I started this idea decades ago, but that’s going back too far. Let’s make this a more recent perspective. We’ll say the year 2004.
June 29th, 2004 to be exact. That’s when I purchased the WantedHero.com domain name, to take the comics I’d been making and share them with the world. My dad suggested using this cool new thing called the internet.
That’s 18 years I attempted to tell a story. Started out as comic books, because, ya know….I’m a cartoonist. Got to issue 13 and I mangled my hands and couldn’t draw. Depression got so bad I walked away from it all soon after. Praise the Heavens I’d purchased the domain for five years in advance, and when I came to my senses, I still owned the name.
Since I could no longer draw, I started writing the story as novels. I was bad at it. Consumed by a need for validation and an over-obsession for marketing (which I was also bad at), resulting in only selling about 23.5K books over a 10 year span. Might sound decent, but I’d written 11 novels.
So you might be asking, “Where can I find your books to read?”
You’re not actually asking that, I know. This is the residue of that ego thing I mentioned, and the need for validation garbage. Moving on.
My books are gone, anyway. You can’ buy them.
Sometime last spring I hit this wall…with my face…and something in me broke. For lack of a better explanation, we’ll say I had a mid-life crisis.
That’s when I flushed the books down the crapper.
You heard me correctly. I had a growing fantasy series, yes — but when I started reading them again myself, I felt ashamed that I wasn’t a good enough writer. It got me thinking, “These aren’t what I’d hoped to make. I’m not a good enough writer yet. Hell, I don’t even know the basics.” So I took everything down. Deleted 18 years of work, seeds planted wherever I could find them.
Sadly there are countless things I just cannot kill on the internet. Not sure how I’ll deal with that, but for now — I’m working on learning about who I really am, and how to write.
I’m starting over.
Sounds crazy, I get that. But when you’ve gotten to my age, where I am in life, and you haven’t had the success you worked for, and sacrificed for, something in you dies. It’s not the dreams or the hopes that died for me, but the expectations and drive.
Okay, that’s a lie. The dreams and hopes did die for me, AND the expectations and drive.
And I think I stopped caring. Hmm.
Accepting that you’re a shit writer can be a liberating thing. Hurts like hell, especially when you say it out loud, but at least you have the truth to work with, and if you push hard enough, and are willing to learn, hopefully striving to be humble to some small degree, maybe you’ll be able to make some improvements.
I’m grateful that I had something to fall back on. Drawing has often been like breathing to me. Not much of an ego there either, because what’s ‘good’ is literally in the eye of the beholder. All I truly know for certain, is that I don’t “suck”. I’m no [insert whatever famous/favorite artists name you prefer right here], but if you criticize my drawing skills, I’ll just smile. You cannot criticize artwork like you can writing.
A friend pointed out to me that if you say my drawing is crap, you’d have to draw something to dwarf it yourself. Most people can’t do that, but most everyone can write something. They can criticize words with. You see it every day on each social media platform in existence. When it comes to my art, though, I can always laugh and say, “Then do it yourself, cupcake.”
What I’m seeking now, is something different. Something personal, satisfying, and lasting. To write stories for the sake of the stories. To learn how to tell stories better, and give the best I am capable of giving.
That’s why I decided to flush and start over.
You may notice the website changed from whatever it was, to something far more simple. That’s because simple is good. I could use more ‘simple’ in my life, so that’s become a serious focus — to trim the fat from my existence.
What’s the plan now?
I’ve decided not to tell you. We all know I talk too much — so I’ll let you know what I’ve done, instead. Just know that I’m healing and slowly getting better from the inside out. I’m working on relationships, starting with the abuse I’ve received for decades from the guy in the mirror. You haven’t done anything wrong, and I’m not singling you out — I’m just not telling anyone what my plans are.
It’ll be more fun that way.
Have a brilliant week. I’ll talk with you soon.