One of my favorite musicians (Matt Nathanson) has always compared the pace of his career to “taking the stairs.” Basically that, while some people’s careers shoot up fast like an elevator, he’s been taking the stairs—plugging along for decades, working hard, making music, touring and building a fan base.
I’ve always loved that metaphor and I’ve kind of been feeling that way myself, lately. It’s been a year since my first story was published and I feel like I’ve been on radio silence since. What was supposed to be a short break turned into months when life and other more profitable work (gotta pay the bills) took over.
Since January I’ve been back on the wagon, writing three short stories—one that may or may not see the light of day someday, one for the Project Fierce Anthology being published by Less Than Three Press this month and one for the M/M Goodreads Group’s Love’s Landscapes event that will hopefully be published/posted sometime later this summer. (Blurbs and more info are posted here.) While I was feeling like a real writer, with so many stories going on at once, I was also getting wore down with so many deadlines and trying to fit a certain word count on a couple of them. I call it Binge Writing. With my schedule and everything else I’ve got going on in life, it never seems to fail that I am writing furiously at the eleventh hour. I’m mostly happy with the end results of each story but just feel like they could have been….something more.
I finally realized my muse is feeling confined and itchy. It’s ready to grow up and write a big-boy-sized (get your minds out of the gutter) Novel-with-a-capital-N, LOL. If you count my fan fiction days before this, I’ve been writing short stories since 2009. So it’s time to graduate I think. 🙂
I’ve got at least five or six plot bunnies that have been biding their time, waiting to be written. In fact a new one just joined the pile a couple weeks ago *sigh* and it seems to have cut in line and muscled its way to the front of the line. One of the MC’s is a bit of a “bad boy,” and is already not following the rules. 🙂
So I’m stepping back again and refocusing. I’m THRILLED to be going into a story with no confines to subject matter or word count. I’m going to try and “do things right” by really planning the book out and fleshing out the characters more. And I’m going to work on writing better, taking more time to edit. And edit again. And again. 🙂
I know I will need to create some kind of deadline constraints on myself or I’ll never get anything written. As it is, it may still take me a year to finish one book. But I’m excited.
A friend told me not so long ago (and I wish now I’d written her words down word for word. Instead I have to paraphrase) that there needs to be something that brings us joy in our life, that gives us something else to focus on outside of the monotonous tedium of daily life (our 9-5 jobs, stress, worries, etc., etc.). Something that brings some “specialness” to who we are. Writing is that for me. Oh sure, it can be hard work at times. 😉 But there is nothing like that joyful, tingly rush of a new plot bunny, or when you figure out how to make a plot point work so that X, Y and Z (and the HEA!) can happen. Sometimes I can get as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning.
So.. that’s Part 1 of my “what I’m working on next.” Part 2 that actually I will work on concurrently, is to get my branding and social media “stuff” together. I especially want to update/revamp my blog and I’m going to try really really hard to post more often. I’m going to start a weekly music post just for fun, so watch for those posts to start soon. 🙂
I still feel like I’m at the bottom of the stairs but I’m going to keep climbing, step by step.