Are you sure you want to close your account?
My finger hovered over the mouse. One little twitch and years of work would be gone. It wasn’t like deleting your Facebook. They made this process fairly easy.
My heart began to race. I thought it would be easier. Like getting rid of an anchor. Snipping the ankle chain. I mean, no one reads the blog anyway. The last five people who followed me were bots hawking island vacations and gluten free brownie recipes or whatever.
I’m sweating now. My stomach is empty but full of black feelings.
“Is that it?” a voice in my head said. “One slow month and you throw it all away?”
“Try one slow year,” I replied.
“So, what was this all for then? Attention? What about the love of writing?”
“What about it?”
“If this was about the love of writing, then it wouldn’t matter how many views the site got. What would matter is you write and that’s all there is to it.”
“It’s a waste of time,” I said.
A roiling cloud of emotions begins to circle my head. I have to close the account now or the guilt will pull me back in. A fiction blog powered by the sunk cost fallacy. Absurd. Who would read something like that? At this rate, the blog is going to resemble a rocky shore where dreams break like foamy waves more than any kind of fiction site. Unfinished prompts and series and books and so much more, crashing against eternal stone, dissolving into a foamy flurry.
“If you think it’s a waste of time, then that’s all there is to it.”
“Exactly,” I reply.
“But have you thought about all the people you’re about to kill?”
“The lost explorer? The neurotic detective? The mute brawler? The Hero’s son? Any of them ringing a bell?”
“Yes! Your characters. If you delete your account, they’re gone forever. Poof. Dunzo. Confined to Oblivion.”
“But they live on in my head. A lot of them are much different than the way they exist now on the site.”
“Then you’ll be killing those versions of them.”
“I think you’re being melodramatic.”
“Don’t you mean you think you’re being melodramatic? I am, after all, an inner voice. I am you. All of my thoughts are your thoughts, just temporarily divided so a dialogue can take place.”
“I know what’s happening, inner voice, I’m the one making it happen. God, if my inner voice is this pedantic, I must be insufferable.”
“This is what psychologists call ‘self-reflection’. You should do it more often. It’s good for you.”
“OMG don’t call me that. Yuck!”
“Okay… listen here… In… Inner V.”
“Do you like nicknames?”
“Exactly. Just get to the point. We’re losing the thread here.”
“I have a whole life outside of the blog. I’ve been too distracted writing short little ditties here instead of working on my novel(s) or my relationships, or literally anything productive. This place is a sinkhole and I’m going to drown.”
“Holy crap, are you crying?”
“No, you’re crying!”
“Technically true, I guess, but still.”
“I’ve been writing online for 11 years. 11. Fucking. Years. And you know what I’ve learned from all this time writing and posting and editing and posting and re-writing and re-drafting and posting and posting and posting?”
“It doesn’t matter how hard you work. It really doesn’t. ‘Success’ if you want to call it that, is a matter of equal parts luck and who you know. All the hard work in the world can leave you exactly where you are a decade later. But if you know a guy, and that guy knows a guy, and you write about just the right thing at the right time, you can skyrocket into stardom and success with almost no effort at all.”
“How much hard work do you do?”
“I mean… I don’t not work hard.”
“But what you’re saying is just as true about your IRL job too! You can work for years and stay in the exact same spot or get friendly with someone up the ladder and shoot up the chain to great success. All of this rambling just sounds like excuses, man. At the end of the day, the only question you have to answer is this: do you like writing?”
“Are you going to keep writing after this account gets deleted?”
“……….that’s technically two questions.”
“…Yeah. I am.”
“Well, there you go.”
“Okay. Okay. I guess there’s no harm in having a fiction site. Even if nobody reads it.”
“Who knows, maybe someone will stumble on it and it’ll make their day just a little brighter. That doesn’t sound so bad. Not bad at-“
“What the? What did you do?”
“My finger slipped! Oh God! Oh my God! FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU”