’ve dropped off the face of the social media earth. I just cannot balance being super active on social media and writing and working a full time job…and I’m okay with that. Writing and paying the bills with my job just will have to take my top too priority slots next to my family. But I feel I constantly pay the price for that because I want to build deeper connections with my fellow writers online, and have lasting relationships. I guess it’ll about keeping up with a good support system, something I find a need more and more.

p.s. I’m going to be “close” to your neck of the woods in Colorado Springs for a writing conference this weekend 🙂

Welcome back, Michelle.
Just don’t look for an agent. Try to find a small publisher, if you don’t want to go for the Big Whatever, but don’t give 15% of forever to an agent who can’t help you in this new world of publishing. It’s the 21st century, and the publishing world is changing. No agent. Please. Contact me if you’d like to talk further about it. Just because one small publisher closed, doesn’t mean all will. There are co-ops of authors springing up these days, you might want to try one of those – if you think indie publishing is too lonely and scary and hard, that is.
All the best
Barb

more warnings about agents (scroll to topic of the night)
http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/writing-in-public-year-2-month-9-day-22/
just. Don’t. Sign. With. Any. Agent.
Don’t be an uninformed writer. Ever.

Your writing has an affect on the world and you matter. To me and to others. Keep at it, Lady!

I’ve gone through a similar phase. Mine has lasted more than 2 years now. Breaking out of this slump is hard work and miserable.

I think a support network is crucial. As you mentioned, being involved with other writers does kindle the flame in amazing ways. I’m currently in a place where getting access to other creative minds is extremely difficult and it shows by the length of this drought.

In the past, I’d just hit my writer’s group at Starbucks, take a creative writing class, and get back on track. Without those support networks, there’s really nothing to charge the creative batteries and start connecting those wild ideas that linger only a short-lived existence in my imagination before seeking more fertile ground.

Cynthia Lee

Nice to see you’re back. Sounds like you’re in a good place. I hope that querying doesn’t drive you crazy. I know it drove me kinda crazy.

Jenn Hubbard

Welcome back! I think many of us reach that point where we just need to step back, recover, reevaluate, to listen to the inner voice about where to go next.

Emily Davidson

Yeah! I can’t wait to hear what’s next for you!

Dana Mason

Welcome back! I’ve been in a serious slump too. Hopefully I’ll see the light of day again soon too.

Scott Bailey

“losing my publisher when they closed their doors”

Ain’t it the truth? I was just thinking that my novel came out two years ago, and in 2013 I thought I’d have a third one out by now. It really took the wind out of my sails, and I know you had a lot more time/many more books involved than I did. It was hard to brace myself and forge on and I know it’s been hard for you, too. I am glad to learn that you’re working on something new, that you moved house successfully and you’re all healthy and doing well. Hopefully better things are coming for you and your art. I owe you a card or a letter or something, I know. Soon, honest!

Michelle D. Argyle

No worries, Scott! And yeah, if anyone gets it, you do because you were right there next to me when it happened. If we’re meant to be writers, we just keep writing!

Haneen Ibrahim

one step at a time, that’s the spirit 🙂 welcome back Michelle, I’ve always admired how open you were about talking failure. Pretty brave.

CP Bialois

Welcome back! Sometimes the first step is the hardest and the biggest hurdle. As long as you keep moving, things will work out. 🙂

It is only through fire that we are tested, and come out stronger. I have faith that you will bring your dreams to fruition. You will simply take a different route. Life is what happens when we are making other plans 🙂

Michelle D. Argyle

Thanks, everyone, for your inspiring comments!

Here here! Taking a break isn’t quitting, it’s…taking a break. Anyone who does anything creative knows how important that is to let you batteries recharge. I think that all of your pursuits will only grow better and stronger as a result.