So many asked this. Why kill them? Why not just leave everything up and ignore it?
That was my plan for a year now. But everything connected back to Cat Hartliebe. And there was plenty of times where I was reminded: yes, I am capable and yes, this should work. As if being an author was a possible career path for anyone.
I knew it was wasted effort while I worked on it.
But I had people in my corner. Telling me to keep going, keep trying, you’ll succeed.
But what were they really doing?
Telling me I can do it means nothing. It will only make the spiral into depression worse. I needed help. People who could get my work into more hands. Who could write reviews for my stories. I didn’t mind giving away my books or setting sales.
Don’t tell me I can do it when authors cannot succeed without the support of others.
That’s why part of my change this year was to review other’s work. Which I managed some even if I didn’t hit the number of support I wanted to. I lacked time and energy. I hope it helped those I managed to offer assistance.
I cannot just ignore my public name. I would have to separate myself from Cat Hartliebe. I would have needed a new name, website, twitter handle anyway. Because I cannot just outright ignore it when it’s sitting right there.
I needed to separate myself from Cat Hartliebe, just move on with my life. This wasn’t working.
Every other day, there was a new reason floating the Twitter Universe giving a reason why I should be cancelled. What I did wrong. How I am a failure. Because I shouldn’t do this or shouldn’t try that. I definitely am not good enough to talk about that topic or have those characters or write about that setting.
It was constant. If I spent more than a few minutes on twitter, something showed up saying I just can’t be seen as good enough.
So, my stories are now only my stories. If you desire them, ask. I have so many.
At some point in the future, maybe they’ll go back into the world as published stories. But not as they are. Because I look at every single one of them as failures. I did everything wrong as an author. I had no platform until several months after publishing. I never took the time and effort to really push any one story. It was just a mess.
When you try to start a really complicated puzzle, you may want to dump all the pieces out. It’s a common practice. But, that probably won’t help you. It will hinder your chances just because there are too many pieces. That’s how it felt. All I was doing was dumping pieces on a table. I wasn’t making connections. I wasn’t seeing if there was space for this new piece or where generally it should go. I was just throwing it on the table assuming I could figure it out later.
That’s not how it works.
So I am putting all the puzzle pieces back in the box. I am restarting properly. I am creating a platform and name prior to publishing anything.
Tod Leben will be for my adult books. Cat Gillette will be for my non adult books. I may create a third option later. If I find pieces of this puzzle are too different.
I have started talking about Dragon Rider and the cookbook.
I won’t be publishing an insane number in quick succession. Not without a connection. And time to promote. Like with Dragon Rider, all seven books will come out monthly once they start getting published. They will be completely ready before that moment. They have to be. I can’t wait until the last moment to finish it.
The cookbook will need more time and work. But if I make mention of it enough times… I am starting promotion. If I can get a working copy that I can send to other cooks for attempts, it would be far better.
The cookbook isn’t for the public in the normal sense. It is for me and those around me. It is for my own health.
People look at this and say that’s what I’m doing. No. I will always be a writer. And yes, author is not something out of my reach. But I cannot just throw out books and say I’m good enough. It’s not acceptable.
I’m restarting. I’m trying again.
And while I do this, I am going to put more of my time and effort into a career I know I can gain success in.
Author is a tough request. It’s a saturated market, and there are a lot of gatekeepers.
With this off my shoulders, part of my depression will go away. I regret not being serious from the beginning. I regret rushing forward expecting that to be the best answer.
This time I want to be honest about myself. I want to be true to myself.
I am not truly going anywhere. Cat Hartliebe may return. As something special. Perhaps I will use that name for my princess stories. My fairy tales. Convert Cat Hartliebe into this fairy tale princess who talks about things and life.
There are so many questions.
And I have zero answers.
CatHartliebe.com will exist until July 2021. It will then convert back to CatHartliebe.wordpress.com. I will not be able to collect any payments through the website. That doesn’t mean I cannot accept payment. I still have a paypal.
I just have no idea what someone will want to buy from me.
All my paperbacks have been unpublished. So I cannot get another paperback. I have a few in my collection that I never gave away. They are the last remnants of Cat Hartliebe.
I’m done struggling.
I want to succeed at something.
I’m not asking to become rich. Or even known. I just want to feel safe.
Cat Hartliebe never made me feel safe. So I need to cut them off.