Knowing When to Walk Away

The Forge and Anvil is closing down:

I strongly feel I have to turn away from the religio-political non-fiction writing I’ve been doing for more than a decade. I greatly admire people like Razorfist or Jon Del Arroz, who’ve managed to both work in the creative sphere, but simultaneously provide commentary on the issues. Yet again, I simply do not have the time to do all that. Writing is not my job. And I have a family I’m taking care of.

I very much desire to focus all of my creative talent on the Bovodar stories. (Notice how you still haven’t seen the sequel to Bovodar and the Bears? It’s because I’ve been doing Forge and Anvil. Episode 1 of a two-part sequel is complete, though unedited. It’s called “Bovodar and the Dragons.”) I listen to podcasts about properties like Lord of the Rings or Babylon 5, I watch Deep Space 9 reviews by Razorfist, or I’ll watch something about the Farscape saga, and I say to myself: “I should be doing that. Why am I so behind?”

At this point in my life, I was supposed to have a symphony of books out there. A trilogy of Hobbit-styled books, some adult novels expanding upon my created universe, a “Silmarillion” that described the ancient genesis of the world I’ve been building. Perhaps have a videogame by now. Comics. A cartoon or two? Etc. But I don’t. I’m like George R.R. Martin, who stubbornly refuses to finish A Song of Ice and Fire. I’ve got an entire “Dune trilogy” in my mind that no one but me knows about. And it’s not put out there because I’ve only one life, and I’m only one man. Bilocation is not something I can do.

So I will turn back to what started this whole journey. The fiction. The very fiction I set out to do from the outset. The non-fiction was an interruption and a tangent, but the fiction will have to resume.

I think he’s doing the right thing, and probably at the right time too. Always know when to walk away. I stopped writing syndicated game reviews after seven years, stopped writing political columns after 12 years, and walked away from recording and publishing contracts after two albums. In each case, it was the right decision to do so and I’ve never regretted it.

Even though I walked away from Alpha Game at precisely the moment that the SSH was beginning to break out into the mainstream, it was the right time to shut it down there. I’d explored the subject to the depths of my interest and it was best to leave it to others to delve into the various ancillary elements and applications that interested them.

Don’t ever phone it in. Once you get to the point that you’re just phoning it in, it’s imperative to find something else on which you can focus more enthusiastically.