Weekly Update – January 19, 2021

After a necessary hiatus for the holidays and to recharge my brain, I’m back at it, and work on the sixth Strongarm & Lightfoot book has begun!

I hit the 10,000 word mark over the past week, which I consider a strong start after so many weeks of writing nothing. Taking these breaks, I’ve learned over the years, is necessary, but I hate taking them — especially during the pandemic.

Let me ‘splain.

Due to precautionary lockdowns and restrictions (all of which I support wholeheartedly, by the way), our lives have been disrupted in a big way — which I know is painfully obvious to everyone, but I’ve noticed that it’s hit my creative friends and colleagues especially hard. I know a lot of performers, and being unable to indulge their craft for so long has taken a toll. They’ve fallen into a creative, emotional, and mental stupor that’s deadened their creative spirit.

The problem within this problem, I’m very familiar with. Creative souls need to create, and when they don’t (or can’t) for too long, they can fall into emotional funks — which do nothing to spark creativity, so they continue to not create, which strengthens their depression, which continues to smother their creative energy…it’s an awful cycle to get stuck in, and can be very hard to break.

I experienced this cycle years ago, after an agent rejected what eventually became the first Action Figures novel. My high hopes for a career breakthrough had been thoroughly crushed, which caused me to stop writing for several months — the first such major dry spell I’d ever experienced. I eventually climbed back on my creative horse, but it was an imposing challenge. I’d become too comfortable not writing and had to force myself to get back to work — which did not result in quality material, which threatened to push me right back into my pit of artistic despair.

Obviously, I eventually got my creative life back on an even keel, but ever since, I’ve resisted taking any kind of planned, extended break from writing for fear I’d fall back into those old habits and mindsets. I know on a conscious level that I need to rest my brain every so often (The Oatmeal discussed this in its own inimitably, delightfully crass and goofy way) but subconsciously, I worry I’ll stop writing and never start back up again.

If I might end with some advice for those who might be dealing with this problem right now: stay creative. Force yourself, gently, to get back to doing what you do, in some form, even if that form is imperfect and far from ideal. Rest is good, resting necessary, but indefinite inertia is NOT resting; it’s slowly dying inside.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology: In final production, scheduled for a February 14 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

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