I Quit

So I promised an announcement and here it is:

I quit.

Thanks for stopping by.

To be more specific, I am quitting what I’ve been doing as a writer. My dream has been to publish novels and have them do well and at some point become a full time novelist. A successful full time novelist.

I quit that. That’s what I quit.

If you don’t mind, I’ll go ahead and elaborate.

I just finished my third novel– at least the first draft of it. It’s pretty okay and it’s on this website under the Current Project above if you’d like to read it. Here’s a synopsis:

* * * *

Lakhoni is left for dead when everybody in his village is murdered by a raiding party. When he can’t find his sister’s body, he realizes that she must have been taken by the raiders, who it turns out were sent by his own king. Determined to rescue his sister and bring justice to the wicked king, Lakhoni decides to go to the king’s city. But before he gets far, he is taken in by the Living Dead, a group of brutal rebels who hate the king for reasons of their own.

Fearing for his soul in the face of the cruelty of the Living Dead, Lakhoni manages to escape and continues his journey, through the dead of winter. Through his time on the road, he learns more about his world, but doesn’t suspect that he has crucial part to play in the destiny of his people.

But he will not rest until his sister is safe– even when facing down the king’s guard, the assassins of the Living Dead, and his family’s murderers. Can he survive long enough to discover the truth about his mother and father and fulfill his own destiny?

* * * *

The synopsis is a work in progress. I’d love to know what you think.

Anyway, I have been feeling this pressing urgency to get a book sold. I go to conferences and wish I could spend the money to pitch to agents and I long for the time to write the stories that are bursting out of me but still rewrite the projects I’ve already got in the oven. I really want to get queries sent off, but I also need to find an agent and that takes a lot of work and I need time and energy for that too.

Then I made this goal to be doing a signing next year. And my urgency and the pressure to GET MY BOOKS ON SHELVES and MAKE THEM GOOD and all of that stuff has just been pushing and pushing and pushing me.

So when I don’t get the time, or can’t make the time, or get so freaking tired, or just need to watch some Bones or Chicago Code or Fringe but when I sit down I fall asleep instantly– gah.

AND I STILL HAVE TO GET PUBLISHED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

I quit that. I want to get published, and I want to get my books on shelves and in readers’ hands, but I hereby tell the world that it can wait.

First, I need to write more good.

That is my plan. I will hone my craft. I will write better stories. I will rewrite my stories so they get better.

I think part of this comes from listening to old Writing Excuses episodes. Dan and Brandon talked about how long they were writing and honing and working until the publishing segment of their careers really got going.

So I am deliberately seeing my writing career as made of segments. Right now, exactly now, is the segment wherein I learn to be a writer. Where I get some discipline, take on challenging projects, test my mettle and really immerse myself in the experience of being a student of this craft I love so much.

Because really, I don’t know if I suck or anything, but I know I’m not great yet.

And I want to be a great writer. I don’t want my books to get out there and not actually be awesome.

Don’t get me wrong. If publishers or editors or agents (or even one of any one of these) calls, I’ll go ahead and answer that phone call. Editors, agents, publishers– feel free to call. Or email.

But I won’t be calling (I know, I’m not supposed to anyway) or emailing. Not yet at least.

I hope that’s all clear. It’s nice to write it and have it clear in my head now. I shared it with Hotness and she’s with me.

What it all comes down to is that if I am feeling the pressure to make money from my writing so I can get my family into a more comfy home, then my motivation is wrong wrong wrong and my writing will reflect that.

Thanks for bearing with me. I will, of course, continue to blog.

And you will, of course, continue coming to my blog because it is your manna; your lifeblood; the shining and hopeful light in your otherwise bleak day.

Anyone want to talk me off the ledge? Any thoughts on this change?

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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