I had a year of extremely productive creative writing from September, 2012 to September 2013. Then I started to get a little distracted by the other part of writing.
What to do with it all?
The last thing I wrote, Spell Realm, seemed underdeveloped, so I told myself I needed to think about the practical publishing elements of writing. Does it do me any good to write a sequel, if the original isn't good enough? Do I really want to go off half-cocked on things, instead of thinking them through?
But... the minute I started thinking this way, it was as if the creative part of me started to switch off. I did manage to rewrite Faerylander in a productive way, and that was valuable. But I really believe I need to just get back to writing again.
I sort of consciously gave up on the critical thinking, practical part yesterday. I started writing a sequel that may not have any real practical utility. But that isn't the point. It has creative utility and that's what I need to focus on.
The minute I put the onus on myself to be "practical," to think about the endgame, the publishing part, I start to lose my way.
When I'm productive I think this way: Am I enjoying this? Do I like it? Do I think it holds together?
When I'm trying to be practical, I think this way: Will anyone read this? Is there something I can do that will make it more reader friendly? How does this come across to the reader?
None of these are bad things to think about -- but they are also inherent in the former method. By satisfying myself, I believe I satisfy the reader. The danger, I suppose, is that I'll be self-indulgent, or that I'll put something out that isn't ready.
But I've proven to myself, at least, that I'm willing to be patient, and to not release something until I think it's ready. The end result of doing it for myself, is very similar to the end result of trying to do it for others -- without all the downsides.
Simply put: The writing -- and what happens to the writing afterwards -- are two different things.
If I don't think about the publishing part, I'm very very prolific. I'm enjoying myself. I'm not second-guessing myself all the time. I feel more free to try different things, and to fail if that's what it takes. To experiment, to do it my way. To look inward, not outward.
It's the freedom of knowing that people may never read what I've done, but it doesn't matter as long as I know I'm accomplishing something. As long as I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile.
If I start worrying about success or failure or how it is going to be received -- then it becomes something different, less satisfying.
Let the fates decide. It's out of my hands. I'm going to write, and all that other stuff can wait.
So, I started to write a sequel to Deviltree, which I'm calling Deeptower. I was a little fuzzy on some of the details, the spelling of names and such, so I went to the digital copy of the original book that I had scanned into the computer.
After my writing session, I decided to start doing a final draft of Deviltree. The book is a little short -- about 57K words, and I'd like to get it to 60K words. It could be loosened up a little. It reads kind of formal, which has a kind of attraction, but I can embellish a little without losing that.
Linda did a editing job on it, so I'm going through the manuscript, page by page, putting in Linda's changes and whatever changes occur to me. I'll probably be done with the rewrite sooner than I'm done with the sequel, but that's all right.
So I'm excited to be back to creating original material, and curious if I can do that and also do a rewriting job at the same time. If I use the morning for the original material, and the afternoons for the rewriting, I don't see why not.
Meanwhile, the outside world is still out there but I'm ignoring it.
3 days ago