Hiatus Notice

The Gods are Bastards will be going on official hiatus until mid-August, aiming to resume the third week of the month.  I sincerely apologize for this.  Explanation to follow; if discussion of depression, mental health, or various current events (you probably know the ones) are uncomfortable or triggering for you, you may want to skip the rest of this post.

So, the long and the short of it is I’m having the most severe mental health breakdown I’ve had in years.  Not the worst ever, but the worst in a long time, and I am basically failing, entirely, to function.  It’s not just updates to the story that have ceased; it’s been weeks since I’ve managed to do anything.  This has been a perfect storm of problems, I think.  My depressive episodes have been getting steadily worse for the last few years anyway, I’ve grown increasingly burned out on the story itself to the point that I was starting to dread having to write each chapter, and then came the outside influences.  I have been responsibly socially isolating and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future because I live in a country whose pandemic measures have been blitheringly incompetent on average, and the isolation has been progressively wearing on me, interacting with my existing condition in a way I did not anticipate and am handling poorly.  And now, most recently, the city I live in has become the front line in my government’s attempted slide into fascism.  I don’t think I’m in immediate physical danger from that, hiding in my apartment as I’ve been anyway, but the stress it causes is still constant and severe.  Basically, this has moved beyond one of my standard depressive episodes and verges on a full-blown crisis.

I don’t know what, if anything, I can do about it.  There’s really no mental health care of any kind available to me.  I hate to call a hiatus now; it’s an incredibly stupid time, with this book in its climax and last few chapters.  I was trying so hard to get to the end of Book 16 and then take the break, but I failed to make it.  I’m sorry for that.  At this point, though, the only real change I’m able to make toward self-care is declaring the break official just to remove the weight of my ongoing failure to produce chapters from hanging over me so immediately.  That’s been my greatest source of additional stress the last couple of weeks.

I just want to reiterate how sorry I am for all of this.  I hate letting down the people who’ve done so much to support me, and I wish I could do better for you.  I love and appreciate everyone who reads my story; all I want is to make something cool that brings people a little happiness, because we certainly all need some.  I’ll try to do better in the future, but for right now I’m forced to acknowledge that the best thing I can do is try to pull myself back together a bit.

I’ll still be reachable via discord, and will post any updates there, as well as here.  There will be a few changes when I return in August; I have some ideas I want to try, particularly toward offering some additional benefits for Patreon backers.  At any rate, once TGAB resumes the standard update incentives will, and given the backlog that has accumulated while it was suspended, extra chapters will be funded for quite a few weeks to come.

Please stay safe out there, and take care of yourselves.  I’ll be back as soon as I can.  Sorry about everything.

edit: I only realized after the fact I first posted this in the wrong part of the site.  Seriously, I’m not functioning well.  Sorry, should be fixed now for RSS readers.

43 thoughts on “Hiatus Notice

  1. Mental health battles are one of the hardest thing a human can fight.

    It’s easy to fight another human, much harder when your own mind and body betrays you. This story comes second to that fight.

    With the wonders of the internet this story will be here waiting for you when you are able to come back to it and so will everyone that has enjoyed it over the years.

    Take all the time you need mate.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Stay safe. Your characters are some of the most interesting and three dimensional characters I’ve seen in a long time, and it has been a pleasure to see you get better and better as a writer over the years. As someone who has worked in mental health during this pandemic, there are lots of internet resources available while access to mental health services are limited by the pandemic. It’s not the same, and not everyone finds out useful, but some people find self cbt sites like moodgym really useful. You’re going to get through this

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Somewhere in “Innocents Abroad,” Mark Twain writes about how most of his friends touring Europe and the Holy Land swore they kept diaries and were planning to write a book about their long trip. They gave it up, of course, whereas he kept a record and went on to write a very successful one.
    My point is that what you’re doing is damn hard, people who accomplish as much as you have are rare, and if you’re struggling to hold your mind together at points, it’s more jewels in your halo that you bring home groceries now and then, let alone write a chapter,
    Therefore think nothing of this beyond the care you already have given us — for which I am thankful. I think giving yourself a deadline to get back in the saddle is a good thing. I hope you have friends and maybe a medical person for the worst times, and I will worry about you. Good luck, good health, and don’t forget there are lots of people in your city who aren’t rioting and may even prefer to lead a quiet life in their own neighborhoods (I have made a number of friends from just hanging out at a respectful distance …) All the best!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Hey Webb. Take all the time you need mate. We’ll still be here.
    Thank you so much for everything you’ve done so far. You’ve really helped some of us through the last few months with your writing and thank you so much for commiting yourself so fully to what you’re doing. You’re fabulous at what you do. Seriously, take all the time you need to move past this episode. Much love, somni567

