Thursday, September 12, 2019

Postpartum Book Blues


Black Lilies has officially been released. I should be ecstatic, but instead I'm feeling kind of blah about it. I'm sure part of the reason is due to some publishing glitches, which puts me in a weird sort of limbo as far as celebrating. But also, it's the fact that while doing the back-and-forth dance with Amazon and waiting for the book to be finalized, I've been stuck between writing projects. I have no multitasking skills and have never been able to move on with a new project when the current one still needs to be squared away. So as a person who loves writing, I should feel antsy that I'm not writing right now, shouldn't I? I should feel agitated and unhappy. But instead, not having a project to work on feels amazing. I love having free time. Work is stressful (there's no getting around that), but my time at home feels so much more relaxed right now without the 'burden' of trying to finish a book. I'm having a blast doing stuff with my family without any of the writer's guilt that usually comes along with it. So ironically, feeling happy has got me feeling...blah. Because why am I not aching to write? Isn't it kind of a big deal that I haven't clacked away at a keyboard for a good two months, yet I don't miss it?

Basically, writing is something I have to do (due to the obsession), but it doesn't always make me happy doing it. Take this summer. I spent most of the season working on Black Lilies, and I'm suffering with a case of missing-out-syndrome. Now I'm back to work, and I'm in a state of shock that summer is already over. My brain is fixated on all the things I could've/should've done over break, like hiking with the kids, riding quads, painting/drawing with Trin, shooting bows, etc. Instead, I worked on a book. I tuned out my family for the better part of most days so I could write, edit, revise, etc. Am I going to regret this someday? I mean, of course I will, because it's not even 'someday' yet and I already regret it. Trin's 19 now, so her days living with us are winding down, and Elijah is 15. I feel like in my quest for publishing a book or two, I'm letting life slip by.

If I wrote standalone books, I could take time off after finishing a novel and focus on my family. Six months, or even a whole year. I could go ice skating with them, and to the movies, and out for smoothies. But I don't write standalone books. Not yet. Chasing Echoes--the first book I ever wrote--is part of a series. I wish I could go back in time and tell past-me not to do a series. The flippin' thing is holding me hostage. As much as I love the Aevos sisters and their incredible world, I just want to be free of it. I want one completed project so I can take a break. I want to work on a brand new novel that I feel no pressure to write, one that finishes and ends in the same cover.

So instead of feeling accomplished right now for finishing book 2 of the Chasing Echoes series, I feel frustrated that I still have one more book to go before I can call this series done.

*Update: All of the above was from awhile ago. I talked to Clint and the kids that night about how I was feeling. I told them I was thinking about not working on the third/final book of Chasing Echoes until Elijah started college, that way I could make sure I don't lose these final precious years with the kids. They were appalled by this and insisted that I need to keep writing, and told me they would help me come up with a schedule next summer that allows me to divide my time between family stuff and writing. They also said that I didn't need to worry about neglecting them, that they were totally fine, and Trin pointed out all the fun things we did as a family this year (which was more than I remembered!). So now I'm feeling better about things, but...I still feel a little 'off'. I think I'll feel better once Spring of Crows is outlined and I have a schedule to ensure that it doesn't take over my life.

11 comments:

  1. I don't know how I feel when I release a book. I get excited when I upload files. So it wears off by the time the book comes out. Usually on release day I'm pretty chill and just like "cool, the book the live." I need to make more a point to celebrate. I celebrate when I finish a book, so I guess I feel like I've already celebrated.

    This kind of series exhaustion is why I dropped my vampire series seven years ago. I wanted to write them, but I knew how long it would take me to write and edit all of those books (there were four total), and I just couldn't do it. Of course by now it would be finished. And unfortunately (and maybe fortunately) I still want to write these books. I know I can do a trilogy for sure, but I asked my brain to figure out a way to make a duology work. Lol! I need closure!

    I'm happy your family is supportive. It seems like you often have an adventure to post. Maybe sometimes you're in a cave, but you still spend plenty of time in the sun. I hiked around a mountain earlier this week and got more sun in those few hours than I've gotten in probably two years.

    If it makes you feel better, you only have one book left, and we will all be very happy to see it! You can use some of my excitement as fuel. ^_^

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    1. I think that's part of my 'anticlimactic' feeling, too. I felt all of my euphoria when I typed the last sentence of the novel. By the time I edited it, revised it, edited it some more, uploaded the files, redid this or that, uploaded again...well, the actual release of the final product feels a little meh. Maybe if we make a point to celebrate on "Release Day," we'll start feeling more excited about it?

      Chasing Echoes (as you know) was originally going to be FOUR books! As much as I loved the idea of four books for four sisters, I'm so glad I pared it down to three, 'cause I'd die if I had to write two more books in this series. I like the idea of a duology because once you finish the first book, you only have one more to go. It's totally doable. If C.E. were a duology, I'd be done by now! A trilogy is a tougher, but I have no doubt you have the dedication and writing stamina to get through it.

      That hike sounds awesome!

      Thanks for loaning me some of your excitement-fuel; I'll need it.

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  2. Start writing your short stories

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    1. Rick, this sounds like you. ;) Yeah, my mom wants those stories, too (the Gumball ones, right?). But I feel like I can't start it/them until I finish the Chasing Echoes series!

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  3. Very Nice and Informative Blog. By The WayHappy New Year in Advance.

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  4. I have the opposite problem. I start all the projects, but am paralyzed with an inability to finish any of them. So I have like four mostly finished novels sitting on my hard drive, but I can't believe in or finish any of them. I'm sure your family is incredibly proud of your accomplishments finishing and publishing two novels. Hell, I know I am!

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    1. You've told me about your finishing-a-project-phobia. It's weird because I totally get it. I know I'm going to be terrified to type out the last line of SPRING OF CROWS (the next/last book in the series), but I can't put my finger on why I'll feel this way. Maybe because this is the point where the story ends, and what if it's not good enough? What if it doesn't satisfy? What if I inadvertently leave loose ends that tick off my readers? What if the whole thing is a failure? So in this sense, writing a series has saved me from feeling these things, since up to this point I've been allowed to leave things unresolved. For you, I think ending the story means you now have to 'put it out there', and that's a very vulnerable feeling. I'm a relatively social person and it makes me feel 'exposed', so I can only imagine how much that feeling is amplified for an introvert.

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