A problem has been detected and you have been shut down to prevent damage to your ego.
If this is your first time you've seen this stop error message, restart yourself. If this appears again, follow these steps:
Disable or uninstall any defense mechanisms, brain defragmentation or backup utilities. Check your configurations, and scan for any updated suppression drivers. Run CHKDSK /F to check for brain corruption, and then restart yourself.
STOP 0x00000024 (0x00190203, 0x839D72A8, 0xc0000102, 0x00000000)
Anybody out there? I’d actually be surprised if there were. That’s what happens when you abruptly pull the plug, especially when you’re dealing with sophisticated systems. Complete memory wipe. In the aftermath you find yourself faced with one of two choices…rebuilding what you had by piecing together bits and pieces from external storage…or begin anew, breathing fresh life into a previously stagnant existence.
Five months ago I made a big decision, one that I had been building up to weeks prior to that. I decided, for me, it was better to be a non-writer, than a mediocre one. My second novel lay on there on my desk, begging me to complete the promising start I had fashioned, but I lacked the skills to provide the finishing touch it required. I knew there was much more I needed to learn about the craft before I could give it the attention it deserved, but that next level was beyond my reach. This wasn’t a case of the self-doubt that all writers face from time to time, this was more than that. What I faced was a realization of where I was…where I needed to go…and the seemingly impenetrable barrier that separated the two.
Motivation was never the issue, but time was. Working 50 stressful hours a week (mostly dues to new job responsibilities) and a family life thirsty for my attention, forced my writing aspirations to the back burner (deservedly so). At the time I couldn’t see a way to alter my circumstances and every post I uploaded to this blog seemed to mock me. So, I pulled the plug. Actually, I joke about it above, but what happened was similar to a computer shutting down to protect itself. On March 28th I stopped swimming against the current and crawled out of the water. I no longer felt comfortable calling myself a writer.
It’s here I would like to take a moment to thank those of you who sought me out back then, and even times since, making impassioned pleas for me to reconsider. Your emails, Facebook messages, Tweets and blog posts meant more to me than I could ever put into words. Thank you all! Really!!
My departure also upset more than a few people, and for that I’m truly sorry. Note to self, next time you feel like imploding…keep it to yourself. I don’t regret quitting…it was the right decision at the time…but I do regret any hurt feelings it caused.
The good news is the reports of my demise were exaggerated…by me it turns out. So, what has changed that’s allowed me to see myself as a writer once again? First and foremost, the stress that my job imposed on me for so long has mostly lifted. I no longer feel drained and vegetative at the end of the day and have hopes that it will remain that way for some time. I also have to say that not blogging (and all that entails) has proven beneficial. More on that in a minute. Both of those things have allowed me time to map out a more focused strategy for moving forward. My passion for telling stories never really diminished, but now I’m excited about writing again because I’m no longer floundering. I may be a writing midget…but I’m determined to be the tallest midget in every room I enter.
I’ve taken my manuscript through yet another round of revisions and I’m gearing up (seriously…this time) for query wars. My confidence in FALLEN KNIGHT is as strong as ever and it’s time to find an agent that feels the same way. Wish me luck.
But that doesn’t mean this blog is back, at least not in the same way it was before. Remember when I was talking about what to do after you reboot? You can either choose to rebuild by piecing together bits and pieces from remembered habits, or begin anew. I’m actually doing a little of both. I’m choosing to keep those elements that I believe define me as a writer, dropping those that are more about attracting followers, and adding content targeted for newbie’s. That’s not a judgment regarding anybody else’s blog, just what works for me. It means I’ll probably post less frequently and only have time to read the blogs of writers who interact with me here, but I’m back.
I guess this officially marks the beginning of Cruising Altitude 2.0. Sorry for the unexpected turbulence. I’ll do my utmost to keep it level from here on out.
- DL Hammons
- Continually trying to answer the question...can a man of few words write a successful novel?
I'm a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense writer from small town USA who struggles everyday to balance my passion for prose against the need to be a full-time bread winner. Finding ways to devote more time to my writing is the challenge, but for now all I can do is follow this tug at my heart to wherever it leads. I'm here primarily to soak up all the knowledge I can from the writing-centric blogosphere, but I'll do my best to contribute by thinking of new and innovative ways to churn the writing pot.