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  5. Hey now buddy. I’m in the same sorta situation. It’s okay to take the time you need. Seeing the bullshittery going on is taxing. Depression is taxing. Isolation is taxing. It’s all just so much. So much. And it’s okay to be overwhelmed right now. It isn’t weakness. We only have so much energy. There’s no rush and no pressure to come back quick. You gotta take care of yourself. One step at a time, buddy.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Adding my voice too – don’t have anything to say that I don’t already see in an existing comment, so I’ll just add a bit of volume to the “stay safe, take care of yourself, and remember: We love you!” response 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Go buy an orange T shirt and a leaf blower, put on your respirator and go be social downtown. That just might be the kind of stress relief you need.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ll be here for you man. Take any amount of time and never ever feel guilty for it. We want you happy, healthy, and sane first and foremost, story can always come later. We’ll be rooting for you my dude.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I suffer terribly from depression and anxiety. There were days when I was so afraid to go outside or go to work, despite the fact that I was literally starving at times, that I would huddle up in my apartment and sleep.

    I can’t say that I understand what you’re going through, exactly. It’s always at least a shade different and sometimes dramatically so. But I can say that I will support you in what little ways I can no matter how long a break you need. It’s important. Not just to this story, or the others you’ll not doubt tell in the future that I can’t wait to read. It’s important to you as a person who I admire and appreciate for all that you’ve given to us readers.

    Stay safe. Be careful. And get better, however you need to.

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  10. That’s rough man. I know a ton of other comments have said it already, but take all the time in the world. I, for one, prefer a healthy and alive author who updates infrequently to the other option. Stay safe in Portland (I’m assuming you mean Portland and not Seattle or Chicago), and know that we’re all rooting for you to start feeling like yourself again. Solidarity.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Take all the time you need. I’ll definitely still be here when it’s better. It’s easy to forget, but there are still plenty of good things happening too right now.

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  12. Take as long as you need. And when you return, if you decide you want to, consider posting new chapters on an “as and when” basis.

    TGAB should not be something that adds to your mental load. Understand that while we all look forwards to new chapters, there’s nobody in this community who thinks any less of you for placing your needs first. Nobody who matters, anyway.

    Be proud of having created something so large, with such a following. But put it down, take the time you need.

    This too shall pass.

    All the best, from a long time reader in rainy East Anglia.

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  13. I had wondered if that was what was going on, but wasn’t sure if I should be saying anything because you know yourself better than random internet strangers do. I did want to say that it’s a courageous step to put yourself first, especially when there’s so many eyes on your work; I commend you for taking that step. Thanks for letting us know. We’ll be here.

    Like

  14. Hey – take care of yourself first. That should always be the priority.
    If you don’t take care of yourself first, it’s a helluva lot harder to take care of anything and everything else.

    And real world current events are definitely not helping anyone’s emotional and mental wellbeing. Real life sucks right now.
    You are very much not alone, except in the purely literal physical sense.

    This is not your fault. The current troubles will pass.
    You will get better.

    Take as long as you need to in order to get yourself back into a better headspace.
    We’ll be here when you’re ready to start writing again, however long it takes.
    Worst case scenario? People need to archive dive to get their fix of The Gods Are Bastards. Like we don’t do that every so often anyways.

    Hell, I haven’t run the numbers again lately, but I think it was earlier in the year (February, I think), so they shouldn’t have changed too much, but your average output over the life of the story was something like a chapter every three days and change, I think (I posted the numbers at the time) – including the prior breaks in productivity in the time total. Admittedly, the recent difficulties have probably changed the numbers a little, but still, your average productivity is still very good by anyone’s standards. The current slowdown and break isn’t going to change that.

    One thing that may or may not help the issues around burnout and creative difficulties, might be to try working on a different project for a while. Not one for as-you-go release work, but a side project to work on to clear your head, either to be released never, or only in chunks after they’ve been completed.
    It’s something some other high output authors do to help maintain their productivity, it might help you, it might not. I don’t know if it is a practice that will actually help you, but I doubt trying it for a bit would hurt, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 🙂 You’ve got a great fanbase – it’s encouraging to read these comments, just as another reader.

