A land forged from the fires of strife, blood of heroes, and touch of the gods.
Where deeds of great valor, vile evils, and blazing passions intertwine
to shape the course of elven and human history within.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Waiting Game

It's been six months to the day since I last posted. The why's and why-not's are myriad, but I'll give you a quick summary, quoting Charles Dickens:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". 
'Nuff said.

So now what? 

I'm going to do something I don't usually do in my blogs; I'm going to talk about my current writing status.  Oh, I talk a lot about writing, but I usually don't talk about where I am, where I'm going, and how it all got sidetracked a few months ago.  I'll try to keep this brief, as I know all of you have better things to do... I would. :o)

After launching Kaanan's Way (before Blades of Alliance came along), I had been writing for 7 years straight.  Working out the numbers, I'd written 820,777 published words in 208 weeks of nearly continuous writing. That's an average of 3946 words per week, and that includes the weeks I took off between books. But there were few of those.

So by the time Kaanan's Way was done, I was tired, and by the time Blades of Alliance was finished, I was about finished, too (late 2013 for those of you keeping score).  Still, I dove right in to Blood Secret, Book Five of The Ardwellian Chronicles, not to mention beginning work on Champions: The Heroes of Ardwel, my second compendium and picture book. And by the time 2014 rolled around, I was pooped.  But I soldiered on, trying desperately to continue with Blood Secret.  I got 90,000 words in and stopped.  I hit the proveribal wall, ran out of gas, shot my wad, or whatever term you want to use.  I had nothing left, and I've spent part of the last three months easing up on myself for... not easing up on myself.

Those of us who write know it's work.  Not physical especially, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually draining, particularly when we're deep into a scenario with characters we love (or hate), trying to get the words to say what's in our mind or heart.  And it's tough to do that for a length of time at full-tilt, balls-to-the-wall, pushing, pushing, pushing... the way I like to write. Heck, it's hard to do it even if you're working casually on a piece, just a bit at a time.  

So for three months I hammered at my brain, trying to find the gumption to carry on with Blood Secret until I finally decided... it could wait.  It could wait until I finished editing Champions (nearly done) and got it published (next step) and on the shelves for the Holidays.  It could wait for me to clear my head and finally admit to myself the first four novels were the books I really HAD to write, and did.  It could wait until I was ready to get back to it on my own terms; characters be damned, they can sit in the roadhouse, or at the campfire, or in the back of Stokar's shop, or in the private bath and just cool it for a while.  I didn't care.

It takes a bit if courage for any writer (author) to admit to themselves they need a break.  Usually by the time they do, they're about where I am now... halfway through the break they need but refused to admit they needed.  So here I am.

Champions is moving slowly toward editing completion.  Yes, I'm late by my own schedule, but it, too, can wait, and move at the pace I choose.  It will be ready for the Holidays, I have no doubt, and I'll be happy with it when its done, because it's a cool book.

And Blood Secret... the plan is, back to work on it after the first of the year.  Exactly what that means, or exactly when, or maybe even what year, I haven't decided.  But I'll get back to it in time, and I'll throw myself into it again like I did the first 90,000 words, but until then... it can wait.

And so can I.


Greg Gildersleeve said...

Kudos to you, Denny, for working so doggedly at it for so long. Enjoy the break! (We miss you at the writer's group, though. :( )

Dennis Young said...

Thanks Greg. Appreciate the kind words. :o)