Phew it's been a busy month.
I've had lots of people ask me about my tri_p abroad, and to be honest, it was great. There's really no way around that. The mom grind is real (if you’re reading this and you’re a parent, you understand) and my husband was kind enough to give me two full weeks away from him and the kids.
In short, it was amazing. I was able to sit on the plane and write, to sightsee what I wanted and jump on a train or the Tube or anything whenever I wanted and just get away from reality. While I did vacation from life, I also made it into a mini writing retreat, and that was probably the best part. By revisiting places I'd been before and going to places that didn't have a huge amount of sightseeing I wanted to do, and by bringing my iPad along with me when I was out and about, I was able to spend as much of the day as I wanted writing. I didn't feel guilty about sitting back in my Airbnb or finding a coffee shop and writing as much as I could every day—without distraction. (Well, without as many distractions as possible. After all, there still was social media and cell phones and internet.) Some of my favorite moments are honestly sitting down in a British coffee shop with my laptop.
But I’m always a writer, even on vacation, and so I was able to give some thought to my writing ambitions as well as evaluate how I work while I was away. (I even got to meet two of my writer friends in London, which was aweeeesoooommme.) During my vacation (and after), I came to several conclusions about my writing life and some prior realizations also drove themselves home.
Namely, I had hoped to publish book 2 in the Canens Chronicles this July, but that's not likely at all now. Though I was able to rewrite over half of my novel in those two weeks of vacation, once I returned home, life crept in. My son has the summer off and my usual babysitter had a June where she couldn't babysit, so I came off vacation back into full-time parenting (with a cranky kid or two as well).
I'm currently sitting at about the three-quarter's mark of my draft in book 2 (which, since I've added an extra 20K to, really should make it about 85% through), and then I have edits, copyedits, proofs, formatting, and final proofs. Then there's getting the back blurb finalized, the cover completed, and all the uploading and double-checking. Publication simply could not happen before late August or even September at the quickest.
Moreover, I've realized that my writing process is slower than some other writers. I like to think it's because my books tend to be more complicated and nuanced than those that pound out books one after the other, but that's probably not entirely true. And at times like these, I can't help but play the comparison game. Honestly, it's like I want to be a fantastically fast producer of novels, but my process just takes longer. It’s a vicious comparison game to participate in, and a constant reminding myself that it’s okay to embrace who I am as a writer and a person. I am not a fast writer. (I might be able to write a first draft quickly, but the editing and revising takes me some time; my novels don’t emerge in polished format.)
I think no matter who you are, you have to learn to accept your own processes. I don’t mean that you should stop trying to improve yourself. If you are unhappy with a character trait or a habit you have, by all means, improve it. Research ways to improve it, outline plans to improve it, and make improvements upon yourself.
For despite my "acceptance" of the fact that I am a slower writer, I am constantly trying to improve my process so that I can write and release books faster. I don’t feel that that is being dishonest to myself, but rather helping myself to improve upon my process of something that I love to do so that I can share it more often with my readers. I have so many stories I want to share, but finding—making—the time to write them and craft them to my satisfaction is difficult. There are only so many hours in a day, and right now, for me, writing hours are limited.
But improving my process does NOT mean adopting someone else’s process. Sometimes that means rejecting the idea that I should stay up until midnight or the wee hours of the morning in order to write an extra thousand words because I know that I don’t work well on little sleep. Instead, it might mean putting in a movie for the kids or picking up my phone and writing instead of surfing Facebook or Instagram for a few minutes every hour. Maybe it means taking the kids to a playground where they can run around so that I can write an extra few minutes, or even hiring a babysitter so that I can have a few uninterrupted hours of work. My process is not another’s process. And the older I get and the more I write, the more I realize that no two people work the same.
It's okay to have a different process. It's okay to take the time you need and not rush through a project (unless you have a deadline that absolutely must be met). It's okay to be slower than someone else. Go at your own pace and embrace the process as much as you can. Let's not give in to the comparison game and the modern-day rush of churning out stuff. It's okay to be you.
P.S. Until July 5th, Fog & Mist is on sale for $1.99! Check it out on Amazon, Kobo, and Apple Books. (Sorry, B&N is giving me a hard time on price changes. If that's your preferred ebook retailer, check it out and see if the price has been updated yet, but as of this posting, it's still at full price.)
P.P.S. If you have already read Fog & Mist but haven't left a review, can I ask you a quick favor? I'm so close to 10 reviews on Amazon, and I would LOVE if you would help me get there. If you enjoyed Fog & Mist at all, please hop on and give just a sentence or two of feedback to help other readers decided whether they would enjoy this book. And if you can't leave a review on Amazon, you can always leave it at Goodreads instead (or wherever you bought your copy.) Thank you!
P.P.P.S (Are three postscripts going too far?) If it’s already past July 5th, 2019, my book is available in a Book Cave freebie deal from July 1 to August 31, 2019. Check out either the Summer Book Bash Giveaway (mostly romance books plus yours truly) or the Free Clean Fantasy Reads for only fantasy reads to choose from. Either way, if you snag my book, would you mind leaving a review? Reviews are one of the best ways to help an author out!