Gondolend is dead; long live the next thing

Hey, remember when I used to write and post stories on the internet? Unless you’re a member of my rapidly-dwindling online social circle, you probably don’t! But since I’ve recently started to become motivated to write again, and have been flirting with the idea of resurrecting this website, I thought I should at least give a bit of an update on the state of Gondolend, my main writing project for the last two decades:

In case it’s hard to tell from that hastily-Googled screenshot from the 1992 film adaptation of Of Mice and Men, this is a flippant way of saying that sometime in 2020, I made the decision to walk away from my Gondolend project permanently. There were a few factors leading up to this decision, some rational, some significantly less so as I was going through a pretty nasty depressive episode at the time.

I’m not going to say it was a hard decision to make, because to be honest I’d been getting sick of the project for a while. The lazy worldbuilding choices I’d made when first coming up with the setting in high school and the subsequent years of ass-pulls and mental gymnastics made to justify rather than fix them made in the years since had been getting increasingly on my nerves, and it was becoming clearer with every passing year that I was never actually going to write any of the grand, sprawling story that I had planned. All of my work on the setting was taken up with endlessly rewriting and revising a couple novellas that I was never going to be satisfied with, pointless little one-page vignettes that had no bearing on anything, fleshing out utterly useless minutia that didn’t matter, and trying to fix my old mistakes without rebuilding the entire setting completely. It was obvious that it was going nowhere, and I was itching for something new.

And then, on top of all that, there came the aforementioned depressive episode, in which I began to dwell upon the fact that, save for what few online friends I still had from my old days, nobody was interested in my writing anyway. Engagement numbers showed that the overwhelming majority of my “readers” only cared when I was drawing dinosaurs, while my story posts were lucky to get a dozen clicks. Why should I bother, I thought, when nobody cared anyway? Sure, “write for yourself” and all that, but I felt like if I was only writing for myself, why should I even bother writing at all? Why don’t I just play the stories out in my head and save myself the effort of writing stories that nobody’s going to read anyway? This is still something I struggle with, even when my depression is at its usual baseline hum; since my anxiety makes it extremely difficult to be outgoing and has even been causing me to drift further away from what few friends I do still have with each passing year, almost everything I do in my life is either for or by myself. I live alone, I sleep alone, I eat alone, I go to movies alone, I play videogames alone, unless I’m at work or with my family I’m by myself. At first it seemed like writing might at least be one area where I could connect with other people, where I could actually share something in a meaningful way, and once it became clear that nobody was interested in the stories I had to tell I lost all desire to tell them at all. You can only shout into the void for so long.

So, I decided to just pull the plug on the whole thing. I deleted my Tyrant King Press Facebook page with its 900+ followers who weren’t interested in my writing, de-published the physical and Kindle editions of my book on Amazon that nobody was buying, tossed all my art and finished and unfinished drafts into a folder on my laptop, and washed my hands of the whole thing.

After that, I moved on to a new worldbuilding project. Discouraged from writing or not, I’m still deeply unsatisfied with my life to the point where I’m compelled to dream up fantasy worlds just for an escape, so I couldn’t just not roll a fictional setting around in my head. And to be honest, I feel a lot better about this one. Sure, it’s another world where humans and dinosaurs coexist, because have you even met me, but it feels fresh and new without all the pointless bullshit that Gondolend had accumulated over the years. I actually have a better idea of what I’m doing, and a more cohesive story to tell, and while I know nobody’s probably going to read it I’m actually excited to get to a point where I can start writing it.

But that’s a post for another time. For now, I just wanted to give an update about what’s become of something I’ve been associated with online for so many years, even if it’s only relevant to a handful of people who I don’t really talk to as much as I should anymore.

Okay that’s it bye, now fuck off.

3 thoughts on “Gondolend is dead; long live the next thing

  1. I never really made a conscious decision to “walk away” from my project (you know the one)…it just kind of happened. I reached a point where I just couldn’t find the mental energy to devote to it. Plus there were a lot of nagging problems with the basic concept of the project that I never could quite solve and that was really starting to bug me. This also coincided with some computer issues that resulted in my losing access to a fair bit of in-progress artwork/writing. Nothing that was irreplaceable but it was just One More Thing to help make continuing work on it just difficult enough that I stopped bothering. So it all fell by the wayside. Now and then I would still do some pencil and paper concept art or would occasionally scrawl out a rough draft of a vignette or something. Most serious work on the project slowed considerably by late 2020. And by 2021 it had mostly ground to a halt. Life events didn’t help matters. My job had begun to seriously wear on my psyche and then starting in late 2021 I had to deal with the illness and death of both of my cats who I’d had since 2006 (I lost them both within four months of each other.) trying in vain to manage their decline took a lot out of me. I just haven’t been in the right headspace for creativity in a while. And now it almost feels frivolous to devote effort to something with so little practical benefit to me anyway, like creative pursuits now feel insufficiently worthwhile. There still is a part of me that would like to fully realize my “vision”, particularly because of how much effort I put into it between 2010 – 2020, but I just don’t have it in me. So for the foreseeable future it’s unlikely my dead project will be replaced by anything else either.


    1. Shit, every now and then I’d think back and wonder what was going on with your stuff and that’s like one of the worst updates possible. Especially about your cats, that fucking sucks and for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.


  2. Thanks, losing them after fifteen years together was rough. Particularly due to the circumstances under which it occurred. I always swore to.myself when the time cameo would have a vet come to the house, because I didn’t want them to die someplace they were scared of, but because of the way things played out I didn’t have a choice and they both died at the Emergency vet. Boris on Christmas Day 2021, and then his sister Olga four months later. Boris had been ill for a while and gradually declining, but it had been somewhat controlled via the meds I had him on at the time, things totally unraveled quickly over the course of about three days, finally reaching critical mass on Christmas. Olga’s end was more lingering, she got very sick about three weeks after her brother died and what followed was a three-month nightmare of me desperately trying everything possible to keep her illness under control – she was on about eight medications at the end, twice daily subcutaneous fluids, special food (that’s IF I could get her to eat) and finally the day came when there was nothing else I could do.


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