Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Writing Update for April 2018

I know, I've been absent for a long time.

I think everyone reaches a stage as a blogger when you feel like you're only rehashing your own thoughts or the thoughts of others. The main purpose of this blog is to share my discoveries as I aim to be a better writer in the hope that it helps others miss some of my mistakes or gets a lift in the right direction faster than I did.

So what have I learned lately? To chill out mostly, especially when it comes to writing. There are going to be good and bad days, entire chunks of time agonizing because of writer's block, or real life gets in the way of writing. I imagine it's much harder for people who are under contract to get their books done by a certain deadline. I don't want to imagine how stressed I'd be if I had to submit to a deadline like that! I do set my own goals and deadlines, but I've learned that's its okay if I don't meet them exactly - as long as I tried my best to meet them in the first place.

Book 2 has taken longer to put out than I originally planned. Firstly because I was burned out after publishing Book 1. I strained my eyes badly in the editing process, and when it was all over, I didn't even want to write. It wasn't enjoyable. Plus, I couldn't shake editor mode for the longest time. I hated it, because I had a goal, but I had to have a year off. Then slowly, I got back into writing again. I'm making great progress now. Book 2 is in the final deep revisions stage before heading into those tweaking and copy editing drafts. This time I won't blow my eyes out by staring at a screen too long.

And to support that, I won't announce the release of Book 2 until after copy edits are over. I'm all for a more laid-back release this time. Book 2 is garnering more excitement from critique partners than Book 1 did, which is saying a lot. Mostly, that I have chilled out and am enjoying the writing process, and secondly, I'm a better writer than before. It's progress, and I'm glad.

Along with ramping up my enthusiasm and time on Book 2, big changes have been going on for me in the social side of writing. I created a group for speculative fiction writers on Agent Query Connect a decade ago, and now we've branched out into our own private forum. It took some time to get the new site figured out and to make the move. I have two wonderful co-moderators helping me run things and a loyal core group of writers who wanted to stick together. I expect there will be lots of tweaking for awhile before we get into a strong rhythm. I look forward to continuing the process of improving my writing skills and helping others do the same on the new site.

What words of wisdom or advice can I offer with this post? Have goals and be realistic with them. Know your limits. Writing a story should be an enjoyable process in the long-run. And I still say it's best to take your time to write the best story possible than to rush in order to meet someone else's deadline or try to make a bestseller list. A lot of those best selling books do fade away in time. Books that endure have a better quality to them than meeting a trend. They have something to say or to show. It really depends on what your motivation to write is. Knowing that, can help you with the rest of the picture and knowing what to expect.

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