What Happened with my “Retirement”
Without giving the finer details, the bottom line is one thing happened: I crashed.
Crashed and burned.
In some ways I’m still burning.
It was a cumulative thing, years of being a one-man band publishing house and a writer. In my career since 2004 I published over a 100 books for other people plus around 30 of my own never mind some comic projects. Most of them were since 2009. That’s a lot for any person in terms of all the work involved for each project plus all the work the administration and logistics side of things demand. It basically got to the point where I was spending so much time running the business that keeping up with my own writing was difficult.
I’m grateful for the career, to be sure, and have learned many lessons and made many friends along the way, but it became too much.
I realize it was all self-instigated as I wanted a career in this business so badly I was willing to go the distance to get it. I’m like that: willing to move mountains to get what I want. A good trait and bad, depending on how you look at it.
But last year was a turning point. Leading into the summer I buckled down hard and produced a bunch of titles, five of them personal, the bulk of the writing for them being done on top of everything else. I started pulling away from the business before then but after the C4 Comic Con in the fall, it became too much. That’s when I totally burned out. Still tried working through it, but if you’ve ever gone through a burnout, you know how hard it is.
Fast forward to the beginning of February this year and a traumatic personal event happened that rocked my world and led to a three-day panic attack with trouble breathing, violent shaking and a complete meltdown and, well, given the circumstances, I had to shut everything down completely.
Only so much one man can handle.
About a month and a half later is when I restarted some things, having finally got some stuff sorted out, but in the end, what happened was beyond just being overworked.
It cut deep, it got personal, and the only choice given all that happened was an utter pulling of the plug.
I feel bad and I know I let some people down. I’m sorry for that. Was never my intention for things to fall apart. Thought I could handle it all.
I was wrong, and I’m so very sorry.
So here we are, still in recovery mode, trying to get some stuff done from a new perspective and a new stance on the type of work I’m willing to get behind. There’s a spiritual component to all this as I’ve preached on here before, and for years I struggled with the type of material I was putting out. See, I wanted this job so bad I made certain compromises to get it. I’ve been writing since 2000, and having been aiming for a career in the creative field since 1995, first comics then books. The obstacles and trials I’ve been through to make it happen–I could tell you stories. Things finally came to a head in February and I had to make hard choices.
I suppose in the end all this only adds to my writing and publishing experience, having now added “complete shut down” to my resume.
I’m in a rebirth stage right now, still sorting through things, still wrapping up loose ends.
It’s my hope that–because all this book stuff is such a public endeavour–my years of working in the small press and the reputation I’ve built will be enough to help cover this bump in the road.
It’s also my hope this entry has helped those who looked on and wondered what was going on get some clarity as to what happened. I hope those I let down will cut me a break and we could still be friends.
I hope that as time passes and life goes on, we can all look back on this and say, “It was a wild time, but we’re in a better place now.”
Thank you to those who’ve shown support along the way. Thank you to my readers for reading my material. Thank you to my friends in the business who helped make me the writer and publisher I am today.
Thanks for listening.