I have to be honest and admit that when I decided to stop writing I didn’t think anyone would care, or even notice. The idea that I have fans is actually funny to me because I never hang out and think about shit like that. I know what you’re thinking; “You released a book, your stories are in anthologies! You have an author page on not just Amazon, but Facebook. You didn’t think that people would like your stuff?” No? I mean, sure, there was a part of me that knew that I’d have a fan base but in reality I just figured it’d be a couple of dudes and maybe a chick or two.
I know that it’s hard to believe that it never occurred to me that I would have fans. Never did. It’s cool, but I just don’t think about that aspect of it. It’s kind of like a nerd who hangs out in his basement playing World Of Warcraft. He knows that boobs exist, but he never imagines that he’s ever going to actually touch them. Then he does! I’m like that guy except I’m a writer, and the boobs are actually fans. I see guys like Richard Laymon and Clive Barker and they have fans. They should, but I’m just an indie guy who listens to hair metal and writes some good shit occasionally.
What you don’t get is that I second guess myself a lot. Way more than I should. I am always afraid that my stuff isn’t good enough. People seem to like my stuff and that’s cool, but I just never imagined the scope of it. I’m just a guy in Ohio writing while listening to bands like Kiss, and Pretty Boy Floyd. I don’t look far enough out to see how far this ball I’ve thrown has actually gone. Maybe I should chase it just to see where it’s ended up. I don’t want to be consumed by the business side of it. The minute I become fanatical about reviews and sales it’s time to step a back and reevaluate why I came to the dance.
The thing was that when I decided that I needed to stop writing it never occurred to me that people would react so strongly. That surprised me. It suddenly dawned on me that I had not only kicked open the door, but I waltzed into the party carrying a cup of coffee and looking for the DJ so we can hear some old school hair metal. I can’t thank those people enough for making me realize that I had actually set out to do what I had dreamed about and even picked up a few fans and supporters along the way. All I knew was that I beat the odds and got myself published. That was all my brain focused on.
Quitting writing is a lot harder than I thought it would be. My brain just won’t take the hint. That’s not a bad thing at all. Once I fired up the creative part of my brain it just refused to shut down. When people sent me words of encouragement it hit me that I can’t just walk away. If I did I was not only letting them down, but I was letting myself down. On top of that my amazing girlfriend thinks that I’ll go insane and drag her with me. She may be right. I can’t thank everyone enough for checking in with me and sending me support. It means a lot and I wish I could be like one of those politicians who go around kissing babies and shaking everyone’s hand.
It means that my decision really mattered to people. People I have never met. Instead of quitting I brought up my Winamp player and fired up some gnarly metal and wrote a werewolf story. I think it’s shit but until Mindy reads it it ain’t going anywhere near a publisher. I write to keep the darkness at bay. All those nasty thoughts come out when I write. I am a much happier little boy when I’m writing so the question is do I stop the merry-go-round and go home? Wait, that is one of my all time favorite Mötley Crüe songs. The point is do I want to walk away from the fun that I have writing?
All of those words of encouragement made me realize that I’m on to something. I’m like Kiss after they released Creatures Of The Night. Totally focused on kicking your face in with tasty riffs and glowing fucking eyes. I’m like Ratt when they released Invasion Of Your Privacy. You knew they were a good band but suddenly they pulled out this insane record and you were like; “Dude! When did Ratt become awesome?” I need to release my own version of Invasion goddamnit!
I’m close, and if I quit now? That’ll never happen. I need to keep going. I need to write. I may not become rich doing this but did that ever stop anyone from doing what they enjoyed? Fuck no it didn’t. I’m having conversations with the dog and answering! Mindy’s afraid I’m going to go all Berkowitz and shit. I love her and damn it I love writing so am I going to quit? I have a goal damn it. When I achieve what I feel is my Invasion Of Your Privacy then we’ll talk about my end game.