This will probably come as a shock to most of you, but I’ve decided to give up writing. It was a good run while it lasted, but the time has come to pack it away with my other childhood dreams, like living on a houseboat or becoming a paleontologist.
Why did I give up writing? Because frankly, I just don’t have any new ideas anymore. Whenever I manage to come up with one, it turns out that someone else has already done it. Accidental marriage in space? Firefly. Trek across a desert planet? Dune. Colonizing an unexplored nebula? I don’t know off the top of my head, but I’m sure it’s been done before.
Even if I could come up with an original science fiction idea, I’d be woefully unqualified to write about it. I mean, I’ve never even been to space, much less piloted a starship or visited another planet. They say you’re supposed to write what you know, which pretty much limits me to stories about struggling writers.
Which would be perfect, if I were trying to break into literary fiction. But even there, it would never happen, not only because my politics are wrong, but because I’ve (gasp!) self-published. What was I thinking? The gatekeepers of publishing will never take me seriously again, and I have no chance of ever turning this writing habit into a career.
But even if none of that was an issue—even if I had great ideas and enough life experience to write them well, with the means to get my stories out to market, who am I kidding to think I can make money at this? There are MILLIONS of books published, and the best ones are all free! Why would someone pay to read one of my books when they could get Tolstoy or Dickens or Austen on Project Gutenburg for nothing? Even if they’re looking for something published recently, they can always go to the public library. And don’t get me started on book piracy!
Point is, it’s just stupid to think that this writing thing could ever go anywhere. It was fun while it lasted, but the time has come to close up shop and go into something practical, like sanitation or accounting. Science fiction is basically just talking squids in outer space, and I’m an adult now. It’s time to give up these escapist fantasies and start acting like one.
Besides, does anyone even read books these days?