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Being a Published Author Killed My Will to Write

by CL Huth 2 months ago in coping
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Trying to align my want and my deadlines crushed the joy I once had

This weekend I sent my publisher an email telling them that I would be unable to fulfill my contract for my fourth book. I’m about two-thirds done with the manuscript, but I cannot find the motivation to finish it.

I’m my Biggest Obstacle. I’m Aware.

I mean, there are a lot of factors involved, and I am painfully aware that they all revolve around me in one way or another.

I am not prolific enough to maintain my audience. Given that I have easily a 2–3 year gap between books, yeah, I get it. It’s hard to keep people interested in my stories, if I’m not giving them anything to read. And if I write outside this alt world I built, my primary audience isn’t interested. Even though everything I write falls into the paranormal thriller genre. Not Zoe and crew? Crickets.

I feel like what sells well isn’t something I can manage with my books. Every time I try, my writing stalls. My characters don’t want it, and if I’m honest, I don’t either. And while I realize my first audience is myself, I would’ve loved it if more people outside of my circle of friends liked it, too.

It’s frustrating, because I can write. All of my work has won awards. All my judge feedback is positive. But the ROI for ads, giveaways and social media posts is non-existent. I cannot even give my books away in exchange for a review.

And if you’re a published author, you know two things: 1) Reviews are life (in so much that more reviews will help get better exposure options like Bookbub’s and Amazon’s newsletters), and 2) Getting people to leave reviews, even when they promise they will, is worse than pulling teeth in the Middle Ages.

My health is… a thing. Many things, really. It’s really hard to focus on anything when you are in chronic pain from fibromyalgia. Or my thyroid is being obnoxious (alternately, my body occasionally likes to think the Swiss cheese remains of that little butterfly body part is a foreign object and must be killed right now). Or how degenerative disc disease has forced me to use a cane and refuses to let me stand for longer than 20 minutes.

Getting diagnosed with ADHD and starting a medication regime has helped, but it’s only been a year, and my brain is not interested in hyperfixating on this novel. Or any other real writing, given how little I post here on Medium or Vocal.

And we’re not even going to touch on the disaster that is my current mental health. It’s just another example of my excitement over something that no one else cares about, and I am not in the headspace where the downward spiral of my career is anything but a downer.

So I’m Done. For Now.

Am I done telling stories? No, but right now, I’m done writing them down to be shared with other people. Maybe I’ll have a comeback, but man, don’t hold your breath.

Instead, I will focus on my art, which you can shop on my Etsy or follow on my Instagram or TikTok. My multi-page coloring book is available in print and digital formats.

Another place that will have my focus for now is my burgeoning series, “Your Mom PSA”, which I write Monday through Friday through my associated substack newsletter. If you want positive motivational emails in your inbox, you should sign up at my website today!

Check out these posts I've written for this newsletter.

If you’re interested in reading my books, you can find them at your favorite online retailer or through my Amazon Author Page.

My books are available separately and a money-saving boxed set. You can also get them in German, Spanish, Portugeuse and Italian. Oh, and audiobooks on Audible in English as singles and a boxed set.

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. If you did, and you’d like a free copy of my audiobook box set, leave me a message. You must have access to Audible to receive the books.


About the author

CL Huth

Author of the award-winning "Zoe Delante Thriller Series", a three-book set available on all your favorite online booksellers. If you like dark paranormal stories, I'm your writer.

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  • Raven Stromdans2 months ago

    I feel this. The ins and outs of published undermined of professional publishing started undermining my motivation to write from the moment I started researching it, and that was before the advent of digital publishing and the domination of social media. You know I barely write anymore and I actually only got to "the end" on a first draft of a novel for the first time in nearly 30 years during Nanowrimo of 2020, which proved to be such a grind that I've barely written at all since, much less edited that draft. It really feels like these days if you can't make writing your entire *life*, not just your desired vocation, there's no solid way of making it in any way profitable. TL: DR: I feel you, boo.

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