An Open Letter

Effective immediately, I no longer offer fiction writing or editing services, nor do I publish fiction.

This announcement may come as a shock to a very small number of people, but if anything, it’s long overdue. It didn’t come out of nowhere; it’s been brewing for many years.

Since 1996, I’ve worked relentlessly to hone my craft. For years, I woke up before sunrise to study and practice fiction writing. I’ve lost count of how many words I’ve put to paper, but it’s surely approaching 20 million by now. I’ve written more than 200 short stories, three novellas, three novels, and dozens of TTRPG stories (some of which were just as long, complex, and difficult as a novel). I’ve spent a quarter million dollars and more than 10,000 hours trying to bring my work to market.

The market’s response to my work has been apathy so complete and consistent over such a long period of time that I lack words to describe it, save one: heartbreaking.

This open letter is not a pity party. I know better than anyone that I’m not entitled to success or recognition, but I also know that, when your passion becomes poisonous to your health and sanity, it’s time to shut it down.

To the very few who have had kind things to say about my fiction over the years: Thank you, truly. Although your appreciation of my work means a great deal on a personal level, I can’t keep beating my head against the wall, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of agonizingly difficult work for no financial return.

I will continue to write fiction for myself because I must. I can’t even envision a life wherein I stop telling stories, nor do I want to, but I must listen to the market, and I must stop damaging my health and setting money on fire. For the first time in over a decade, I have some measure of real peace with respect to my fiction writing career. Calling it quits isn’t what I want, but it’s what I need.

Despite all the heartache and frustration, it’s been a great ride. Thank you to those who shared some part of it with me.

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