I think I know just how Jimmy Buffet felt when he wrote that song. I came onto the indie publishing world long after it had already reached its peak, when the pioneers were now the role models for success and the market was flooded daily with new authors seeking to make their mark.

I’ve only written two books. One acclaimed by a respectable organization and I’m proud of that. Not exactly the stuff of mark-making, though. To be honest with myself, there are a host of reasons that have kept me from writing any more. Self doubt. A bitterly competitive market. Indie politics (yes, that’s a thing). Real life. It all compounds until your creative inspiration is struggling to breathe, its pulse erratic and thready and you can’t help but wonder when you’ll sit down at your computer to write and instead of the Windows start up tones, you’re greeted with the flat monotone of your muse finally giving up the ghost.

My muse has been on life support since roughly October of 2017.

I’m looking at 40. Hard.

I don’t have a tribe, but I have a few close friends, a tight inner circle who tries to help me find a way to get my muse out of the ICU. Like Stitch’s family, we are little and broken, but still good. They tell me to keep going. Maybe I should listen.

Now that I’ve laid my soul bare, I want to try to get my desire to write breathing again. It’s time for me to charge my defibrillator and get my muse back to the land of the living. I see you, 40, and this is going to be my year. Because while I’m looking at you right now with disappointment and self-judgment, I want to look back at you with a sense of accomplishment and success. I’m going to leave my mark. I’m starting now. Better late than never.

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