Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November Update: Taking Stock

I wrote a total of zero words last month.

Even with meaning to write a story for the Cafe, I never wrote a word.

Well, that's not true. I wrote words. Blog posts. Journals. Emails. Plans. But no stories. I did a tiny bit of brainstorming for NaNo, but the blurb I wrote for the website was probably only a couple hundred words long, so I didn't count it.

Part of me was trying to save my creative energies for NaNo. Part of me decided I didn't want to write out of obligation. Yes, I wanted to tell the story, have one last tale from that serial on the Cafe...but it didn't happen.

That's not to say it won't. I will probably try to write it at some point this month, become a bit of a NaNo rebel, and maybe even write a Cafe story for the "goodbyes" prompt.

But maybe not.

I've got a small start on my NaNo novel so far, but I'm days behind par and I'm not really feeling much about the story I'm telling. Again, I find that I'm writing more out of obligation than any joy. It feels like a chore because it's November. It's a thing I need to mark off the to-do list, like laundry or paying bills or doing dishes.

So. It looks like my passion for writing really is winding down. NaNo hasn't really fixed anything, just re-emphasized that something is well and truly broken. And by broken, maybe I just mean played out.

I'm getting close to the end of the time I set aside to achieve the goal I set back when I turned 30. The reason I started this blog. To be a published author by the time I'm 40.

Next year is the last year for that. And...it's not enough time. I don't have a book ready to query, and even if I spent a few months finishing or cleaning up, beta readers wouldn't get it back to me in time to query and get any solid yes or no from an agent or publisher. And I'd need more years to actually sell that book to a publisher from there.

Even adjusting my goal to getting a book accepted by someone is probably impossible. Which isn't to say I should stop trying. It's not like I turn into a pumpkin the second I turn 40.

But. I have spent most of the last ten years working toward this goal. And I have had some success. I have had over half a dozen short stories published. I've won writing contests. I've queried two complete novels. I even finished writing an entire urban fantasy series.

Cobbled together, I guess you could say I achieved my goal, more or less. I am a published author and I did everything within my power to get a book out there.

And I'm tired. Or not even that, really. I have lots of energy when it comes to other pursuits. But with writing, I'm tired before I even begin. I need my passions to give me energy, not take it away.

So, I think, even though I could continue to strive for this goal beyond my thirties and into my forties...I don't think I'm going to. Next year, my last year in my thirties, I think I'm going to wrap stuff up. Decide what the last things I want to accomplish as a writer are, then close the book on this part of my life.

I guess this really should be more of a December post, rather than November. But I think I'm going to spend the next month or two figuring out a plan. I might actually move from writing new content to getting MystWatch out there. I could feasibly spend all next year cleaning it up, hiring cover artists and editors, then put it out after my 40th birthday. I kinda like that, honestly. Would be a really nice way to honor the last decade of work. My capstone project, as it were.

The only real problem with that plan is finances. I haven't saved up any money to actually self-publish. So we'll see. I'd have to borrow from my other savings goals to do it, and hope that eventually I could pay it back. I might not be ready to do that next year. The self-publishing of MystWatch is more of a vanity project than any expectation that it's going to make any money. More just to say I did it. Getting settled in a new house might take some precedence over that. We'll see.

Anyway. Yeah. Still not writing. Still not excited about writing. Although I did finally get my first beta read back on MystWatch. Mostly positive, so that's cool. It needs a bit of work, but nothing I can't handle. And there's a fairly natural place to break it into two books (just about dead center, even which wasn't intentional, but hey!). That's something I've thought about doing with the second two books, and then drastically paring down the first book to make it a five-book series in all.

I'll update again in December. See if anything has changed. Maybe by the end of NaNo, I'll be back in the groove of writing. Then all this talk of taking a break will have been for nothing.

Or it might just be the last nail on the coffin of this whole writing thing.