A Writer’s Retirement

Dear Readers,

It is with a heavy heart that I take pen in hand to address a few lines to you. The past few years have been very rough on me physically. I live in constant pain and my life consists of surgeries, complications, more surgeries, and more complications. I am constantly shuttling off from one doctor’s appointment to the next, or at least that is how it seems. I’m 43 but now look like I’m 65 from the strain. Truthfully, this has been a long time coming and I’ve had a draft of this post typed up for several months now as I waited to see if things would improve. They didn’t.

Once upon a time, writing was my escape. It is how I managed to mentally distract myself from all that was going on. This is no longer the case. The outside world has intruded to the point that I no longer have the focus required to do it. In a way, that’s probably a blessing in disguise. I poured everything I had into Molly’s Song, but sales have been disappointing, and it has not been nearly as well received as I thought and hoped it would. With my health deteriorating more with each passing month and the number of good days I have in a month being in the single digits, I do not want to spend it standing in front of my computer typing words that no one will read anyway.

The pandemic masked how bad off I truly am. Going back to work in person this semester, I was immediately able to see the difference in my physical condition between the start of the pandemic and now. And this was before the three surgeries I had in the past six months. Naturally, that has only made it worse. When I get home at the end of the day, I am so utterly exhausted that I have a hard time getting out of the car without help and all I can manage to do is sit in bed and stare at the television without even being able to comprehend what it is that I am watching. I can’t even read anymore because I can’t focus long enough to get through one page.

For years now, I’ve tried to hide my true condition. I got really good at faking it so that I could go to work and smile and joke with people like nothing was wrong, when truthfully all I wanted to do was scream from the pain. That takes a toll on you over time. Eventually, you’ll reach the point where I find myself now, where you have to admit that you can no longer control your health problems and that they have taken over your life. And there’s nothing to be done about it. There’s no “fix” and no “cure” for my injuries and the conditions they have caused me, so none of this is going away. It isn’t simply a matter of waiting it out or getting treatment and then magically getting better again. That’s not going to happen.

Admittedly, I suppose I had a somewhat aborted writing career. However, I think two novels to my credit isn’t bad. I will always have that. I’ve met some wonderful people through my writing whom I hope to stay in touch with even though I have officially put the proverbial typewriter away. Please understand that I absolutely would keep writing if I were physically able. This is more of a question of me not being able to write rather than not wanting to. I imagine I will always want to, just like I wish every single day that I had not gotten hurt to begin with and could still be on an engine company responding to calls.

Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’ll be spending as much time as I can with my wife and my cats. There are some less physically/mentally taxing hobbies I have that I can focus on. I regret that I won’t be able to write my epic Russian Revolution novel and dedicate it to my Mashka. But I know she’ll understand. And, of course, I feel bad that I won’t be able to finish Molly’s story. She deserves far better than I gave her and I hope she’ll forgive me.

The website will still be around for a while. I may do a final year in review post on New Year’s Eve if I feel up to it.

I thank all of you who have followed me on this journey through writing and publishing two books. Thank you for reading my posts and the books themselves. No matter where life may take you in the future, I hope you have the time of your life.

And remember, friends, take care of yourselves. And each other.


8 thoughts on “A Writer’s Retirement

  1. My hear truly breaks and I weep as I hear your news, but I understand. I will always call you and your family by name in my prayers. I continue to pray for your comfort and total healing. We are so blessed by you, and I hope you feel our love and support for you. Selfishly, I hope we still hear from you and Anastasia, but should that cease, I understand. I have so many why questions when I get yo Heaven. Why you have had to suffer this way is among my first few. I understand suffering and our relationship to God in it, but it still breaks my heart for you, your family, friends, students, coworkers, and readers that your presence in their, our, my life should be diminished in any way. I will always cherish what I have experienced with you and never stop praying for your health and your return to us. God bless you and yours. With great respects, fondness, and regard, Mrs. K 🙏💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s very hard to read this, but I understand. I have followed you from way back in the Half-Ass Historian days. I have not yet read Molly’s Song, but very much looking forward to it. You should take pride in the work that you were able to produce in spite of the numerous large obstacles placed in your way. I am grateful for having read your work and pray for your continued healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been a psychotherapist for nearly forty years. It is a humbling profession. What you have written here reminds me of times when I have sat across from someone who has suffered incredibly in ways I can’t even comprehend and thinking that what I have to offer is of little consequence in the face of such pain. . Sometimes ,the only thing I can do is to be present and care. I am so sorry for all you’re going through. I do want you to know that you’ve had a great impact on my life, even though I discovered your podcast and blog less than a year ago. The essence of who you are–your decency, compassion, courage, and intellect–shines through like a beacon and calls me to be a better person. I don’t know how many people I’ve told about your podcast and blog. I love your writing. I bought “Molly’s Song” in paperback and could hardly put it down. When I finished, I wondered where her journey would take her next. She is an engaging character. I have bought “So Others May Live” and it’s on my Kindle app waiting to be read. Although you are no longer able to write, you accomplished so much during the time that you have. Getting published can be incredibly hard, but you did it twice. You’ve touched people with your blog entries.

    I’ll miss you when you leave the podcast and blog, but I wish you every good thing–and that you enjoy your time with your wife and your cats to the utmost.

    Thanks for everything you’ve given me, Mr. Hutch.

    Liked by 1 person

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