Yes, I've been avoiding all things writing-related as of late. Everything about it was getting on my nerves. I didn't even want to read a single thing in front of me. I also avoided my writing pals and music. So with a bucket (or two) of Blue Bell, I parked myself on the couch and went into a Netflix trance. When the writing bug finally bit once again, my computer decided to let me know how abused it is/was. At the moment, it is cooperating, but it's keeping me on my toes. It hated the internet for awhile, but that was probably for the better. I stalked a few publishers and chickened out before I managed to click SEND. Thus, I'm still sitting here with 9 WIPs of all shapes and sizes. If I had to, I could probably wrap up at least three, if not four. But I seem to have misplaced my motivation. I really, really, really, really wanted to have Always & Forever ready for release by August, since that is the 1 year anniversary of Where to Belong's release. Admittedly, there is still a slim possibility that might be accomplished. Yet, going by my recent productivity, I'm doubting it will happen. Why is it so hard to get this sequel out? Is it too much to ask for completing more than one WIP each year?
I've found another person to stand in as my editor. That was encouraging. Then I looked into the same self-pubbing thing I did for Where to Belong and realized I won't be able to repeat the process. I know I can't blame the company I used for changing their packages and upping their prices, but it was more of a let down than I should have let it been. Yes, there are other companies and programs, but that means change, and you know me and change. I do have the goal to be, one fine day, published by Tor. That will take much more work and perseverance than I am currently putting out. But that's ok. It's a goal. I know I will have to push myself to get anywhere close to it. That said, I'm still sitting here with those aforementioned WIPs.
I didn't find the answers in the bottom of either buckets of ice cream. I have one more in the freezer, but I'm daring myself not to find the bottom. Instead, and after finally turning off the TV, I took a serious look at my work. In all reality, the only thing holding me back is me. I like each WIP and want them all to one day be bound and waiting on the bookshelf for someone to discover.
I have a point.
My hubby and I managed to get down to Houston for Anna Bank's signing at Blue Willow Book Store. She was with four other authors. One had several works already out, the others were debut authors. It was refreshing to hear them discuss their nervousness and excitement about the entire process. I was reminded that it takes time, lots of time, to get a manuscript ready for anything that resembles publishable work. Rushing it never helps. I was also reminded of the importance of not locking myself away. It is easy to hide in a project and ignore the rest of the world. I've always been more of a wallflower than a social butterfly, so sitting on the sidelines pretty much comes natural to me. Another reminder mentioned was the need to let inspiration run its course. I didn't realize I was fighting it. But I was. It was encouraging to sit in that room with writers and readers alike and take in all the morale-boosting chatter. Now, while I chickened out during the question and answer process, I still got around to visit shortly with Ms. Banks and got my copy of Of Poseidon signed and personalized. It was the first signing I've ever been to. I had fun.
The ride home was long, so I had plenty of time to think over my standing as a writer. I might have figured a few things out. The trick, as usual, is sticking to it. I will follow through with self-pubbing Always & Forever. It will follow in the steps of Where to Belong as much as I can possibly manage. I'm approaching the editing a little differently, and I'm trying something new with the cover, but Smashwords will be my primary distribution route for starters. Odds are, I am making things for difficult for myself, but I'm avoiding Amazon more so this time around. While they work for many, and I really appreciate all their support through WtB, I am less willing to use them any longer. I won't go into detail, and the problem is more my fault, but it's there.
As for the other WIPs, I will do even more to reach out to publishing houses to see them completed. There are a few I'm stalking, and a few I'll steer clear of, but I'm learning. The past few years of this hobby have been very educational and I can't ignore the changes and development happening in the industry.
I lost my faith in indie work. I'm sad to admit it, but I did. That said, I've rebuilt it. There is nothing wrong with self-pubbing, indie-pubbing, or traditional-pubbing. Each has its pros and cons. Every writer has to decide individually which route is best for each WIP. I would like to try all three at one time or another. I can't stick my nose up at any. There are good examples and nightmares in each category. Trial and error. The road to publishing is ever evolving, and sometimes, one has to make their own way. Dare I say it's like ice cream. No one flavor is better than the rest. Some are made to go with cake or different toppings, while others are perfect on their own. Mood even plays a big part in picking which bucket comes home.
There, I'll stop with the ice cream before I have to go dive into some in the freezer.
But before I close this post, I want to take a moment to point out a trilogy that I have fallen in love with. The Lunara Series by Wyatt Davenport. The first installment, Seth and Chloe, is available for free in all e-formats. I'm haven't downloaded the others yet, because I turned into a reading zombie when I downloaded Seth and Chloe. I even passed up a trip to Home Depot to keep reading. HOME DEPOT! But now I have lots of stuff around the house I need to catch up on because of my bout with self-pity, then I will probably be a reading zombie again. Oh, and editing/rewriting zombie needs to happen sometime soon. Always & Forever is screaming at me.