    Thanks for the update post, even though it’s not easy to write, either! I’ve been assuming something like this.

    Echoing others, but I’m hugely appreciative of getting this massive created universe, for years… any mention of “failure” and apologies now can’t be right.

    Take care of yourself – thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey, thank you for taking care of yourself ❤

    Your health and safety is SO IMPORTANT. Depression sucks and makes everything hard. I'm so glad that you are acting bravely and putting this story aside until you're in a better space. I love your work but I'm just so delighted that you are gonna stop for a while and focus on coping with the nonsense world that we all currently live in.

    Looking forward to you coming back when you're more well and rested and ready, and not a second before then.

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  17. Good luck with seeking balance, and know that your life and health mean more to me than you self-flagellating to try and squeeze blood from a stone when it’s not coming. Some surprisingly helpful advice I’ve heard for creative issues is to remember that Cartesian dualism was always an ignorant lie: Improving our physical health often has direct benefits for handling our emotional, intellectual, and even social difficulties too (though not the financial ones as much in most cases).

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  18. Appreciate the update! There seem to be a variety of health services potentially online/virtual that may be worth exploring. Wishing success and safety as you recuperate!

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  19. Hey man, we love you and we’re glad you’re doing what’s best for you. Look forward to hearing from you again, even if it ends up being later than August. Take care of yourself!

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  20. Hi. I have been an avid reader of your story since I discovered it last year and have not commented once. (It’s just not my style) I just want to say take all the time you need, prioritize your health, and stay safe.

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  21. Hey man, I just wanted to let you know, your work brings a lot of joy and helps me with my anxiety. Its a bright beacon in my life.

    Whatever you need to do to stay mentally sound, you do that. Id much rather have a million delays or hiatuses, then have your vision for you work compromised, or have you burn out. You take care of yourself man.

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  22. No apology needed as this is not a failure.
    Physical health or mental health the need to take a break when you are unwell is the same.
    Take the time you need.
    We will be here when you get back, overjoyed to see you again and without judgement no matter how long it takes.
    Be well.

    Like

  23. I love your story and am more than willing to wait as long as you need to get better. Your health and well being is the most important thing. Best Wishes and please stay safe.

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  24. Take care of yourself to the best of your ability and stay safe. We miss you and the world you’ve created, and will be waiting, however long it takes.

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  25. No health without mental health. Emotional work, including the practice of good self care, is valuable work. Take your time. We’ll wait.

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  26. Love you loads. Take all the time you need. Your physical, mental & emotional health is more important. Look after yourself and don’t rush to get back to writing. xx

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  27. Seems like I’ll be updating my monthly donation. I don’t have much disposable income, but you need it far more than I do right now. Shit really sucks sometimes, and I’m in a similar boat as you are but without the achievement of having written an entire really good series. Take care, and good luck!

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  28. Please don’t apologize, because there’s nothing to apologize for. Take care of yourself as best you can. Stay safe. Take as long as you need, then a little more. When and if you do come back, write for yourself, the rest of us are just along for the ride because we like where you’ve taken us.

    And know that you are far from alone. It may not get talked about much, but between covid and politics there’s a mental health crisis as extensive as the physical health and economic crises.

    I’m sorry you don’t have access to good mental health care, and I’m sure you’re using everything available to you, but don’t underestimate all the great free resources there are online for self-care.

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  29. This is how I pulled myself out of my second worst depressive crisis:

    Use the good days to make the future bad days better than the past bad days by focusing on the external factors you can change.

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  30. Hey Webb, I don’t often comment on stories I read, but TGAB is one of my all time favourites and I’ve been following Trissany and the gang for years.
    I find myself sympathising with your predicament, this self isolation is definitely exacerbating depression, and finding coping mechanisms are difficult when we can’t even do things we used to.
    I don’t know how much help it would be for you, but I wanted to suggest looking online to connect with a counsellor or therapist. Perhaps if you have someone you have a connection with, they might be willing to do telephonic or online sessions? Either way I hope you find a way to care for yourself, all I wish for you is to recover. TGAB is already a gift as it is, so take all the time you need. I wish you strength and courage, you are in my thoughts.

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