January 1 2017

2017: My Year of Peace

My New Year’s resolution is not to have a New Year’s resolution. My 2017 will be all about flow and finding peace in a physical and mental place where it often feels like there is none.

For me, flow means following my heart and doing what I want, not what anyone else wants. In 2016, I vowed to write a minimum of five hundred words every day of the year because I wanted to publish more books. It was kinda fun for a while until I got to September, ran out of steam, and writing lost its shine. It became a task. Writing shouldn’t be a task. I managed to make good on my goal and knock out 303,512 words in 2016, but they weren’t necessarily good or useful or publishable words. They were often venomous and tear-inducing. Thankfully, I kept the mean and ugly words to myself in my journal, which hogged over 90,000 of the 300k+ total. A little introspection is healthy, but it doesn’t move one’s career forward.

I published three books in 2016. None of them sold well. I lost a lot of money. #MakeArtNotHousePayments is a great mantra to ohm by, and I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who always has my back where finances are concerned. But a business is still a business, and this one has been creeping toward its final resting place six feet under for a couple years now. The shit officially hit the fan in 2016.

As a sufferer of wicked bouts of depression, I came this close to a complete mental breakdown a few weeks ago. In hindsight, I think it was a culmination of many things: total lack of self-confidence, a crippling and very real belief that I hold the title of THE Worst Writer in the World, and seeing everyone else’s publishing victories and feeling like the lonely kid kicking rocks on the playground. The precipitous state of American politics and a haunting, debilitating fear of the future didn’t help matters. It was a perfect shit storm of fuckery.

Going off my crazy pills might not have been the best course of action, but Celexa wasn’t doing me any more favors than donning a beat-up suit of emotional body armor and going it alone would have, so I ditched the bitch. Several times in November and December, I wasn’t sure I’d wake up the next day and would have been perfectly content not to. I’m better now, but I still have a long way to go to regain my lost happiness.

Here’s what I learned from my descent into darkness: I don’t need writing to make me happy. Because it doesn’t make me happy. It makes me cry and rage and hurt. It stabs me with jealousy and self-loathing. It makes me hate myself.

I have a couple more projects in the works with cowriters for 2017, but once those are published, I will probably be out for good. I’m not angry about it. Sad, maybe, but I can’t force people to buy, read, or enjoy my books. The publishing landscape is what it is. Readers want what they want. I can’t bend to the whims of the market any longer. My time as an author has come and gone. Now I must step out of the way and stop blocking traffic for others who are far better at this gig than me.

They say if you love something, set it free.

Goodbye, words. Fly away, little writing bird! Be free!

That actually feels pretty fucking good.

No regrets. No looking back, only looking forward.

Hello, 2017.

For My Year of Peace, I will try to …

  1. Be a better wife, mother, and friend.
  2. Wear my glasses more and squint less.
  3. Beat my treadmill into submission.
  4. Venture into the world of cooking.
  5. Invest in better fire insurance.
  6. Read and review more books.
  7. Leave my house at least three times a week.
  8. Protest shit that needs protesting.
  9. Avoid things that hurt me (social media, I’m looking at you).
  10. Listen more, talk less, judge less.
  11. Eat more vegetables.
  12. Hang more pictures. Hang ALL the pictures.
  13. Listen to myself. Even when it hurts.
  14. Sew lots of baby quilts.
  15. Be kinder to myself.
  16. Expand my musical horizons (Hey, I started listening to twenty one pilots this year–totally not my usual jam, but I’m kind of in love).
  17. Write. But only if it makes me happy.

I hope you have a wonderful 2017. I hope the whole world becomes a better place for all of us this year. I hope light outshines darkness.

Happy New Year.


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Posted January 1, 2017 by Kendall Grey in category "Year of Peace

26 COMMENTS :

  1. By Landra Graf on

    Hugs, love, and peace to you Kendall Grey. It’s always about doing what’s best for you and screw everyone else.

    I have what you’ve created so far and every time I want the reminder I need only to read those beautiful words. Thank you for the gifts you given and what you’ve done so far. Now find peace and take care of you <3.

    Reply
  2. By Viv on

    Hugs from me to you. I’ve been hovering over the abyss all last year too, blackness like I haven’t known in decades.
    Onward, though. Onward. Courage, mon brave.

