National Coffee Drinking Month
You know what happened last November?
I wrote my first publishable book. Now I'm not saying that my other books aren't good. Not saying that at all. In fact, when I think of my epic Fantasy Series, it's like thinking about a first love. Whereas my Firebird SciFi series is a current lover who, while I still am deeply infatuated with, can never have that resounding pang, that bullet to the heart.
If you think it's weird for me to talk about books as lovers, then you might want to skip this blog. Because it's entirely about my relationship with writing. And let me tell you what, we're not getting along.
Every November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I'd never heard of it until last year. Let me paint you a word picture. It's October 29th, 2017. I'm sipping a cup of tea, because I'd already beasted a pot of coffee, and piddling around in the Twittersphere. I started seeing some cool people posting cool art for Inktober (another thing I didn't know was a thing), and others--my beloved writer-humans--hashtagging something called Preptober. What was everyone prepping for?
Turns out, a massive group of awesome humans unite in November with the sole purpose of writing their novels. Well, I said to myself, this is something I should get on board with! So I sat down November 1, 2017 and binge-wrote a book that had been on the back burner of my mind.
I didn't really expect people to like it. It was one of those books that just had to happen, like a splinter I finally managed to work out of my thumb. I needed to write that book, and that was going to be enough.
But then my beta readers loved it. They talked about it, they wrote about it, they inspired me to craft a world around it. And before I knew it, I had an entire series in mind.
So I published my first book. I didn't even try to go the traditional route. It was simply something I needed to do, something I'd always wanted to say, and once said, I was as proud as a peacock.
And why not? I enjoy telling stories, and I love being able to hand people a copy of my book when they ask me what I do for a living, instead of hemming and hawing about wanting to be a published author. And sure, it's had its ups and downs. But I've not once regretted publishing.
So here we are. I decided that I will write each new Firebird book for NaNoWriMo. It's almost halfway through November, and I'm over halfway through the 50,000 words. I actually have been for a while now. The beginning of the story was singing through me, and there were those beloved times when my fingers couldn't keep up with my brain. It's like I was channeling magic, straight from my soul, and I was really, really excited to have people read this next installment of an evolving series.
To loosely quote a man called George, anything that comes before the word "but" doesn't count.
But. I haven't written anything in four days. I haven't written anything worth reading in a week. And worse still, I don't want to.
I don't know what changed. Maybe it's the time of year. I'm cold, it's snowing, and I wake up in darkness. Maybe I'm depressed, because sometimes life just catches up to you. I might be anxious, because holy hells there's a lot on my plate. I'm worried about maintaining a sole proprietorship, designing a new book cover, finishing this second installment in time. I'm gnashing my teeth over road blocks, I'm concerned that I haven't found the perfect voice actress for an audio book, and I haven't gotten my shit together enough to start selling wholesale to bookstores.
All of that, and I just started a new full-time job. And while it's challenging, rewarding, and all-around a great opportunity, it's also draining my energy. I get home, and I make dinner, and I stare at a TV show or a video game because my brain is over-boiled spaghetti.
But that's life, you know? Sometimes, it just kicks the ever-loving shit out of you. And I'm a firm believer in that if something is making you unhappy, you fix it. If you can't fix it, you move on. Dwelling on struggles just blows them out of proportion, drives you to do something you regret.
So, write. Even if it isn't good writing, write it anyway. Because sometimes, stories are a dark room and you have to feel around to find the door.
I think that writer's block is less of a block and more of a hurtle. And that hurtle is usually trying to tell me something. I couldn't continue the story because I was going in the wrong direction, making a character do something that wasn't her.
I'm starting to feel the cracks, starting to peek through and rediscover this story. Because let me tell ya folks, this is one hell of a book. I feel the pieces, I see the faces, and all that's left is to put them in order.
Book 2 is having a rough patch. That's ok. It will shine all the brighter, in the end. I think it will be better than the first one. I think that this story will sing.
So get ready for Olympus, Book 2 of the Firebird Chronicles.