A Quick Catch Up!
First off, thank you to everyone who responded to my survey about Patreon. You've given me a lot to think about! The winner has been emailed so please look for the message from me about claiming your prize. :)
Second, I want to take the opportunity to get a little real with you all. If you're not here for that, just scroll to the bottom of my drivel to claim your free book. ;) I promise no hurt feelings here.
Four years ago I decided to try and write a book with the ultimate goal of publishing. I worked so hard to learn the craft of writing and publishing, on top of working a full time job, a part time job, and having a family. I published my first book in 2019, and kept up the constant pressure on myself to continue to grow and produce more in order to really make it a career. I thought 2020 was my year... and then I had to cope with COVID like everyone else, on top of everything I was already doing.
2021 I caught my break- The Alpha Queen Legacy hit a note with readers, and my growing excitement to the fan response also carried a fair amount of anxiety about living up to their expectations for the series. I was terrified that I would be a 'one-hit wonder' and none of my subsequent works would capture people's interest or imaginations again. This put so much pressure on what I would release next.
In the midst of all of this, I ended a 9-year relationship and got my own place, determined not to miss a step and publish more books than I had the previous two years.
For some reason, I struggled. I couldn't understand it. I had everything I could want, things were going well, I had the amazing opportunity to live as a writer full time, and a folder brimming with ideas for stories. But I felt paralyzed, completely lacking in motivation to write. I dragged a couple of books out of myself to prove I could, then found myself in a worse position than I'd been in before.
As you know, I ended up cancelling a couple of pre-orders, and I've been taking some courses as well as doing some traveling. I know a lot of you might understand, but some may not, what it's like to experience burnout as a creative person.
I came to the realization that all the work I'd done, essentially working three jobs on top of running a household, giving every free minute I had to growing, learning, and working on my writing, had siphoned away my last drop of creative juices. The things that fill my well, sparking my creativity, were all the things I'd cut out in order to produce. I was too mentally tired to read new books, watch new tv shows or movies, or travel. And, to add insult to injury, when I finally had the time to do these things, I was punishing myself for my perceived failure by not allowing myself to do them.
My creative well was dry, and I just had nothing left to give. So I made the decision to give myself a huge break, and start scheduling in the things that fulfill me so I can start producing again. It's taken some effort and a lot of patience, but it's working. Aside from the deadline for Scent of Deception, I'm keeping my deadlines fluid for now so I can give myself as much grace (and as little pressure) as I need to keep working on refilling my well. Ya'll, it fills SO SLOWLY and it drains SO QUICKLY at this point. It's an uphill battle for me, and I just wanted to let you know where I'm at. I am currently working on three projects, a little at a time, and it feels so good to be writing again.
I wish I could publish a book a month, or more. Maybe, at some point in the future, I'll be able to do just that. Right now I am really just doing the best I can, and I'm so grateful that you're sticking around and supporting me through it all.
I promise you, I plan to continue this series. I'm just not ready to commit to release dates yet until I get a better relationship with my muse.