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      Best of luck to you, Vivian. You are not alone. I am not alone. We will keep pushing forward! Love and hugs. <3

      Reply
  3. By Jan Hood on

    I admire you and respect the hell out of you. I’ve loved the words you’ve shared in book form and blog form and the evil FB form. I’ll be waiting for your final published works this year. Nothing but peace and love for ya, Kendall. You be you. xoxo

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      Thank you, Jan! For reading, for supporting, and for understanding. Peace and love to you as well. Happy New Year! <3

      Reply
  4. By Joette Woods on

    Much love and respect to you for being so honest and sharing your truth with us. I am sorry that you’ve been struggling so much but know that you have dedicated fans of your work like me that would have read anything you wrote BECAUSE it was AMAZING! But you are making the right decision to take care of yourself first. Everything else is just filler after that. If you’re not happy, nothing will make you. I hope this year brings you peace and you find the solace you need. We will miss your writing but your words will live on.

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      Yes! Happiness is the destination. I’m pointing my feet that way and plan to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. Thank you, Joette! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  5. By Christine Ashworth on

    Lots of love and hugs to you, KG. You are an amazing woman…when I’m in your neck of the woods in February, I hope I get a chance to see you. More hugs…

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      Christine, I’m looking forward to seeing you in February. Always a pleasure. Happy New Year! Love you, chick! <3

      Reply
  6. By Erin Z. on

    I’m so sorry to hear that writing isn’t making you happy. And I feel you on sales, too. I’m still struggling, and nothing’s happening, but I can’t give up b/c I love it too much. But I have decided to not worry about numbers or money. I am okay with not going full time at this point. My goals I think have changed a bit, mostly due to my health (being chronically ill makes it really hard to plan for anything).

    (Also? Still working on my f/f shifter story which you inspired. It’s happening.)

    You definitely need to do what’s right for you. I believe you are one of the best writers I know. No BS. You are. And it’s sad that you won’t be publishing, but your happiness is more important than anything.

    Be well. Be brave. Be happy. :)

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      Erin, we’re not alone in our struggles. Many writers are feeling the pinch of bad sales and trying to break through all the social media noise to be seen/heard. Sorry to hear you’ve had chronic illness to deal with on top of that. I wish you the very best with your writing and health. Thank you for supporting me and my work over the years. You’re a superstar! <3

      Reply
  7. By Norma on

    I think sometimes one door shuts and windows opens. I hope you achieve everything on your list for 2017 and find some inner happiness too!

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      HA! I like that idea of windows opening when the door shuts, Norma. We’ll see what happens. Thanks for your support! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  8. By Serena on

    As devastated as I am that you are thinking of no longer writing I am happy that you are moving to a better place emotionally and mentally. Personally I love all of your books and think you are one of the most unique and entertaining writers I have ever come across. I hope 2017 is everything you wish it to be! xx

    Reply
  9. By Stephanie sweet on

    I have loved, cried and laughed at everything you have written. Writing may not make you happy but having had your hard fought creations in mine has certainly brightened my days. Whatever may happen in your life may it bring you joy.
    It’s been a pleasure
    Xx

    Reply
  10. By Lucy Lit on

    Thank you for treating this newbie with such kindness and grace. Wishing you much peace and happiness in your journey.

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      Missed you too, Madison! I’m hanging around on Facebook here and there. Happy New Year, my friend! <3

      Reply
  11. By Niki on

    Wow. Your writing will be missed. But I totally get it. Do you! Thank you for cracking me up with with some of the most entertaining and enjoyable characters on my bookshelf! Best of luck to you this year and all to follow!

    Reply
  12. By Tara Copsy on

    YOU are an AMAZING woman Kendall! You ROCKED my world and do daily with your writings, whether it’s a book, a novella, a blog post, a FB comment or a funny note about a demonling. As a shy, quiet girl from Indiana, YOU brought me Strings, one of my first books in the Indie World and I’ve been hooked ever since. I fangirled and could barely chat with you in Chicago. YOU, are MY hero. Be HAPPY, have a FABULOUS 2017 and PLEASE know that I, and your Rockers and Harlots LOVE YOU!!

    Reply
    1. By Kendall Grey (Post author) on

      I love you right back, Tara! Thanks for your support and friendship over the years. You’re one of a kind. So happy I got to meet you! ❤

      Reply

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