I want to introduce a new writerly acronym: WAFWing. But first, let me backtrack a bit.
I have a mental list of Things Writers Do That I Admire, aka, When Writers are Brave. You probably do, too.
I always admire people who manage to have writing careers in addition to a day job. People like Stephen King and Danielle Steele who wrote in laundry rooms while the family slept. Or most everybody I know these days. Me, when I first started. Probably you.
I also admire people who saved up enough or made an arrangement with their partners/providers to take a year or two off the day job to launch a successful writing career.
Now I’m adding a third category of writers I admire—WRITERS WHO WALK AWAY.
- Maybe they burned out on the writing, the prolific-ness required for success these days in commercial fiction,
- Or maybe they had with the narcissist behaviour of the publishing industry,
- Or maybe they just couldn’t take the marketing. It’s hard to scream, “Give me money! Buy my books!” all the time.
Once self-publishing came along, we felt that we had more options: traditional publishing, e-publishing, self-publishing.
But lately I see more and more writers taking the final option: the option of walking away.
One friend shared with me that she enjoys writing, but not editing or marketing. She’s a born storyteller; she cannot stop writing. So she writes the best first draft she can, then saves them to her computer. Maybe she even shares her work with friends and family. But she doesn’t do anything else with them at this point. She thinks she might someday. But right now, no harsh edits, no rejections, no scathing reviews, no bad sales numbers.
Nice to have options. This one is starting to appeal.
Back in my fandom days, we called it “gafiating.” According to Wikipedia, it stood for Getting Away From It All. Originally it meant turning away from real life and burying oneself in fanfic and other fannish activities, but by the time I became active in fandom (~1997), it had reversed to mean a fan who walked away from all things fannish.
So now I’m waving goodbye to some long-time writer friends as they gafiate back to real life. Or more specific to writers: Walking Away From Writing or WAFWing.