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Love and Failure

I had to make the painful decision to close down the writing Substack lately, and this morning the notification went out to subscribers. I’m in mourning, I suppose.

I really wanted this experiment to work. It didn’t because pandemic, which nobody could have predicted, and the absolute mess made of pandemic response in the US, which anyone with two brain cells could have predicted when the election was stolen in 2016. It was never a question of if, it was only a question of when a giant disaster would occur, killing swathes of American citizens and enriching the criminal cabal still busily entrenching themselves in power and looting the public treasury.

I love doing writing advice. I love mentoring and helping fellow writers, I love sharing my expertise–such as it is, of course, since each path to publication is unique. And who knows, once all this calms down I might try the experiment again, with better results.

Failure is never comfortable. I keep reminding myself that if not for the pandemic and its associated cognitive load, if not for the terror lurking in my house, under my skin–because I am absolutely terrified my kids will get sick and need hospitalization we can’t afford–I would have energy for all my projects and experiments on the side. I hate the persistent feeling that I’m letting readers down by not being a superhero immune to fear.

Maybe I am a superhero, just not high-powered enough to do all this. I don’t know.

It’s a lovely grey morning outside, misty and perfect. Despite heartbreak and failure, the dogs still need walking, dinner still needs to be planned, and the paying projects still need to be nibbled at. I keep telling myself, like George Burns says, it’s better to be a failure at something one loves than a success at something one hates, but I still wish there wasn’t a bloody pandemic and I had a better chance at being a success at sharing writing advice. I’ll still do the occasional writing post here, but not for a while. Keeping all the other plates spinning is about all I can handle right now.

If you’ve had to shut something you love down because of all this bullshit, my heart goes out to you. It’s uncomfortable as fuck, and it’s all right to mourn. It’s absolutely natural and normal to grieve a project or experiment you had high hopes for. (And if you suspect I’m giving this advice partly because I want to remind myself, you’re absolutely right.) Let yourself feel it, if you can in a safe space; the only way out is through.

So I’m off for dog-walkies. Canine joy is a balm, and will help mend the cracks in my heart. Dogs are too good for us. *sigh*

Over and out.

4 thoughts on “Love and Failure”

  1. Very sad to hear it, but kudos on taking care of yourself. Without that, nothing else gets done.

  2. I’m new to the Saintcrow world, enjoying your blogs and posts, waiting for AFTERWAR to arrive from the online bookstore order. Sucks so much the Substack didn’t sustain itself, but everything you said here resonates, especially with regard to the shitshow that is the current political nightmare exacerbating every single bit of modern life. This constant cognitive overload, the unrelenting terror (and I live in Canada where we have healthcare, but I’m American and grew up avoiding the doctor at all costs due to no insurance) … it’s so much. TOO MUCH. My husband works in the film industry as a sculptor and was in that first wave of shutdowns in early March. While I’m used to the anxiety of regular layoffs (film is fickle), THIS is a whole new stinking level of HOLY SHIT. I’ll keep following you whenever the alerts land in my inbox, and you keep pushing on. We’re out here listening. Even superheroes need friends. Ask Superman. 😉

    • Welcome to the madhouse, we’re happy to have you! Your husband’s work sounds fascinating; the film industry is a complete world in itself. I hope you and yours remain safe and healthy.

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