I closed my Facebook account down the other day! Well, I didn’t close it, but unpublished it. I did this without telling people, and without warning.

Why?

Because I needed to. I was broken, and have been for the last six months or so. I had nothing left in the tank, and was not actually achieving anything other than wasting my time. I mean that literally. I was being sucked into the random and pointless side of Facebook. It had to stop, and the only way to make sure it did was to walk away.

At some point in time, I stopped being me. I ceased being Alex, and became a stranger to myself. Worse than that, I became a stranger to those around me. There were many different issues that caused this and I was affected in a number of ways, from general grumpieness through to constant arguments with my wife, over nothing; stupid things that escalated for long periods.

I have been working long LONG days without a break for many months now, being avaialble for my day job up to 20 hours a day, sleeping not more than 4- 4 1/2 hours a night, and I just did not recognize the damage it was doing.

I’ve not really written anything meaning full in months, and have lots of things that have been started half-arsed because I was not really into them to begin with, but forced myself to beleive I was. All of this combined, it just got me down.

So I have closed my Facebook account for the time being, because I need the silence. I need to get some quiet in my mind and find myself again. I also need to stop working such long hours, but with my employers there is little to no chance of that, unless I start to complain and bitch about things, whcih I don’t do. I just get the job done.

I have also stopped writing. I have called it my retirement, and was seriously considering stopping forever, even to the extent where I was sorely tempted  to pull everything I have published and just disappear.

Why?

Again the answer is simple. In my mind, I was a failure. I was not making progress and had become stagnant. The one thing I refuse to be is stationary. I’ve not moved forward in all the years I have been writing and was sick of it. Part of this is my fault. I am not great at socializing with new people, so miss out on opportunities because I am bad to talking with people. Also, with the kids and my busy life, finding time to meet the US hours for hosting events, etc. can be next to impossible.

I’ve have two experiences with bad publishers. First with a group called JEA which ended badly but when I left was dropped. Then there was Crushing Heart Black Butterfly, which is a house I was in love with, until I discovered the dark, disturbing reality behind it. The bullshit games they played, the untrustworthy business practices and general cult mentalty that the top tier ‘generals’ were trying to instil. It was inspid and dangerous. They were the biggest cancer to my career, and as soon as I found out the truth about them I was turned upon. Why, because they don’t want people to know this.

Now, I know they will read this, and I know they will try to bring further shit down on me like they have done others in the past, but you know what. Fuck it and FUCK THEM! I won’t hide and really couldn’t care less with what they think or try to do. One day the walls of this Jerhicho existance they have built will crumble and fall, and those upper echelon cunts will be squashed once and for all. You know who you are, and belive you me. When I come back, if I see you trying to screw with me, I will come for you, and I will come for your hard! The sad part of that is that there are a number of writers with them who are honest, who are genuine and who do not deserve to receive any negativity that this company will generate.

If you don’t beleive me, just read all about it here.  This thread has been going for three years and should offer you all of the answers you could ever need.

Another thing that got me down was that I stopped writing for me. I started writing what I thought others wanted. I became obsessed with pushing what I had just written and making it even bigger, even darker, and while I live to push boundaries, not everything I write will need to push them in the same way. I lost sight of this and it is another reason why I have withdrawn. To get my focus back and to remind myself of what I love to do…. write!

I would be lying if I didn´t say jealousy played a part in my problem also. Maybe jealousy is the wrong word, because that would imply I begrudged these people their successes, and that could not be further from the truth. I am proud of the achievements of my friends, and am geniunerly delighted that they are having such success. What got me was that I was not making the same strides as they were. I was busting my ass, and not moving forward, and after a time, coupled with everything else, it became too much for me. I convinced myself that my writing sucked, that is was useless and all manner of negative superlatives. I know this is not the case. My writing is good. It is my marketing skills that are poor.

Again, this is in part because I changed myself. I become far too concerned with being nice to people, being polite and friendnly, when the real Alex is a beast. He speaks his mind and stands up for what he beleives in and doesn´t give a fuck if he has to stand on a few toes to get there.

This may make me an arsehole in some people´s eyes, but again, I couldn´t care less. Those that know me will know me, those I believe in will get my unwavering support but if you are a cunt I will call you it and push you out of my fucking way.

Alex is not dead, he is down, he is reeling  but with is a big guy. He will come back stronger and better than ever, and when I do, everybody that tries to hold me back or get in my way had better run. I will no long pussyfoot around problems. I will run them the fuck down!

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17 thoughts on “What Have I Done – Why I am Taking a Break

  1. Good for you, hon. 🙂 Went through a couples things not so dissimilar. A break and some big changes worked wonders, and I’m finally writing again. So, take the time you need, get lots of rest, and come back if/when you’re ready. Until then, big gigantor hugs for you and your family. Stay well.

  2. The writer part of me said, “Hmmm… Alex could totally write a horror book inspired by that bad company, something along the lines of the top guys being demons or something, and the idea being that they get people to pull others in, on the pretenses of doing something good, but ultimately being moved up to the attention of the big bosses.”
    Sorry. You know how author brain works. LOL
    Alex, anything that takes you away from your true loves (your family and your writing), is the wrong way to go. Your job sounds like something you don’t get much, if any, joy from. If possible, see about cutting back, or getting a different job.
    As always, I am here for you and your wife. Friends forever, come whatever.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Maxine. The job does get me down sometimes, but it pays the bills, and allows me to travel a little, so it does have the perks, maybe not worth the long hours and stress, but I will ensure that changes also.

  3. I am glad you are taking time for yourself and your family. Sad that nice people like you have to have bad experiences; I have always enjoyed you and your writing. You have the perfect mindset to get through this time in your life and be better when you come through this point in your life. Take care ❤

  4. Sorry to hear you’ve been going through so much. For what it’s worth, I had to do much the same a couple of years ago. I used to curb my words, now I let it flow when I have something to say and i’m happier for it.

    Take whatever time you feel you need. Your’s and your family’s health and well being take precedence. We’ll still be here when you come back. Have a good one, my friend.

  5. Alex,

    Drop me a line when you can. Use gmail. Let’s set up a time to just shoot the breeze. I do feel your pain, and believe it or not, I was there just a few short years ago.

  6. Alex,,,GOOD FOR YOU MATE! There are times when we all have to find our footing and refocus our attentions on what’s more important. Strikingly, these instances often require drastic steps to accomplish meaningful change. You are and ALWAYS will be a dear friend and respected colleague…you have my unflinching support and best wishes. DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO AND TO HELL WITH THE REST! As for the BS you’ve endured w/previous publishers and their gamesmanship, I get it…having dealt w/MQD! Strike it up as a valuable lesson in the crappy politics of our chosen industry…YOU’LL BE A BETTER PERSON AND WRITER BECAUSE OF IT!

    1. Thanks Tom. Yes, we have both been stung by less then honourable publishers. As have many others I am sure. I like to think that in the end, we will reap the rewards for our morals and integrity.

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