I’ve tried to think of a way to start this blog so many times, and I can’t think of the perfect thing, so let me just start with a confession: It’s been a rough year around here.
Okay, “rough” is an understatement.
I can’t really go into details (not that I’d even want to), so let’s just say that it seems like my family has been Satan’s punching bag since May. It’s not pretty. It hurts.
And it’s completely derailed my fiction writing.
It’s a major miracle that I managed to get Bloodbonded published and the print version of Ravenmarked out at all.
I’ve been back to soul-searching, and I’m not going to lie–that’s rough, too. It’s hard to know which direction to go. Freelance commercial writing? I’ve made a few in-roads, and I have a little work coming in, but it’s slow going, and I haven’t had a lot of time to focus on it. I’ve had almost no time to focus on fiction, and when I do, I open documents, stare at them for an hour, close them, and say I “worked on my book.” *insert snorting guffaw here* I think my Muse has moved to Tahiti. She may even be dead. I can’t really say.
So amid all of this, last week was the final announcement about the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off over at Fantasy-Faction. Ravenmarked lost to Paternus, and that’s fine. Paternus is a good book. Dyrk Ashton deserved to win. His work is much more in-tune with the pulse of fantasy than anything I write, and his world-building puts mine to shame.
But I have to admit… It was a confirmation that my work will never really be what the majority of fantasy readers want to read. I know, I know–“there’s always a market for classic fantasy.” Sure, but when people want to read classic fantasy, they read Lord of the Rings, not Ravenmarked. And every time I say these things, my threes of fans come along and encourage me, and while I certainly appreciate the kind words…
You guys have to admit–you’re in the minority.
But it doesn’t even matter, because I’ve tried going back to it. I’ve opened Unquickened a thousand times, stared at it, closed it. I thought working on something else might help, so I tried opening the dragon western. Nope. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Bupkis.
My creativity is dead. Like, time to call it and put a toe tag on.
Where does this leave me?
I’m at square one in my life right now. Back to the beginning. Right now, I’m just trying to eat better, exercise, and drag my attitude back to a place where it doesn’t kill my family to be around me. My kids and my husband need every spare ounce of brain power and emotion I have right now, and I gotta tell ya–it ain’t much. There’s nothing left for writing.
I don’t know how long this will last. I don’t know if I’ll ever be back to writing fiction. I tried giving it up before, and it was horrible. I needed to write. But now… There’s just nothing there. It’s empty, gone, dead–a dried up husk.
So in a way, losing that contest that I never should have entered in the first place was kind of a relief. There’s no pressure to go back to the next book. I can take some time and figure out if I can even go back or not. I can try to put my family and my life back together without the distraction of writing. I can maybe rebuild myself a little before something else comes along to knock me down or zap my time.
But what that means for right now is a long break. I don’t know how long. Could be a couple of months. Could be a year or more. I can’t say. It’s at least until my family is sort of put back together, and that… I have no estimate for how long that will take.
I am still pursuing commercial writing. It doesn’t cause the issues that fiction does, and I don’t suck at it.
But otherwise, I’ll be knitting and reading and trying to rebuild some semblance of a life.
Words can’t express how grateful I am to everyone who has encouraged me on this journey. You are the best twelve fans anyone could ever have. I want to fulfill my promise to you, but until that part of my brain kicks on again, I just… can’t.
So until later… I wish you all well, and I will update you when (if) there is something to update.
Until then… Best to you all.