I think there comes a time in every writer’s life where he contemplates the act of quitting. No matter how much he denies it, he will eventually reach that point in his life. Now here it is important for you the reader to understand that this is not some sob story about a writer-quickly-turned-into-a-wash-up looking for justification. This is about the act of quitting; the act of walking away from the craft. I’m not certain at what point in the writer’s life this happens. I’m not even exactly sure why it happens. But it happens. My good old friend Charles kicked the bucket once when he decided to call it quits sometime in his twenties. Ten years later he was writing again, climbing the hill again, up-and-going again. He made it. So quitting is not all that bad if you’ve made peace with it. Hell, it can even be fun and take your mind off the work for some time. Let you explore a bit. Let you live a bit. So now I find myself short, short of the ammo that once loaded my gun, short of the weapons that were once part of my arsenal. I find myself short, dispossessed of something vital, out of soul and out of life. And I think about walking away from it for a while, leaving the scene with a little bit of grace before they catch me floundering in my puddle. Except there’s no one around to advise me. My friend Charles is long gone now – I imagine he would’ve liked to play the part of my counselor and sit with me for a drink. So I’m left to my devices again. The situation is familiar but the stakes are different now. The stakes are higher now and I know if I roll down from that mountain top, it’s not easy going back up again. It takes guts. But every good thing does. And now writing this, what might be my final piece, I stare deep into the liquid in my hand. I never thought about quitting drinking. But maybe that’ll come too, at a later stage. For now, it was just the word. And on this – perhaps my final night with it – I intend to make peace with the craft before walking away from it entirely.
Be sure to check out my debut novel, A Road Away From Home, now available on Amazon and in paperback.