First of all, if you've ever wondered how I felt when I went blind and then regained limited use of my vision, I've put the two blog posts I originally wrote back in 2010 concerning that very subject up on my brand new Blog Archives page. Just click on the tab at the top of this blog and it'll take you there.
I've also added two of the posts I think speak best as to what my experience has been, as a writer and as a human being, struggling with Bipolar 1 and other disorders.
Now, under the heading of 'What The Hell Have I Done?!?'...there have been moments since I took those 500+ past posts from this blog offline that I felt sheer panic. 'What did I do,' I asked myself. 'I've wiped out six plus years of blogging history... my writing journey... my publishing experience, and so many more personal posts, all gone. Washed away like a sand castle at high tide. Just, poof.'
Then I took a breath and realized that what I've done is allow the tide to wash away the weight I've been carrying by having those archives out there in the world, telling so much of my life story in such great detail.
Maybe I've learned to keep things closer to the vest now. Or it could just be too hard to look back on some of the things that were that are no more (losing my publisher because it went under still hurts... a lot. I don't know if the sting will ever completely go away...)
There were perhaps some posts in there that could be of help to people, but they were so lost in among so many no one would ever find them.
So perhaps it's time for me to rethink how I use this space and decide anew how much of myself I'm putting out there and where. Twitter is a great outlet for me, too, I 'micro-blog' there I guess you could say... but again, not as much as I used to.
Maybe I'm returning to my hermit ways now that I'm not obligated to be promoting my writing?
Maybe my writing will become less a public thing than it's been the last five or six years and go back to being something I do just for myself?
I know I certainly don't intend to get back on the publishing merry-go-round again. It was dizzying, and as much as I loved having my books available to purchase, the experience did make me feel a little bit sick overall.
Maybe that's the point I'm trying to make today as I wander through the tangled thoughts in my head: that there were things I wish someone had told me about publishing before I was published, and maybe I can, in time, share some of those here so they might help someone else.
Or maybe I just need to remind myself of the greatest lesson I learned during my experiences, and that could be of help to someone else out there who wonders if they have got what it takes to be published:
You very well might.
The question I should have asked myself was, was I sure I really wanted it? The business of publishing, I mean, and all that came with it?
I don't know if I'd have made different decisions if I knew then what I know now. Maybe I'd at least have felt more prepared for the highs and lows that came with the ride.
I think, in the end, it was a ride worth taking, because as relieved as I was when it came to a stop I also felt an unspeakable loss... a void created that I have yet to figure out how to fill.
It's a complicated business, the industry of writing and selling stories. A totally separate animal from creating worlds and writing those stories down. Once they become a commodity, the whole scheme of things changes. A very difficult path.
It is most certainly, I know now, not the right path for everyone. Whether it is right for you or not only you can tell in the end, but at least knowing that there are others out there who have struggled with the details of the business once they were in it might help you feel less alone with your worries and doubts.
That's all for today. I hope your writing is going well...and that you are happy in your heart of hearts, this day.