A new year, a deep breath, a break from writing and a re-evaluation

I seem to have been writing, marketing, hustling, pitching, surviving disappointments, getting rave reviews, selling a few books (only when promoted) for what seems forever. Late in 2018 I took a break. It was my wife that inadvertently brought this about.
I only realised afterwards that I needed time to take stock.
She tends to be the social secretary and booked a Caribbean cruise then two days after we returned, we were off to our apartment in Spain until April this year. This is where I am writing this now.
The cruise was great fun, although I am not a ‘cruise person’. But I was unable to do much more than scribble a few notes of a new Mike Delaney thriller while asking myself was all the effort really worth it. And I don’t have access to my desktop computer in Spain so there are certain things I can’t do.
Despite the fans I have made, especially of my Mike Delaney series, I can’t say I’ve cracked the bestseller lists. I’ve had mixed reactions from agents, mostly rejections, and the amount of time and learning curves needed to deal with Facebook, Bookbub, Amazon, YouTube, Instagram and other advertising platforms, plus redesigning books, setting up print versions, building a mailing list, sending out newsletters, pitching agents, entering competitions and all the other activities necessary caused me to pause and have a serious think.
It was the break I needed.
I thought about giving the whole thing up. It’s still at the back of my mind. There are two tenets of wisdom that I tussle with. One is, never, ever give up. The second is, life is too short to beat your head against a brick wall and there are so many other things to do.
It’s a dilemma.
I’m going to finish my latest Mike Delaney thriller ‘The Exterminator’ and send it out for review before putting it on pre-order. I’m going to strip down marketing to the really important activities and focus on those.
I’ve got a few agents interested, so who knows. And I’ve entered a few competitions. After that, I’ll wait and see. The enthusiasm is still there but doing all those things I mentioned on a shoestring budget does wear you down.
But I love writing and all the fantastic reviews I’ve had from readers tell me that it’s something I was born to do.
Still, at the back of my mind there is that nagging thought. So many people give up just before they are about to make it.
Maybe I’ll streamline and focus more.
And you’ll still be hearing from me in 2019 from time to time.