Friday, March 11, 2022

In Our Last Episode...


Holy moly.

Where the hell was I? Is it really Spring?

(According to the calendar, no. According to my garden, yes.)

So there's no denying starting the year out sick has slowed me down a bit. That said, it's still been a really productive start to 2022. 

It's disappointing that Fatal Shadows: The Collector's Edition is technically available, but nothing seems to have shipped yet. So I keep forgetting that I finally got that done. But I did, so cross that off the list.

As you know, I've been working on strategies to keep my creativity high and my burnout level low. One thing I came up with is every morning, before I check email or do anything but have coffee, I write 500 (minimum) words on Hide and Seek. (The serialized novel I'm doing for Patreon.) This has turned out to be genius. Because it's only five hundred words, I know I can do it, regardless of how I feel or potential interruptions, and it gets me past that wobbly BUT I DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH!!! phase of writing my "real" rough drafts. 

Basically, I'm tricking myself into writing before I have time to think about it. For anyone suffering from writer's block or burn out, this could be the way to get past it. It's definitely working for me. I start out the day hitting goals and being creative, which is inspiring in itself. And I'm able to deliver a chapter of Hide and Seek to Patreon just about every single week. Which is so fun because then I get the feedback in real time.

And it gives me extra product because I'll put the audio of the book up for sale eventually. We're all always trying to find more ways to be productive, so this is my recommendation. Write a little bit every single day on an "extra" project. Something completely different. Something just for fun.

Meanwhile, I just spent FOUR full days in tax hell doing two years-worth of taxes. (PRO TIP: DON'T SKIP DOING YOUR TAXES EVERY YEAR, NO MATTER WHAT.) Three days to pull all the paperwork together and one day at our accountant's office. YES. From 8:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon. It took so ((**&&^^%$##@#@@!@ing long that she ended up having to pause us to take other clients and then bring us back. Oh, and let's not forget the two-hour drive to get there and back. It was exhausting. I find tax time really stressful anyway, and that's because I don't have a good accounting system. I have a rough idea of what I'm earning--and weirdly enough, last year was one of my highest ever income years?!?--but I'm not clear on what my expenses are. And when the writing is not going well, I tend to compensate by enrolling in online courses or investing in software  or buying lots of cover art for projects yet to be written ALL OF WHICH I RARELY IF EVER USE. 

It's not a great way to run a business (which is what writing is). 

I'm an emotional spender. Which was demonstrated clearly in my taxes. And, frankly, last year was a more "emotional" year than some.

Lesson learned? I hope so. I'm trying very hard to make this the year I get my, er, ducks in a row. But

the number of ducks I have is kind of daunting. Like, for example, I was unaware that where I live it's technically illegal to rent my second house to family unless I have a business license, a safety inspection, etc. So... Okay. I'm now trying to bring all of that up to date because I've been "renting" to family for years. 

What I'm trying to say here is life keeps getting in the way of my plans, particularly my writing plans.

Which brings us to The Movie-Town Murders. I'm currently one third of the way through the book (despite a couple of huge glitches regarding research and rewriting) which would be right on schedule, however a couple of real life things have cropped up. Like an unscheduled weeklong visit from my bestie. I'm going to grab as much writing time as I can during that week, but obviously it's not going to be my usual work day. And that's okay, life happens, and I love my friend and literally can't wait to see her. 

It may or may not mean a week's delay on the book release. Hopefully not, but I'm trying to be realistic and communicate clearly to you what's going on. 

The book is coming and it's good. I love it and I love this phase of Jason and Sam's relationship. As usual, they're largely working apart, but it's interesting to explore how they navigate the distance now that their relationship has been tested so severely. And of course everything is building toward the sixth and final book. 

I guess what I'm saying is, everything is coming along, though perhaps more slowly than I (and you) would like. I feel relaxed and confident about the work and, even about life in general, though the earth continues to hurtle toward the sun.


Well, no, I'm not. But I've come to terms with our new normal, and I'm reasonably calm and surprisingly creative, and I will take the wins where I find them. ;-) 

Hey, don't forget Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend. I. CAN'T. WAIT. But seriously, I do like DSL. I vote we keep it. What about you?