This whole five year writing thing has been really interesting to me.
I had incredible creative energy when I started. I kind of knew that it probably wouldn't last, nor could it be reproduced. That it was probably a one-time thing. I didn't know how long it would last. I probably never would have guessed a full year, much less the five years it ended up being.
The first year I barely raised my head or left the house. Once a week I needed to go to the store and that was probably a good thing. But mostly, I was into writing, writing, writing.
I didn't submit my writing until a full year went by.
The second year wasn't quite as pure as the first year. I was at least partially distracted by the publishing of my first books. Then again, it was quite the motivator.
The third year I could feel myself slipping a little in concentration, but by then I had pretty good processes in place and I was able to continue on at the torrid pace.
The fourth year started to see a bit of a slow down, a lot of concern about where the books were going and how they were doing. Instead of writing on my own inclinations I was obligated to finish books in a series or write a book I thought someone might like.
The fifth year was a continuation of that. Again, the processes were pretty established and I'd learned a lot about writing and if the energy flow wasn't at such a high level, my knowledge and experience made up for it. So no harm done.
I'm not feeling the urgency. It's just not there. In fact, I'm feeling somewhat satisfied with what I've accomplished. I feel like I can rest on my laurels for awhile.
A long time ago I heard the phrase, "Contentment writes a blank page."
At the same time, I fear that taking time off would mean never getting back to it.
Ironically, by moving to new publishers, my books have new life. I'd stopped writing the Virginia Reed books, though my original intention was to keep writing one of these a year. Virginia would be only 26 when the Civil War starts for instance. She'd be 65 at the turn of the century. So her story can span the whole settling of the West, from the mid-1840's on. I can pluck weird events in Western history.
The new rollout of my published books will probably take awhile and I'm not completely certain what form it will take. How many will be published in physical form, for instance, or what kind of marketing the new publishers will do, or whether audio books will be done. I'll accept whatever happens. To me, this is all very lucky. I'm probably better off for it happening.
I've been writing a book without any sense of urgency, titled "Castle La Magie." I head out for my walk without any ideas. At my first station, I sit and write a quick 250 words. Doesn't matter what. Then the rest of the walk I think about it and more often than not, I manage to get in 1000 words. I miss occasional days, or only 700 words. This is slow for me, but I'm keeping my hand in.
I've written several books this way, sort of placeholders until a stronger idea comes along. I picked up one my earlier "placeholders" the other day and...damn, it wasn't bad. It was actually pretty good.
Someday I'm going to do something about my Book Vault. But for now, I've got a new Virginia Reed book to write starting on January 1. Tentative title: "The Terrible Mr. Hoskins and the House of Many Rooms."
5 days ago