Monday, February 29, 2016

Take a Deep Breath

Since I started getting serious about writing back in July, I've been pretty dedicated. I've written nearly every day, and it's allowed me to do more than I ever would've expected to do. Once I get finished with the one I'm on now, I'll have completed first drafts on eight books, with one nearly to the point of being published independently and others in various stages of the editorial or submission process. That's a lot. Had you told me I'd have accomplished that back in July, I wouldn't have believed it.

Things have changed in my day job lately that has caused it to suck up more of my time and sanity than I like. It's only temporary, but it's still a mental drain. That's made keeping my schedule of working on the new stuff every night and doing edits throughout the week before making the changes on Monday tough to keep up with. As a result, my editing backlog is growing and growing at a rate that's starting to become intimidating.

To that end, I'm going to do something I didn't think I would. Once I finish the one I'm working on, I'm going to take a week to two week long break before starting anything new. Instead, when I would normally be working on that, I'm going to try and get something cleared out on my backlog of edits. My hope is that this will help me get caught back up again. If I devote the time I spend on new things to that, I should be able to knock it back down to a manageable size again fairly quickly.

Not that I'm done with new stuff; quite the opposite. I already have ideas in mind for what's next on the list, and for the one that's up after that. I have basic concepts for things beyond that. So the new stuff is still coming, I just need to make sure I'm not repeating myself or getting into a place where I'm only looking at first drafts to be able to submit to traditional publishers and not relatively finished works that will stand a better chance of being noticed among all the other submissions they get.

I just need to learn to pace myself, and take a deep breath now and again.

And in case you think I'm getting lazy, think again. I have three (about to be four) books waiting to get a second draft, am working toward getting Consequences out for purchase by the end of April, waiting to hear back still on Jeremy Todd, and still have a lot of work to do on getting Homecoming to the quality I think it can be. I'll be working, and you'll definitely still be hearing from me. Like I said, one to two weeks. That's all.

Call it a working vacation. Eight first drafts: I think I've earned it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

An Ending and a Beginning

I'm kind of dealing with some mixed feelings tonight. I just finished the first draft of Cochran #4, called The Perception of Reality. On one hand, that's a good thing. On the other hand, this is the last Cochran book I have in mind. The ending leaves room for more, but I just don't have any real workable ideas for another one. Not right now, at any rate.

See, what's been happening is I'd finish a standalone book, then work on the next Cochran book, and back and forth and so on and so forth. Now I can't do that. And that feels a little strange to me.

Not that I don't have any more ideas for stories. Quite the contrary. The question is which of the ideas I'm going to tinker with next. For this one, it's an idea I had while on vacation in the Smoky Mountains this past weekend. Which is weird, because before that idea came to me, I had three other options to choose from. Well, technically four but one is still gestating in the brain and not quite ready for exploration. So it's not like I'm going to stop writing or something stupid like that.

Still, I've come to love these characters like family in the six months or so I've spent with them. I always dreamed of doing a series of books, and these guys allowed me to do that. I'm going to miss playing around with them and seeing what kind of new trouble they're going to get up to this time. My only hope is that I've done them justice for their present send-off.

Of course, the publishing industry being what it is and how it works, once they start coming out no one may notice the gap if I end up with a good idea and do another one. It may be a continual stream that will make me look back at this post and shake my head at my lack of foresight. After all, if there were a fifth book, I already know who the client is and I know what one of the subplots would be. So who knows?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.