Well, after a little over 5 years of writing horror based fiction I have accumulated a little over a dozen titles under my belt as author P. A. Douglas. And today, I am announcing that I am throwing that literary name in the trash!
Before I get into it I thought I would recap my experience as a writer over these last 5 years. I first found my passion for the horror genre as a kid. Later in life I began to enjoy reading as an adult. While working at Wal-Mart of all places overnight to save money for a tour van (that Sarah and I used to tour with), I read a lot of zombie books. And well, after my 5th of 6th book I thought to myself, “I could write this stuff”.
So, I did.
While working I jotted notes and ideas for my first book into a notepad. As a result my very first title became released in 2011 at a whopping 90,000 words. It wasn’t a great piece of fiction, but it was mine! I had done it. I wrote a book. With the fire lit I found that I couldn’t stop. I kept on reading the genre and kept on writing as well. I feel that the pinnacle of my career as a horror writer was when I landed a contract with my all time favorite apocalyptic publisher. I had done it. I was in the big lieges. I had reached the top of my genre as an indie author and it had only taken about 4 years to get there.
So… why then, after all this effort and success am I crumpling it all up and tossing it in the trash?
Yeah, well… that is a good question I suppose. I think it has to do with an accumulation of many different factors. For starters I am currently knee deep in school taking 16 credit hours per semester. And have been for about two years now. As a result that has been two years of not writing or reading much fiction at all; if any for lack of available time. Secondly, because of several other factors that I will mention in a moment, I am in a mental state of mind lately (the past 4 months or so) where I am evaluating what is actually worth my time. Because, let’s face it. Time is a precious commodity. Everyone knows that. So, the question was raised internally; “what is my time worth”?
What exactly brought this question swirling into my mind over these last few months is the real question. It has been an accumulation of several things, like I said already. For one, being in school has given me the itch of learning. I would rather spend my time learning than being entertained with silly nonsense. With that in mind, I have picked up a few magazine subscriptions to things like Astronomy and National Geographic. Also, over the last year I have still continued to read for pleasure. But rather than reading fiction for mere entertainment I have found myself reading educational content. Astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and history have found their way into m heart and I can’t seem to get enough of them.
Secondly, this world is a mess. As some of you know, I am a Christian. In the last 4 months or so Sarah and I have been attending Calvary Chapel in South Austin. It is a great place that has accepted us as we are. Oddly enough, we joined this group of believers right as they were jumping into the book of Revelations. Kind of ironic when you think about it considering the state of things in America and how outlandish this election was. With those two factors in mind (the teachings in retrospect to the state of our nation), an internal reflection began to take place where I asked myself that question; “what is truly worth my time”? Now, this isn’t some brain wash type of church either. This is a more of the Spirit within the church and within myself toward repentance. So, what does repentance have to do with your books and dropping them in the can? Well, as a Christian I do have to admit that there is some tacky content within my past writings. Rape, sex, murder, language, and so on. Of course, I realize that all of those things can be found in the Bible. I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve just decided that I don’t really want to be affiliated with my work anyone as a Christian. It’s hard to explain. I will say this though; a lot of my work as a fiction writer was done at a time in my faith when I was angry at God. And as a result, the words that flowed across the page were not a reflection of my beliefs. I just feel that our time should be spent educating and being educated. Yes, entertainment is a good thing. With that and the value of time, if and when I start writing again, it will be with those principles in mind.
All I know is, we as a nation spend too much time blinded and numbed by entertainment. We glare at our computers, phones, and televisions, watching the world become worse and worse. All the while pretend in our own minds that posting a positive meme will make a difference. In the end, my body of work as a fiction writer wasn’t part of the solution. It was part of the problem, promoting things I don’t wish to promote.
With that in mind, once I am out of school I do plan to start writing again… under a new name… with a new agenda – to educate, inspire, and encourage, rather than indulge.
We live in a world where World War 3 could very easily be on the horizon regardless of what you believe in. You have to ask yourself, do you want to have spent your life glued to your vices? Or do you want to spend your life thriving for a solution?
And, as a Christian I assume you know what solution I speak of.