I officially became an Indie author in early June of 2011, when I published Blood Skies.
I pretty much haven’t taken a break since.
I’d already started Black Scars while I was still editing Blood Skies, and I continued the trend of editing one book while writing the next. Eventually, I got ahead of myself and started writing Chain of Shadows before I even started editing The Witch’s Eye.
Oh, I forgot to mention the short stories (Tales of a Blood Earth Vols 1 and 2), the horror novella …something black, the 2-3 blog posts per week, and my ongoing contributions to Guild of Dreams.
I was riding a wave, I think, and I was amazed at how long it was lasting. I kept rolling from one project to the next. One book to another. Editing, writing, blogging, rinse, repeat, SHAZAM!
It couldn’t last forever. And (bet you didn’t see this coming) it didn’t.
Now I have to find the fire again.
Imagine that. People always give me grief for my “go, go, go” mentality. I’ve been told that I should slow down, and not worry so much about getting that next book out. The thing is, I haven’t really needed a break…or at least didn’t think I did. I’ve been doing just fine. This pace suits me.
Or so I thought. Turns out I was wrong.
Now, I’m struggling to get through Book 5 edits. There’s nothing wrong with Book 5 – hell, when I was editing Book 4, I was ready to just skip it and work on nothing but Book 5, because I think The Witch’s Eye is a much better book than Crown of Ash. It might the best thing I’ve ever written.
Neverthless, I’m having a hell of a time editing it. I find my mind drifting, and I keep wanting to do something else. That drive and focus I’ve been so proud of for this past year is just…well, it’s kind of gone on walkabout. It’s M.I.A. On the back of a milk carton. Suspiciously absent. Hasta la vista, Baby.
Part of the problem, I’m sure, is because this is such a busy time of year. My son is back in school, and we’re trying to figure out college for my daughter; I’m running Internal Audits at work, and we also have Quarter-end Financial close, and before you know it we’ll be freaking out about Year-End.
But even more of the issue is just plain old-fashioned fatigue. I’ve been pushing myself for over a year, blazing along in the hopes of making it big. Well, I haven’t exactly made it “big” (whatever that is), but I’m very happy with where I’m at in this world of Indie publishing. The trouble is it’s actually difficult for me to take breaks. I’m really an “all-or-nothing” sort of guy. When I’m on, I’m ON. When I’m off…well, forget it.
So right now I’m struggling to stay “on”, but maybe not as “on” as I have been. I’m not trying to write, blog, and edit every day. In fact, for the most part, I’ve put “writing” on hold, figuring that it will help me focus enough on editing Book 5 that I might actually get it done.
I think it’s working. Maybe. We’ll see.
There’s only so much one guy can do. And that’s not to say I don’t have tons of support (because I do). It’s just that I feel like I’ve been in “Go” mode for so long that the ol’ fire is looking a little dim. It’s not giving off as much heat as it used to.
I need to refuel.
So, for the time being, the word count on Book 6 isn’t going to change. Hopefully that means I’ll make more progress on Book 5 edits. Hopefully that means I’ll actually be able to work through the entire book from start to finish and find that same excitement I had when I was writing it.
I know I will. This sucker had me on the edge of my seat. There’s tons of very cool stuff in here:
- Cross meets two incredibly cool new characters who’ve quickly become some of my favorites
- Danica faces a startling new evil called the Witchborn
- Ronan is elevated from background character to scene-stealing badass
- Creasy (the Wolftown mage from Book 3) makes his return, as do Crylos and Ankharra (from Book 2)
- An evil power only hinted at in the previous books makes its first appearance, and boy, is it NASTY!
It’s super cool stuff.
So why can’t I get excited about it? Have I just pushed myself too hard?
I’m loath to take any sort of real “break”, because I’m afraid I may not be able to rekindle the flame. Maybe that’s silly. Maybe I’m just being paranoid.
But this – being a writer, a part of the Indie author movement — means a lot to me. I don’t want to screw it up. I have to find the balance between “pushing ahead” and “pushing too far”; between “pacing myself” and “giving up”; between “keeping the flame alive” and “burning out”.
I officially became an Indie author in early June of 2011, when I published “Blood Skies”. I had no idea it would be so damn hard.
I can do this. I can meet my original plans for a January release. But it starts now.
It’s time to find that fire.