The Road So Far

Yes I did steal that. No I am not ashamed. Go Supernatural! I also stole this post from my own Patreon. This site will be changing in the coming weeks. Things will be shifting around and this site will be something of a living index/showcase for the project I have been working on. Details on what and why are below.

Some of you are aware that I have been working on something new. Only it isn’t, exactly; it is really just a new wing on a very old building. I want to welcome you there  and I hope you will like it, but, first, we are going to take a little walk through the old front door. It isn’t the best door. It is cracked in places and a little warped. The wallpaper in the hallway is falling down and the carpet is pretty worn in places, but I happen to still be pretty fond of it and it is still strong in the places where it needs to be.

I owe some of you an explanation because I am about to deliver some not so wonderful news. I have always believed that if you find yourself at an impassible wall, the best thing to do is go back to the beginning and try to find where you went wrong. And this is what I have been doing. Trying to figure out where I went wrong. Happily, I believe I have found where I took the wrong turn. As a result, I am sorry to say that all other projects have been shelved. None of them were going anywhere anyway, and I have been, quite frankly, miserable. Only recently, while on this little soul journey, did it occur to me how mad humans are that we will take something we love and turn it into a painful, soul crushing job by throwing out the very thing that made us love it in the first place. I could give you a deep, long explanation for why, but it all really boils down to fear. We try to fit in, try to do it ‘right’ by the standards of others and tell ourselves it isn’t important for us to love it, so long as it is done the way others told us it should be. In the case of writing, that misery translates to ‘I can’t write a grocery list without hating it’.

I did consider chucking the whole damn thing and getting a job at a tollbooth. But, well, there are no bathrooms in tollbooths and I hate dealing with the general public. So. I am returning to the beginning. Rather, I am returning to the thing which made me want to write fiction in the first place. What a difference it has made. All those things I learned were necessary to be a successful indie author got pushed into the ‘Go with God’ file (looks a whole lot like the trashcan on your desktop). I asked myself the question that I have been avoiding (for fear of the answer). Do I even want to write anymore? The answer, to my relief, was yes, but it came with a downside. I did not want to write what I’ve been trying to write. I have been writing shallow, trying to avoid series (or, at least, series that will require more than wading pool depth thought) because I was so concerned with what other people said was wanted. And I was bored out of my mind. It was forced, it was, at best, mediocre in every department, and, worst of all, it was just, plain, bad writing. So I asked myself what I really want to write and the answer was as terrifying as it is exhilarating. I wanted to write something that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Something that could be lived in. Terrifying as that was, I already knew exactly where to start. It is something that I had convinced myself (with a lot of help) that I was not smart enough to write. I really may not be smart enough. But, in the words of Rhett Butler, frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn. It is mine and, by god, I am going to write it.

I will not promise you anything; I am going through a very difficult time in my life and there are a lot of ups and downs which can all too easily leave me too emotionally drained to write. But, should this turn out to be what I mean it to be, I do not think anyone will be disappointed. As for the final two parts of The Dragon Rune, yes they are stalled. But, should this go as planned, I will be pulling the War for Inìsfail from sales for a little bit in order to do a full rewrite and finish those parts. Please do not panic. It is something I think needs to be done, but right this moment I lack the funding to ferret out the editor I will need for it. The story is good, but it needs a nice polish and, in order to finish, I have to fix some things that skated by when I was less capable and far too impatient. In other words, time to renovate. It is unlikely I will ever finish the second or third book of the Getting Thin trilogy. They are good stories, but my heart is just not in them and I believe readers deserve better. The first book is perfectly fine on its own (it, too, will be getting a rewrite). I could change my mind in the future, but it would be wrong of me to promise those books when, right now, they are the thing I want to write least.

Many of my other projects may be coming back, eventually. Once I know where they fit in, I may well dust them off and whirl them out. Right now, though, I find no joy in them. I am, for better or worse, someone who requires passion and desire to write. I have been living by the motto ‘just do it’ for far too long. The unspoken implication to that is that forcing it is better than not doing it at all. But when my writing done with that attitude usually isn’t worth reading. I put my heart and soul into my stories and taking the ‘success or bust’ approach was killing that. I have been trying to please others and only when I found myself flinching from the prospect of picking up my pen and forced myself to do a bit of introspection did I realize the damage it was doing to me. I want to give you stories to love. But I forgot for a good long while that I began this as a reader who could not find enough books like Lord of the Rings, a reader who desperately wanted books to live in and heroes to fall in love with. I cannot write just for money, it is simply not in me. I deeply love that my patrons support me and will never, ever turn down a paycheck (unless it means sacrificing my morals), but I cannot begin with gold on my mind. So, from now on, I will be writing those things which wake up the ten year old me that used to hide in the stacks of the library, searching for any title that promised me magic and monsters and heroes.

What is it that I most want to write? Right now I want to return to the world of fantasy. But not just any world. My world. The one I began to create, then got scared of. The one where dragons speak wisdom and evil can wear your best friend’s face. The one where a strange, outcast girl can become the hero and stronger than anyone else ever thought possible and the people understand the true meaning of honor. I am writing it for me, because that is how all writers should begin – do as I say, not as I have been doing. But I am also gifting it to you. I do want you to love it, but you don’t have to.

For a little while, most of my posts will be public and it may seem extremely random, but it is all part of the fun. I don’t want my paying patrons to worry. This does not mean I do not appreciate you or that you won’t be getting my full and complete gratitude. It does not mean you won’t be getting perks; you will. Hopefully big ones. Starting with early release of all posts. You guys have stuck by me in a time when I was not even sure I was going to continue writing. You are my early believers, the ones who never gave up on me. You may not have realized it, but you having enough faith in me to give me actual money has kept me going and searching for an answer I might have given up on otherwise. Here is hoping that I’ve found it.

Tomorrow afternoon, begins a new chapter. The first short story, The Silver Door, will be delivered in installments throughout the week. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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2 Comments on “The Road So Far

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