I mean, the title says a lot, doesn’t it?
Do you ever have one of those days where you know you need to get several things done because people are relying on you? You make your list and you look it over. You look it over again, and again, and again…
And when you start doing the first task, your chest tightens. Breathing becomes harder, faster, shallower. Hands start to shake. You step away because it’s too much. It can be physically painful for some.
That’s been the majority of my days for several months. I say majority because there are a handful of days a month where I can push past it. I can get a small section of the work done and survive it. Stuff as simple as sending an email is difficult. Even writing this blog, knowing I have to make an image for it… is hard. It’s a twenty minute task to write this and put an image on it, but it’s so fuckin’ hard.
What happened? A year ago, I was starting to deal with health issues (the sage of my nerve issues is documented here on the blog), but I was excited to do more. I was excited to grow and start my Patreon to support smaller bits of content. I was excited about the books I had coming out. Things started to pile up and spiral out of control as I fought to get better after surgery and take care of myself. But the external pressure of knowing I’m the sole income for my household also kept this immense weight on me at the very same time. I had no back up (and still don’t) in that regard. I found myself taking time off for mental health and the fear of getting back to work terrified me. Still does, most days. Not because I don’t like my books or I want to stop writing the series I’m working on. It’s the workload beyond that. It was the realization that out of all the people I relied on, most couldn’t be there when I needed them most and the idea of going back to that genuinely scares me. I’ve spent the last year being kicked while I was down and I’m scared to keep getting kicked. Even the small kicks, the offhanded comments that strike to my deepest insecurities without even realizing it… (Not reviews. I don’t read reviews).
Part of that fear also comes from the idea of failure. I’m going to talk about some changes I’ll be making for 2023 to better get me on track. To make sure 2023 isn’t 2022. I’m not off to the best start, but better late than never. However, all of these changes make me feel like I’ve failed in some way. That feeling of failure isn’t easy to deal with when the world already feels so dark to me right now but I have to be honest with myself and I won’t ever get back on track if I don’t make some changes.
I need to come back. I miss my books and I miss all of you. I miss that external reach I had, knowing there was this community out here rooting for me. I never really forgot all of you were here, but sometimes the hole is too deep and the world is too dark for that to make the impact one would hope it does.
Here’s what’s going to happen in 2023:
PATREON: Patreon will be ended. I gave it the best year I could, and I hope one day it becomes a regular, easy part of my writing schedule, but right now… It has to go. It’s too much and after fighting to be the best I could.
Patreon will have a post discussing this (especially for those who got the yearly pledges). So the only thing I’m saying here is that Patreon will be closed on an indefinite hiatus until I feel like I can return to it.
RELEASES: There will only be 4 confirmed releases this year, which will be 2 Jacky Leon books and 2 Everly Abbott books. I might have the energy to throw a standalone in there as well, but I won’t make any promises. Only 4 releases for me will be the smallest release year I’ve ever had.
I know there aren’t preorders for Everly 4 yet. I’m going to work on that.
There shouldn’t be any changes aside from those. They’re major changes. I hope you’ve all loved Erika’s blogs. She’s been an immensely wonderful person, trying to help me take the mental space I need while also supporting me to take the small steps I can.
I’m not “better” and I don’t think I will be for awhile. For those who have never suffered long term depression, this might all have been hard to understand. For those who don’t suffer from anxiety, it might make no sense to get paralyzed when you have a list of stuff to do.
I’m going to keep trying, even if I just make an inch of progress every day. I hope anyone caught dealing with me while I’ve been fighting is willing to keep fighting with me. I hope 2023 brings about the changes I need to keep going to 2024 and beyond. I’m tired of feeling tired. I’m tired of feeling scared to do the thing I love.
Thanks for reading. Love you all.
OH, would yall like to know what has made me happy over the last several months? I play DnD with friends on Sunday. If you think you might enjoy it, I might use this blog space to bring that side of my life to you. If you’re interested.