Monthly Archives: August 2016

Sabbatical

You guys get the update before YouTube subscribers this time. I tried to do a video about this, about goals and taking advice and deciding what really makes you happy rather than just thinking you want what everyone else thinks will make them happy… and it just didn’t work out.

I can’t talk about it coherently yet.

But I did manage to post about it in my Facebook group this morning, and it seemed like a post that was worth sharing here (with slight modifications).

For quite a while I’ve been putting pressure on myself to do everything quickly. To follow the rules that say “publish or perish.” To have less than a year between book releases in a massive trilogy, to hold myself to deadlines that are supposed to be helpful, and to do it all with a smile while achieving my absolute best work.

It’s insane. It really is. For some people all of this works. Tight schedules. Multiple series. Cranking out books, drawing from the creative fountain without needing a break. But I’m learning that for me, it’s wrong. Everyone is unique, and has unique needs, gifts, and challenges. I have a family that doesn’t get the best of me when I’m buried under stress. I have physical pain that cuts me off from work, family, and life, and that’s made worse by tension and stress. I have depression and anxiety, and thanks to the pressure I put on myself to finish the Bound trilogy on time, my writing has become a real trigger for that.

I used to write to heal myself. Now I sit at the computer and feel like crying because I’m scared of not living up to my own expectations, because the words won’t come, because my brain wants to focus on ANYTHING but that blank screen.
And that’s wrong. This is not what stories should be for me. I shouldn’t feel like I need to hide from a part of my spirit.

So I’m taking a bit of a sabbatical.

I’m cancelling edits I had scheduled for a book that’s been suffering under my inability to let my imagination loose. I’m clearing the decks. And for a while—maybe a few weeks, maybe a few months—I’m not going to be “a writer.”

I’ll still be here.

I’m still going to write. I’ll post more on my blog. Maybe I’ll pick at that long-suffering book or my B project, but only if I feel drawn to them. Maybe I’ll take on flash fiction challenges that have no chance of making money, so they can be purely creative enterprises to share. I’ll read about writing craft and take time to apply the lessons. I’ll research whatever topics float my boat on any given day, and try to learn a new language. Hell, maybe I’ll try poetry. You never know.

Maybe I’ll learn to love reading again when there’s no reason to be competitive or to compare my work to anyone else’s. Maybe I can learn to lose myself in other people’s worlds.

Basically, I’m taking time to get healthy. To turn writing back into a playground rather than an assembly line. When I get back to “for real” writing, my hope is that the books I create for you will be filled with more magic, more surprises, more love, and more generous stories than I can even imagine right now.

It’s scary. Deadlines and publishing schedules feel so essential when writing puts food on the table. But my work deserves me at my best, and so do my readers. So here we go. A fresh, unexpected adventure.

This blog will be more active as I try to recover my creative spark and my will to write, as I get my headaches and brain fog and ongoing attention issues under control (or learn how to live and work with them. Sometimes you have to embrace what you can’t change, right?). I’ll post any new fiction stuff here, let you know how things are going.

For readers, this won’t make a huge difference in terms of when the next book comes out. Waiting for me to get better and do my best work shouldn’t work out to a longer delay than a miserable me forcing out junk and having to repair it. And the end product will be so much better.

The stories are there. I just have to get myself ready to welcome them into the world.

Hold on tight. It’s going to be a crazy ride.

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Go Indie Now Book Box (July Unboxing)

I’ve never been really into subscription boxes. I mean, they look great, but they tend to be expensive, and I’d rather spend the money just buying what I want. Cheap make-up sample bags were nice for a while, but even that got old and too expensive to be a regular thing.

BUT.

Once in a while I like to treat myself and try something new, and when I saw the Go Indie Now book box on Instagram, it looked like a good option. Indie books, handmade stuff, and a multi-sensory reading experience? Definitely worth a second look. So I went ahead and ordered when a box theme came up that I really liked the look of.

So yeah, I skipped the Historical genre box and waited for fairy tales.

Here’s the unboxing video. I was really happy with this box. Based on this one experience, I’d recommend it for people who love indie/handmade stuff and getting creative care packages in the mail. If you like polished and mass-produced, this may not be the box for you; while there are professional-looking materials in here and the products and books are great quality, the box definitely has a personal feel with hand-written notes in cute, quick handwriting from the person who puts the box together. I’d say this one overall looks more professional than the pictures I saw of earlier boxes, but it still has that personal feel.

Getting two books/bibliotherapy sessions was a really nice treat, especially since I got one in a preferred genre and one that’s a bit of a stretch for me. And the fact that they’re carefully curated makes me feel confident that I’ll get a good reading experience.

Check out the video, and if you’d like to take a closer look at the box, visit http://www.goindienow.cratejoy.com

Note: Yes, I paid for my own box and shipping. No, I did not receive anything in exchange for this unboxing/review, and my books are not scheduled to appear in the box. I just like indie books and authors and want to share. 🙂


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