I had hoped that today I would be announcing the release date for Gale Harbour Book 2. Actually, I really wanted to announce it last month, but this was my back-up deadline. Unfortunately, it's still not happening.
It all had to come crashing down eventually.
The last year has been very positive for me, writing-wise. I published a book, wrote another, had four short stories appear in anthologies and magazines. I knew I had to keep the productivity ball rolling as long as I could, because once it went off the rails, that would be it.
I've felt like crap for weeks. The problem, of course, is the environment in which I'd been working for so long. In addition to the writing, real life has continued on. With the pandemic, the kids were doing school from home all last year. We've barely saw anyone or done anything. With restrictions changing constantly we're never sure what we're allowed or not allowed to do. The kids finally go to day camp, get the sniffles, then everyone freaks out - it's probably just a cold, but what if it's not? Even if they're fine, we tell everyone else in the family and people have to miss work and cancel plans if they self-isolate... It's all very stressful. Not to mention that camp was a reminder than our kids' social skills have taken a serious hit over the last sixteen months...
But back to the writing. Last year, I saw a moderate amount of success with Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space. Enough that I made a bit of money that would cover an editor and cover designer for the sequel. Well, I finished the sequel and had my people lined up... and then realized the money wasn't there anymore. Life happens. Replacing every major appliance in the house over the last year certainly didn't help. Nor did repaying some employment insurance my wife received incorrectly several years ago, or paying for that camp where my kids got a cold, or a hundred other things.
The realization that I don't have the money to publish my book the way I wanted to, on top of all the stress and exhaustion from everything else... and I'm just done. All of the excitement, all of the energy I've had the last year, it's all gone. I don't know what to do with myself. I open my manuscript and stare at it for awhile, but there's nothing I can do with it. I try to write other stuff and no words come. I played a game of D&D online with some friends a couple of weeks ago and it was the worst game I've run in years. I just have no energy, no imagination, no nothing.
I try to tell myself to let it go, that it will pass. The book will come out eventually, the next one will get written. But it's hard to accept in the moment. I was really excited to get my book out by the fall, even though I have no deadlines besides those I made for myself. I also know there are plenty of people in way worse places than I am, so I feel guilty about feeling shitty. I'm basically making up reasons to feel sorry for myself now.
I submitted Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space to both the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) and the new Self-Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC). My book falls somewhere in between Fantasy and Sci-Fi, but since there isn't a Horror competition yet, I figured I would try them both and see what happens. Much like previous years I don't expect any major results, but the 2018 SPFBO did give me a small boost in sales and reviews for Hell Comes to Hogtown, so it's worth a shot.
I'll be out of town when this post goes live, so I may not respond to comments or visit many blogs this week. Hope everyone is well!
Hugs & Kisses,
EDIT: ...and I'm already cut from SPFBO. They said it was too sci-fi, which is fine. Except last year a sci-fi superhero book made it to the finals. It really all depends on which reviewer gets your book. Judging by this review, I doubt anyone even read mine.
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.