Hey folks. I hope the sun is shining wherever you are and you and your family are doing well!
So, a little story – when I began publishing my book (like seriously) I thought I could get around four books out for my readers to enjoy. Turns out the first year (2019-2020), I did. Mainly because the books were already written and all I had to do was polish them and put them out there and make sure people find them. But things really started looking challenging in the second year – that was 2020-2021. During this year I had two books out (Shadow Pandemic and Poseidon) which were written within 8 months from the first draft. During this year, I felt the weight of the work and the stress of getting the books up to mark (I do work full time). Also next month I am doing a free promotions for creatives.
Regardless of how prolific I am, my mind and my body began to tell me that this was too much and so did my friends. The year 2021 was hard, and I did not want to miss the preorders that I had set up and my own expectations. So when 2021 finished, I did what I always do, listen to my intuition which told me – do not put pressure on your creativity. So this year I decided not to put anything on preorder so that I could have a breather and the second thing I told myself that if I decided to write two books or three – and I only publish one – It won’t be the end of the world because I would be happy, and it would be up to the mark (in my standards). I would accept it and be happy with it.
When 2022 began I was excited and as I had planned, I began working on Shadow Fraction (the sequel to Shadow Pandemic). But this one was a tough one – mainly because I made a major change in the plot in January which resulted in several unplanned changes in the the book. Despite my best efforts, I felt that I was behind because the book was not coming together – there were plot holes and several things needed improvement. It had started getting to my nerves. In March 2022, I had decided to put this book back in the drawer if it did not come together like I wanted. Just one more month – I told myself and then if it didn’t work, I would go back to writing (Realm 3: Icarus). Mainly because Icarus is a long series, one book per year is my goal for this series and it is in demand.
By the end of March, I still did not see a light at the end of the tunnel and when draft 7 was done I decided that it was time to share this book with my editor and get her to have a look at it. Just clean it up a bit but kept in my mind that – this one may not come out this year and it was okay. It made me sad, but still I was okay with that.
The manuscript was returned to me after three weeks with so many changes and a comments that made me wanna puke. (Nothing against my lovely editor – she is just doing her job). This was it.
Grudgingly I went through the comments and did all the work that was needed (again telling myself – end of April and that is it. I am going to leave it.). It took me two weeks to work on the manuscript. However, before making my next decision, I did an audio check. (I listen to my books because it gives me a better idea of how it sounds). I was stunned. It sounded like – it was ready to go. After my first editor had gone through the book and I had updated it, I saw the difference. Before this I had been working on it for a long time, every day and I could not see the progress I was making. But my audio edit surprised me! I could not believe it! I was ready to give up on it. But within minutes I decided that this book would be out this year!
Moral of the story – It’s always good to keep a open mind. I am glad I did. I was ready to give up on the book (not forever) but for a while at least. To get my energy back. I decide not to beat myself for not finishing it – and decided it was not a failure but a delay. I had kept my expectations realistic, understanding the hours I could put in and gave myself the time, and flexibility. My efforts did bring out the best (I think) in the book which should be really entertaining for my readers. I still have a bit to do – like final edits, get the book cover ready and make a publishing plan. But now with the manuscript ready it seems doable.
I hope this encourages you to never give up and realize the amount of time and energy you can put into your project. Feel free to share your experiences!
Have a lovely day!