Welcome to your next destination on this wonderful blog hop where we writers talk about our process. The wonderful Kate Sparkes offered me this spot and I gladly took it, knowing this would be the perfect time to let you in on what’s been going on with me, my process, and explaining why that second book you’ve all been waiting for is very unfashionably late.
But first, a little explanation about how this blog hop works… Basically as I see it, it’s a never-ending Monday blog hop (which is pretty cool) where you talk about your writing process, and then offer up three other writers (published or unpublished) who will be posting the following Monday and say a bit about each one of them.
Now for… My Process…… o.O’ *cue dramatic music*
I have published one novel, Ensuing Darkness, book 1 in The Dark Chronicles series. I spent more than a couple years working on this, morphing it into this and that, all-the-while creating the very first semblance of a writing process. I had everything planned out in as much detail as I could manage for every book in the series. It was a done deal and, to me, guaranteed that I would only have to write it once and be done (*scoffs* yeah right). My perfectionist side was much more aggressive back then, having a bad habit of holding me down and beating me to a pulp every time someone suggested a change, pointed out any errors I’d missed, etc. I got pretty depressed because of that and when I didn’t suddenly burst into sudden fame and stardom with money raining down on me. Haha, naive thoughts of someone who was nowhere near as prepared as she thought she was to enter into the Indie Author World.
After I published is when I found out how much more work I had still ahead of me. Between the rewrites my perfectionist/people-pleasing side was making me do, starting and trying to maintain a blog, creating and trying to maintain a presence on all of these freakin’ social media sites I was told I had to be on constantly, and feeling my depression grow, it seemed like I would never get anything right. Then my husband (fiance back then), left for USAF Basic and I spent over 8 months without him, going through a whole other kind of hell with some extended family I was forced to stay with. It was hard to keep my depression from engulfing me completely, but I managed as best I could, and it helped that every time I visited my other half I would come back refreshed, re-energized, and surprisingly thinking about my books again. 🙂
Fast-forward a bit… Everything was infinitely better once I got to bring him home (now all mine with a ring on his finger 😉 ). I’d started reading again, and building my creative juices back up from nothing, which if any of you have had to do this too, you know it’s pretty freakin’ hard and can take forever. I was still going back and forth on whether I was good enough to try writing again. I have a journal laying around somewhere with entries saying that I’d decided to stop writing with a list of all the reasons why, only to have the next entry talking myself back up again and mentioning me working on a story idea. Real writers can never quit, and I accepted that then.
Depression still had a grip on me under the surface, continuing to play with my head and hinder my attempts at starting to write again long after Hubs and I moved up to where we are now, even after we found out we were pregnant it plagued me and having the first half of my pregnancy be as difficult as it was didn’t help either. But finally, FINALLY, things started to turn around for me about 4-5 months ago. I realized that I was tired of rewriting this damn book. I liked it just the way it was, and if I kept redoing it because ONE person said something, then I’d never get passed it, I’d never progress in my writing career. I realized I wasn’t going to be happy, truly happy, unless I did something for myself, something I wanted to do because I wanted to do it and nothing else.
I had been killing myself over trying to write book 2 in The Dark Chronicles series because it was over-due and I felt I owed the readers (what few I had from the little marketing I did) the next book. Well, I hadn’t been excited about that story in a long time, so I took a break and did other things. I started refreshing the drawing skills I’d left in the dust when I started focusing solely on writing and nothing else. I got some clay and created things, I started crocheting Hubs a blanket that I still haven’t finished, I started learning how to paint, and didn’t judge the perfectness of my work at all (and if I did I was ridiculously positive about it 🙂 I mean, whatever works, right?).
Being crafty like that, reading, not thinking about my books and trying hard to think nothing but positive and creative thoughts really helped turn me around. I was happy, really happy, and felt the creative energy flowing through me like a tidal wave. This was AWESOME, and it also taught me a new way to write, creating an entirely new writing process that I’m still discovering today.
As of right now, I have just under 30k done on Empowering Darkness (book 2), a true first draft that has not seen a hint of my “editor eyes”, and I’m actually still happy and excited about the story. I’m also working on building the setups for two other series, both in different genres from each other and The Dark Chronicles series. When I write, I don’t look back, and have learned that this is called “storm-writing”. Of course, I still have as much planned out as possible, but I do all my story questioning and planning in my notebooks, so when I transfer to the computer screen I just fledge out some of the details, tweak where needed, add scenes, you get the idea. In a way, I guess you could say I’m trying to become a reformed people-pleaser. I’ve gotten my self-confidence back, I know what I want to do, and I’m going to do it. I still sometimes fight the fear of whether or not everyone else will like my work by telling and showing myself the proof that they already do. I’m a writer. I’m good at what I do, and I know it now, for real. Excited energy flows through me at writing those words, and because of all the awesomeness I have planned for the future.
I hope this post has shed some light for my readers as to why book 2 is so late. Also, if there’s anyone else new to the author world reading this, I hop this post and all the others in this blog hop prove to you that this path you’ve chosen may not be easy, but you’re not alone in your hardships. This is one of the reasons I’m so happy I was asked to participate in this ongoing event, because I’m glad to know I’m not alone.
Now, to pass on the torch to who you can expect next Monday’s post from…. Christine M. Butler and Lindsey Sablowski!
Christine M. Butler currently resides in South Carolina with 3 of her 4 children and two rescue animals, a dog named JoJo and a cat named Simi. She loves to write anything fiction, is a huge fan of urban fantasy, and generally everything that actually uses imagination. Quote: “I think the greatest departure we can get from reality is to dive into a completely fictional world that once lived in the mind of an awesomely creative individual!”
Lindsey R. Sablowski is a fantasy author. She is known for her debut novel Cursed With Power and sequel Shadows and Embers. She lives in Maryland with her boyfriend and two cats. Lindsey has always adored reading and writing. Her two published books are part of the Magicians series, consisting of a total of five books. The third installment in the series, Thicker Than Blood, will be releasing this August.
Can’t wait to see these ladies’ posts! Don’t forget to look for them next Monday! 🙂
~ Sabrina -_^