On Giving Up

Writers have a social media community. We’re all friends with other writers, and we all encourage each other with daily mantras like “The world needs your novel,” and “You have a unique voice,” and “Harry Potter was rejected 37 times.”

I’ve been writing for eight years or so, and the last year I’ve also had a jazz group for girls. I’ve been posting about the lack of women in jazz, and while some people seem as concerned about the situation as I am, my class has not grown, and I’ve had few volunteers to help me teach. I have only sold a handful of novels despite regular social media posts (and social ones, too, not just sales pitches) and today my proposal for a grant for the jazz class was rejected.

It turns out the world does not need my novels. People keep saying “Write because you love it!” and the truth is that I don’t love it anymore. I’m tired of writing to myself. I don’t care what anyone says, we don’t write for ourselves. We write because we want to touch others or to be known as a great writer, or at least to make a damned dollar. I have spent thousands and thousands of hours writing and reading about writing, and for what?

I’m done. I’m done writing, and I’m done sharing people’s books who do not share mine, and I’m done thinking “This contest win will convince people to buy a book!” And while I’m keeping my jazz class until it dwindles to nothing, I’m not writing any more grants or passing out any more flyers. I’m not asking for any more volunteers, and I’m not making any more videos about how I hate the blues scale. The world does not need my novel, or it would shell out 99 cents. Apparently my contribution to this world is not the next great novel, and that’s okay.

And apparently the world does not need my jazz instruction either.

I’m done.

For now.