My decision to lay off novel-writing, since I could not work out the promotional end of selling the books, has led to a common (and predictable) reaction from many of my friends and relatives, to wit: Since I enjoy writing, I should keep writing anyway, just for my own satisfaction. The idea that creation is its own reward is ingrained in the thoughts of modern society, as well as the essentially honorable concept of the “starving artist.”
And though I, myself, bought into these ideas for years, I find that I can’t get behind them the way I used to. And it’s not because I get no satisfaction from creating; I do, in fact, enjoy the process of writing and creating a good story. But since giving up novel writing, I’ve found that I’ve had to cage up a tiny demon in the back of my head, one that has become a constant distraction to me. He’s not my creative demon. He’s my analytical demon. And he demands to know what I so thoroughly fucked up.