The Long Road Back

It has been nearly a year since I’ve written anything on here, the longest duration between posts for me since I starting writing on here over eight years ago. I’ve had stretches before where I have neglected this blog, but it was unintentional. Life flows in its steady stream, and sometimes when you look up you’re a lot farther down the river than you realized. But I always would come back. The difference this time is I never intended to come back. Earlier this year, I decided I was done with writing for good.from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

 

I won’t go into the details, but back in January, I left my publisher. It wasn’t an amicable split, and the whole incident soured me on writing. For the first time in a decade, I had no desire to write at all. I didn’t know what to do or how to feel about it. I wanted to finish what I started, but my heart wasn’t in it. I decided not to make any irrational and emotional decisions, and instead, I just put aside my writing and delayed my final verdict for at least a couple of months.

I moved to a new apartment in April, and it felt like a fresh start. As I settled into my new place, I began to make new plans for my future, but I noticed none of them included writing. The problem for me was writing had become so engrained in my self-identity, I didn’t know who I was without writing. I was a writer. That’s who I was.

The other problem I had was I was a writer to all of those around me. When I would see someone I hadn’t talked to in a while, I would dread that inevitable question which would always arise, “So, how’s the book coming along?” I didn’t know how to tell them I had all but given up. I couldn’t face the disappointment from the individuals or from the countless people who had shown me support through some very rough patches in my life. So I just hid away, retreated to my little domicile until I could muster up the balls to make my decision public.

My job which pays the bills affords me the luxury of listening to various media while I work. I listened to music or stand-up comedy most of the time. I was also a subscriber to Audible, Amazon’s audio book subsidiary. For $14.95 a month, they give you one credit with which you can purchase an audio book. So once a month I would listen to a new book. But back in June, I came across another service called Playster. For the same rate per month as Audible, they let you listen to UNLIMITED audio books. It has been all have listened to ever since.

A couple of weeks into my smorgasbord of literary bliss, I decided to listen to some Stephen King, one of my favorites. Instead of listening to one of his plethora of great stories, I decided to listen to On Writing. The title pretty much explains what the book is about, but King puts his twist on the typical how-to writing guide. It’s basically an autobiographical story of how he became a writer and the struggles he went through. Reading it again was a revelation to me. It was the match which lit the flame of my desire. In the eight hours in which I listened to King narrate his own story, I transformed. Not only did I want to write again, I NEEDED to write again.

So here I am. Three months ago, this would have been a much different post. Today, however, I am here to say I’m back. It has been a long journey, but it’s good to be back where I belong.

 

 

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About Richard Howk

Fiction author with my first novel, Pariah, available December 2nd.
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