Friday, May 18, 2018

Missing Miles Releasing the Deadline Demons

If you know me then you’ve likely heard how much I’ve struggled to get the next book in my Shaw McLeary Mystery Series down on paper. It all started after finishing Reckless Mind. Two years ago this August.

Yes, we really have to go back that far.

Because, after finishing and releasing that book, I had a great idea for a story and I thought maybe Shaw could fit into the plotline. I worked on other books and prepared to write Shaw into that story in 2017.

Now, many, many months later, I know how silly of an idea that really was.

I can’t fit an already existing character into a plotline not specifically written for her. That’s like trying to live someone else’s life. Sure, maybe it’s fun for a couple days but eventually you’re going to get to the hard stuff. Stuff that doesn’t fit the character.

But, I threw caution to the wayside and decided to finally start work on Missing Miles.

Writing that fatal plot started back in November last year. I not only took on the NaNoWriMo challenge, I actually won with that steaming pile of goo. Maybe someday in the future I’ll revisit that scene and idea and see what shakes out. Who shakes out. That day is not today.

Unfortunately, all that writing in the wrong direction for Shaw left me cold and empty.

After November, Shaw took a place on the shelf and I tried to write something else. Anything else. No dice. She just kept trying to tell me things weren’t over. Though, she wasn’t as clear on what that meant.

Stupid characters.

I hemmed and hawed over the book for a couple months. Knowing it wasn’t right. Stressing over what to write if that wasn’t a winner.

I watched a lot of TV. Read a lot of bad books. Tried to write other stories. Got back into blogging. Anything to keep my fingers moving.

Then like usual, one random day, probably when I wasn’t even thinking about it, an idea for the opening came to me. So I wrote it. And there was something about how it was all sifting into place. Like, I finally had the right place, right time.

There was something that felt like it could breed great tension, intrigue, personal-struggle character development. There was something right about the plot. The story as a whole.

Then we had a bunch of company, started our next phase of home improvement, and I promptly lost most of my mojo on the book.

Not on the story, I lost the desire to write. Thankfully, that only lasted for a minute.

When my dad left, that was our last scheduled houseguest for a while, plus we took a staycation to get a healthy level of stuff done in the backyard. Since all that? I finally put my fingers back on the keyboard over the past few weeks and to be honest I'm still struggling to write this book.

I literally can't get the story out. Not in a writer's block kind of way. Just in a "this isn't what you should be working on right now" way.

After sharing my struggles out loud (for the first time) with one of the writer's groups I belong to I finally realized all those brilliant people are right.

Stop writing.

Not forever, and not everything. Stop writing this book. Because I'm not enjoying the process. I'm not feeling the book right now. And I totally know why.

It's because this isn't what my business needs to focus on right now.

Like I said, the business nothing else.

This writing thing can be a real struggle but I finally just understood my issues. I put the stupid cart before the horse. I tried to sell my books, garner fans, find readers before I knew how to really run this business.

Well, it is high time I go back to the start and do a lot of learning. Because, in this industry, things move fast and furious at their snail's pace.

That might make no sense if you aren't a self-publishing writer and I apologize but it is the absolute truth. Technologies, companies, issues are all based on the current climate of need-it-yesterday but building a brand, a name, can take a very long time.

I have the books written, ten of them in fact, and that (as I've explained to some family and friends) makes me feel like a professional.

But I'm a professional flailer because nobody is reading other than those family and friends. And, let's face facts here, I didn't establish a publishing house and throw all my time and money at this thing to reach the people I already know. I desire, require, a broader audience.

In the spirit of that, I'll be working on a lot of changes to my general business  model over the next couple months, joining organizations, and doing shit-tons of research about how to run a successful writing business.

Because, the creativity is a great thing to have but if I only wanted to write for "myself" I'd still fill countless journals with scribbles and words, not publish professionally produced books.

So, I apologize to anyone who looked forward to Missing Miles because as of now that book is on hold. I have a strong belief that Shaw might return after I know how to really share her story.

Or not.

Either way, I'll never stop writing. But for now my total focus is shifting to reading, research, connections.

Time to revisit the old marketing and business plan gathering dust in a folder somewhere. They're both in need of a ten-ton shot of reality.

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

1 comment:

John said...

Rock on my Icon. ❤️