Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Year in the Life of a Writer

I haven't blogged in a while.

Between mid-July and mid-December of last year, I wrote 153 posts. I had been participating in a weekly blog challenge set up by a fellow ex-Booktrope member, then added to it when a good friend of mine, A.K. Lawrence, asked me to post with her on a different 30 day challenge. We decided to stick with it and that month turned into five. I wrote a lot in that time, and, for the most part, I had fun doing it. Some of those posts were tough ones - topics that made me pull some deeply buried feelings out that hadn't seen the light of day in years. There were also some that made me take a hard, critical look at who I am not only a writer, but as a person. There was good and bad, but ultimately, the experience was incredibly positive for me. I'm glad I wrote each post. Even the hard ones. Okay, maybe even especially the hard ones.  

By the time late December came around, I decided I was feeling overwhelmed. Not a little overwhelmed, but a whole lot overwhelmed. My editing company, Wing Family Editing, was enjoying a strong and steady business and I was writing a ton, but I wasn't writing my novels. While working with word prompts and writing short stories was fun and, in my opinion, beneficial in helping me hone my craft, the act of coming up with a short story on a daily basis became increasingly difficult. 

My head is a busy, busy place. I was just adding to it, bringing in more ideas and more characters. It was getting loud up here. I had to step back. Leave the blog alone for a bit.

I've only written four posts since 2017 started ... and two of those were interviews with other authors. I won't write 153 posts this year, but I still think I might be able to post at least once a week. We'll see what happens.I miss blogging ... I just can't do it every day.

Before 2017 began, I decided I needed to get myself organized. I got myself a calendar and I started penciling in deadlines for the projects I most wanted to tackle this year. I work best when I have deadlines to follow. I know this about myself, so this year is scheduled ... and it's gonna be a doozy.

I have three releases coming up. Right now I'm working on the second book in my Goddess of Tornado Alley series. This one is called Brides, Beasts & Baklava. I tried to write it while blogging so much last year, but it wasn't flowing. My brain was too preoccupied. I have an outline for this novel, but I couldn't follow it ... not with all the other assorted stories I was busy concocting. Now that I'm focused more on this particular project, I find that it's coming along nicely.

In September I'll be re-releasing The Color of Thunder, which was my debut novel. I'd like to think I've learned a lot since it was introduced in late 2012. I self-published that book through Xlibris and, while I hold all the rights, I still have some hoops to jump through in order to pull it completely from their grasp. That includes a new cover and a thorough edit. This one was the first. It percolated in my brain for a good thirteen years before I finally got it published. It holds a special place in my heart and I'm incredibly excited about its re-release.

The Gannon Family will return in a Christmas novella. While writing the second book in that series, A Skye Full of Stars, I found myself writing snippets of things that didn't wind up in the finished novel. Because those characters never leave my head, (some of them are actually quite loud and are insistent about having my attention) I decided to combine what I'd already written with some other ideas that had been nagging at me. When I finally sat down and put it all together, I realized I had a full outline for another book. Look for A Warm Winter Skye in mid-December.

I'm still editing. I've been fortunate that my little business has taken off. On May 1st I'll celebrate my first full year. It's been an amazing one, and I'm continually taking on more authors.

And what will become of all those short stories I wrote for my blog at the end of last year? Will they fall into blogger obscurity, never to be seen or heard from again?

Like I'd ever let that happen.

I entered a shortened version of Treasure Hunt in a Writer's Digest short story contest at the first of the year. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything. There has also been a brief discussion among the members of the Writing Challenge Warriors group - the gang I did all those writing challenges with - about combining some of our favorite posts and publishing them together in a pretty little book. I'm not sure if that will happen or not, but I've already got some other ideas about that. Don't be surprised if someday in the not too distant future you read right here that I'm releasing another book ... this one a collection of short stories. I might already have a title and cover design in mind - but we'll wait to see what happens. Until then, you can read a few of the posts I like the most, such as The Monster Under My Bed, Surprise Getaway and Prince Charming.

Like I said before, I'm going to try to post weekly - maybe a book teaser, perhaps just some personal mental musings ... and quite possibly some more short stories.

Have a great weekend, everyone!