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I apologize for disappearing for–Wow! It’s really been a month, hasn’t it? Well, my only excuse is that reporting that there was nothing to report would be as boring for me to write as it must be for you to read.

Now, however, summer is here. I have a couple of months to work on things. That includes a thorough house cleaning and a good deal of yard work. But it also includes finding a way back into regular writing.

That–well, honestly, all three of those–are going to require the application of some self-discipline. The only one that I’ve made any headway on so far is the yard work, but that has to change. So, I will begin to have something to say again, soon.

Starting, of course with the completion of that re-read of the original version of MAGE STORM, so that I can hopefully find my way into the rewrite with the enthusiasm needed to complete it.

Mage Storm

Forward!

Reread

What with one thing and another, I’ve just started my reread of the original version of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

So far, I’m enjoying it. It’s too early to say if it will re-ignite my enthusiasm for this story, but I’m hopeful. It’s a good story.

Yes, it will need some rewrite/revision. But this time I’m going to focus more on just making the story what it really wants to be rather than trying to impose a whole new structure on it. And I’m not even going to start the rewrite until I’ve finished my read through.

It sounds strange to admit that I didn’t do this when I started the rewrite before. In retrospect, it really is the obvious first step. Yes, of course I know how the story goes. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to go back for some of the nuances.

And nothing says I can’t make a few notes about what needs to be changed when I do start the rewrite again.

Okay, this writer’s block has lasted more than long enough. If taking a break was going to help, it would have by now. Time to, as my grandmother would have said, take the bull by the horns.

The first thing I’m going to do is read through the original version of MAGE STORM and try to remember what it was that excited me about that story in the first place.

Mage Storm

While I do that, I’m going to also rethink a couple of things.

Mage Storm needs a rewrite. What it doesn’t need, perhaps, is me trying to shoehorn it into a mold that worked before. It doesn’t have to grow into a 100,000-word epic–unless it wants to, of course. Maybe that’s the realization I needed to make.

I also needed to confront something else that may have been–all right, probably was and is–affecting my motivation generally.

I never really expected to make a lot of money writing–very few writers do. I don’t do this to pay the bills. (Some months, that’s a very, very good thing.) That’s not why I write.

Still, my Dual Magics series did pretty well.

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And, the thing about that is: I don’t know why. I didn’t do any marketing at the beginning, not even on social media. And, really, whatever marketing I’ve attempted has pretty much fizzled. But that series did well, anyway. Who know why?

And I tried to replicate that with the Become Series, only this time a very, very tiny bit better at promotion. And fell flat.

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I completed the series in January and so far I haven’t even made back what I spent on covers–and I do my own covers–and marketing around the release of the final book. What makes it harder is that I think this series is my best writing so far. I don’t even know what readers think because I’m still waiting for the first review on either of the full-length books.

That’s disappointing, though I know that publishing, especially indie publishing, moves on and what worked a couple of years ago–even if I knew what that was–probably wouldn’t work now. Like I said, I didn’t go into this expecting to make a lot of money, but nobody likes to think they’re just talking to themselves.

But, the thing is, if that’s going to bother me now, when it didn’t before, because my first few books before the Dual Magics series didn’t do any better, then I’d better start figuring out what does work.

And, if I’m not ever going to be a marketing wizard–I can get better at it than I am, but let’s not expect miracles–then I should look around at some of my fellow indie authors and see what’s working for them in their writing. Fortunate for me the indie authors, on the whole, like to lift each other up, not tear each other down.

One thing I’ve notices, contrary to what some “experts” say, sometimes shorter books with quicker turn around do better than longer ones published farther apart.

Worth a try.

 

I know I was MIA last week. I didn’t really have anything to report. I might have picked up one or two things that could possibly turn up in world building later. But world building isn’t a story.

However, I will be doing a character interview with Gaian from the Become series tomorrow from 1 to 2 (Eastern time) on Fantasy and Sci-Fi Readers Lounge.

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Come by and ask a question.

It occurred to me that one way to break out of a rut is to learn something new. So, I’ve signed up for the Great Courses Plus–a subscription streaming service of the Great Courses.

I’ve started with “The Celtic World”. Who knows what little factoid will spark a new idea and the creative fire to go with it. The worst that can happen is that I’ll learn something. And, knowing how these things work, that something–or a version of it–might turn up in a future story.

Win Win.

That, and discovering that Sadie loves to play in the hose are enough to make today a good day.

Wet Sadie

Sadie before getting towel dried. Happy and very, very wet.

I think a part of my writer’s block may be due to draining the creative well.

I’ve been in . . . well, I’ve been in a rut for a while now. After all, ruts are . . . comfortable. Truth be told, I’m very much a creature of habit and have a tendency to try to duck out of anything that disrupts that.

But . . . too much of the same for too long can let the creative well run dry. So I need to push myself out of the comfort zone a bit. Do some things I enjoy, but haven’t done for too long. Try some new things. Just . . . recharge.

Of course, I’ll have to balance that against the very long list of chores I’ve got to do around here. But hopefully it’ll be worth it. Maybe it’ll even stir up some brand new–and exciting–story ideas.

Now, that’s not necessarily a solution to my writer’s block, but it certainly won’t hurt.

 

Serendipity

Late again. Wednesdays can be like that. Then again, so can Thursdays, obviously.

Sometimes, when I post about a problem, it almost feels as if the universe is trying to answer.

This week:

David Farland’s newsletter had a post that recalled imposter syndrome–something we all suffer from occasionally. (And may be a little of what is affecting my motivation right now, but more on that in another post.)

More to the point, Mary Kole posted about Writing Motivation, with the first suggestion being to take a break and maybe try some other creative outlets, which is basically what I’m starting to do now. The second suggestion was to write something else, but I’ve already tried that. 

I’ve downloaded a coloring book page from an author whose whimsical images of dragons are among my favorites and started playing around with that. (I picked the Easter Dragon as being appropriate to the season.) Well, I’m not coloring it in the traditional sense. I took it through a couple of programs so I could upload it into a graphics program that gives me way more colors to play with than my little set of colored pencils ever dreamed of.