”The Cat’s Cradle” Is On Hiatus!

Greetings to my readers!

In June 2011, I ventured online with my brand new author website The Cat’s Cradle on Blogspot. In March 2013, I moved my site and all its contents to WordPress. And now, in June 2021, almost ten years to the day since my first entry, The Cat’s Cradle is going on hiatus.

The last two years I’ve been struggling to keep up with it, to come up with fresh ideas in the face of little to no engagement with my work even as I continued to write. The pandemic only worsened the downward spiral so that I haven’t written anything at all that I didn’t have to. So rather than continue to force myself to churn out sub-par content, I’m going to take a break. I don’t know how long it will be. I don’t think this will be a permanent thing. There may be sporadic updates if my writing picks up again, but the bi-weekly posts are a thing of the past for now.

What will still be active on The Cat’s Cradle?

  • I’m still operating as a freelance editor, the details of which you can find on my Editing Services page.
  • I plan on working through my backlog of Audio Editions, getting those recorded and uploaded. Keep an eye on my Audio Editions page for updates.
  • Any stories or articles I write for other online publications will be posted and linked on my Articles & Publications page.

What else will I be doing?

  • I’m on Twitter @kvclements, so be sure to follow me there for any posts, updates, or other randomness. On Sundays between 3pm-4pm EST I’ve been posting my #weekendreads, which consists of the book I’m reading, the beverage I’m drinking, and the candle I’m burning over the weekend.
  • My ancillary site Second Unit Reviews will still be active, although I only post there when the mood strikes me. So if you are interested in my thoughts and reviews of books, films, television shows, video games, etc, please follow me there!
  • I don’t know how active I will be with writing, considering how little I want anything to do with it at the moment. (Chronic acute stress and depression will do that.) However, I am trying to make my health and well-being a priority so that I can return to a state that will let me return to writing.
  • If I do any writing for things like Camp NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, that journey will be posted daily during that event on LeNoWriCha (the Legendary Novel Writing Challenge).

Part of me is disappointed in myself for taking this hiatus. It feels a little like a failure to not keep going after so much time and investment. But at the same time… hey, I maintained a regular blog for 10 years! How many folks can say that? Times change, life circumstances change, and, as Gabriela Pereira says in DIY MFA, it’s time for me to “honor my reality.”

Thank you all for reading, and I will see you again when the page turns.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

 

Should The Cat’s Cradle Continue?

Audio Edition Coming Soon!

I wish good habits were as easy to form as bad habits. I’m really good at the latter, but terrible at the former. I didn’t write any Cat’s Cradle entries for a month, and I managed to miss the day that I was supposed to start writing them again (yesterday).

I am seriously wondering if I should even bother.

The Cat’s Cradle has been running for over nine years. June 2021 will mark the 10th anniversary. Since I like nice, round numbers, I want to keep writing entries at least until then. But I’ve been struggling for ideas and content. I feel like everything that can be said about writing, any topic I might try to tackle, has already been covered by people who are far more influential and articulate than myself. I don’t feel like I have anything new to add to the conversation. I avoid a lot of controversial topics in fiction because A) many I don’t have strong enough opinions on, B) I don’t have to knowledge to give an informed opinion, C) I don’t want to write about touchy subjects for clicks, and D) I just don’t want the hassle. And since I haven’t worked on my own novels in… well, longer than I care to think about, there isn’t anything to report on those fronts.

And does anyone really care anyway?

After nine years, this blog has little to no engagement on it. A few likes here and there, but almost no comments, shares, or anything else to show reader interest. I can’t tell if anyone is actually reading or getting anything out of it or if, like so many others, I’m just shouting into the void of the internet. The people who know me are understandably busy with their own lives and have little to no time to read these ramblings of mine. And the people who don’t know me have no real reason to care what I’m writing about.

The purpose of The Cat’s Cradle was to be a author platform, a home base to showcase my writing, my reliability, and to host things about my work once I got published. But the more I learn about the publishing process, the more daunting it becomes and the more discouraged I feel. Do I really want to go through the hassle of finding and convincing an agent to take me on and get my work published? If all I want is a physical book of my work, I could go to a private book printer or self publisher and get one made for me. The chances of making a living as a writer are slim to none, and I don’t know if I have the passion and drive to push through all of those obstacles. I don’t know if the stress is worth it with such fierce competition and in such a dismal economy.

And yet at the same time, I also see some real drivel on the shelves, which makes me think, “If this piece of puerile pap made it through traditional publishing, why can’t I do the same?”

But I’m not sure why I’m writing anymore. It isn’t regular enough to be a habit, I make no money from it, and there is a severe dearth of joy in it. I don’t know if that’s just a result of the near-constant low level of stress dogging my heels, or if depression is rearing its ugly head again… or if I’m just being lazy because it’s easier to dream about being a writer than actually writing. Or maybe it’s just the chronic stress piling up. (I may be an introvert, but the restrictions of the pandemic are getting to me too.)

I’m sorry if this sounds discouraging. Believe me, I feel pretty discouraged myself. I’ve been calling myself a writer for years and a writer writes, don’t they? This is a huge part of my sense of self, my identity if you will. And I don’t have much to show for it. Aside from blog entries, I haven’t done much of that in a while. Maybe I just need to force myself back into a habit and that will get everything working properly again. I want to create things… I just don’t know if I want to go through the publishing process. The end result may not be worth the stress.

The good thing about writing is that there isn’t a time limit. It’s not like sports or dancing where you have a narrow window of physical and mental prime and once that’s passed, you’re pretty much done. Writing (and publishing) can be done at any age; there isn’t some “point of no return” where if you haven’t published by this time, you’ never will be. But I need to sit down and ask myself some hard questions:

  • Why am I writing?
  • What is the end goal or purpose and how would I know if I reached it (or didn’t)?
  • Should I keep pouring time and energy into a blog that no one reads?
  • How much effort should I dedicate to the publishing part of things at this point?
  • Do I even want to be published?
  • Do I even want to write?
  • Can I still be a writer if I barely write?
  • Is this just a temporary funk or a genuine shift in priorities?

In the meantime, if you do read this blog, please let me know that you do in the comments, what types of topics you prefer to read about, anything to give me an idea if it’s worth continuing this venture. I will keep going until June 2021, but then I will need to decide if The Cat’s Cradle should continue… or be retired.