So what would cause such a fine writer just to stop writing? She's not old. To my knowledge, she's not sick or under a governmental gag order.
Things have changed for novelists. We at NovelMatters have said it before, but Lisa says it concisely and well. Here, with her permission, we're reprinting her post from Facebook in which she explains.
What do you think, NovelMatters readers? Is there a solution that would encourage such a writer to continue?
Here is what Lisa said:
All good things must come to an end, the saying goes. I, however, like to think that all good things continue to evolve. For twenty-two years I have been writing for the inspirational (read: evangelical Christian) market, and it has been an honor and a privilege. True, with the artistic strictures and the increasing necessity for a platform, it has had its share of frustrations for a novelist who simply wants to explore an artform, but sharing stories and getting to know readers as friends, hearing how these words have been used to encourage, inspire, affirm, and even challenge, has been a thrill.
The publishing world has changed drastically since I first set pen to paper almost exactly twenty-two years ago on August 8th, 1992. Back then, you could just be a novelist. I raised my children while writing stories and it was a blessing. Some of my readers have been with me since the beginning and I am truly grateful. But as most of you know, things changed. The author has become increasingly responsible for marketing, publicity, and that platform I mentioned earlier. I’m simply not that kind of writer. I write, create, mull, think, write some more, go look in the fridge, and am not interested in nor gifted for the new responsibilities and I never have been. So, in essence, I’m a lousy person to publish in this new world. I fall down on the job when half of my job isn’t writing. In other words, what is now required of an author is something I’m neither equipped for, nor willing to do. I write. That’s it.
I was recently offered a contract that was insufficient for me to support my family. A real step down from the previous one. And that is all I will say about that matter. It wasn’t personal, I realize, but it was severely disappointing to have worked faithfully for two decades only to have your work go down in value to that point. I wish money didn’t matter, but it has to, and that saddens me. I'm still intensely grateful for the time I spent writing for that house and the people there who are, quite simply, wonderful. But traditional publishing is a business and I'm no good for the bottom line no matter how much I'm personally loved, and good feelings don't keep the lights on over here at my house.
And so, out of respect for those of you who have encouraged me, published me, worked with me, lifted me up in prayer, and have been there for me throughout the years, I want to honor your friendship and love by telling you the news that I will no longer be writing as I have been. A Thing of Beauty will release and after that, I just don’t know. As far as I’m concerned, having worked for over two decades for it to all come to a place where I cannot support my family, I’m just discouraged and ready to move on. I do believe it’s time.
Will I write again? I just can’t say for sure. If God drops something good in my lap and says follow me, of course I will follow. But doing what I have to do to move forward as a person and a mom, I have enrolled in the Lexington Healing Arts Academy and will begin their massage therapy program in late September. I hope to give relief to cancer, hospice, and Alzheimer’s patients. It will be a new adventure and one I am truly excited about. Please continue your prayers for me, and keep in touch. I’ll maintain this page through the release of A Thing of Beauty, and I hope that my “retiring” of “Lisa Samson,” does not mean that we still aren’t a part of each other's lives here in the crazy little space called facebook. I love you all, and appreciate all you’ve done and been to me all these years. God bless you and again, my gratitude for you is deep and wide and filled with love. You are amazing.