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.