A tough decision

Dear friends and well wishers. I have a major announcement to make:

As of today (29/11/2014) I have come to the decision, after several months of deliberation, that I will no longer pursue a career as an author of fiction and, as such, writing will no longer be the main focus of this blog. It’s a tough call to make and, writing about it right now, it’s difficult for me to find the words to explain it. Please forgive me for my brevity, but I’ll try my best to explain myself.

I’ve realised that my heart wants me to become a game developer. To channel my passions for storytelling and writing into an interactive medium. To establish an emotional connection that goes beyond anything I, with my limited skill, could ever convey in a novel.  If I stop to think about it, it’s pretty obvious that this is what I wanted to do all along, and I never really realised it. Way back in the early months of this year, I thought I was done with game development. That seems simple enough, but despite swearing off game development forever, the following months saw this blog’s focus gradually shift to gaming related posts anyway and — before I even knew what was happening — there I was again, releasing yet another game. All the while, I’ve had two unfinished novels languishing on my hard drive. One is 10,000 words long and hasn’t been touched in over a year. The other is half a page of a opening chapter, the result of a torturous effort to force myself into writing when I didn’t really feel like it.

The truth is that I think I was a little burned out. I’d had my first experience of the commercial game development world, didn’t know what to expect and was taken by surprise. Around the time Legionwood 2 released on Steam, I was diagnosed with depression. Seeing bad reviews while already in a terrible mood turned me right off. I moved on surprisingly fast though and, despite constantly telling myself that I needed to write my second novel (Sun Bleached Winter came out way back in 2012), it didn’t take long at all until I found myself opening up RPG Maker and starting a new project. It’s an allure that I used to associated with writing — the original plan was to release a new book every two years, but ever since I published my first full length novel two years ago, it’s an urge that I never feel anymore. When I was young, I always had a dream to one day publish a novel. I’ve done that now, and for some reason it feels like my urge to write is satisfied.

I was planning to sit down this week and force myself to write the first 10,000 words of a new novel, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve always favoured short stories and even Sun Bleached Winter isn’t very long — if I force myself to write more than a couple of paragraphs at a time, I get burned out. It isn’t an emotional release for me anymore. It’s a chore. In the end, I decided not to worry about it. I won’t struggle to release a new book each year. I won’t try to be Stephen King. I’ll write whenever I feel the need, whenever I get a burst of inspiration, but for the most part, I’ll focus on forging a career as a game developer, making actual money from something I enjoy. I might find myself down the track feeling the need to write again (Hell, there definitely will be a second novel… eventually) but I have a feeling those times will be few and far between.

To everyone who supported me as a writer, thank you. Your feedback really helped me to grow as a storyteller, and I know that in the future, decades from now when that elusive second novel finally does come out, there will be some old friends who can’t wait to read it.

For now, on to Legionwood 3.

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