There has been a draft in my blog’s dashboard for about half a year. It’s called “saying no” and it’s languishing there, never quite ready to be published.
Saying no to work is hard. Saying goodbye is also hard.
It’s a time of endings and a time of assessing what works for me, and what does not. Something does not need to make me money to be worth it – I do give up hours of my time each week on various voluntary things, because I am lucky enough to set my own hours which means I can be free when I am needed. There are other things that I do, almost out of habit, that don’t have any value to others, society or myself. And a further heap of things where the cost to me – my time, sanity or whatever – outweigh the benefits.
We don’t always get the choice to end something. Loveyoudivine Alterotica is an ebook publisher that has lasted over seven years – from the very beginnings of ebooks to the current boom. I’ve been with them for about four or five years. This month, they have closed due to illness. Over those seven years, ereaders have gone from novelty items to standard and common. Even better, what was considered “alternative” then – gay and lesbian stories – is now mainstream, at least to a greater extent that it was before. I feel very sad and wistful that the company’s closed, but I have some happiness too because I learned so much from everyone that I worked with.
It does free up a whole chunk of my week but diminishes my income slightly. This was one of those cases where I worked far more than I earned, but the experience was invaluable so I didn’t mind at all. The stress involved in trying to run a secure ecommerce website based in the US when I was on patchy internet in the UK however… I’ll not miss that!
The closing of loveyoudivine wasn’t my choice. I am choosing to end this blog, however. It’s been nearly two years since I started it, with the intention of tracking my progress from teacher to writer, and I’m comfortably in the position I wanted to be in. I have nothing new to say that other people haven’t already said, much more eloquently, and I feel that new chapters in my life are opening – that don’t need to be scrawled over the internet. I’m running 3 pennames in my writing now, in erotica, erotic romance and traditional romance. I’m developing Top Hat Books and it’s gathering momentum now. I’m still writing for magazines, mostly about cycling. I’m proofreading and copyediting for John Hunt Publishing and fellow erotica authors. During term time, I spend a day or two a week teaching cycling to primary kids – this is essential to my mental health not my financial health! I have found that full time home based working is not good for my well being as I tend to stay introspective and aloof anyway, and without a reason to interact with people, I never would – and that’s ultimately detrimental to all aspects of my life, including my writing.
I don’t know what I’ll do with this blog. Let it fester for a bit, maybe, then remove it. Who knows.
So long, folks, it’s been fun and thanks for being here on the ride!