Hello again. It’s been a long time since I posted to this blog. Like 8 months, long time. I hadn’t realized it was that long until I prepared to jump back in with the IWSG monthly posting. I titled this post aptly because I’ve been so focused on one thing that I let everything else slide. As evident in my unintended hiatus.
With a pandemic still in full swing, time as been wonky. Days blended together, and honestly until the day actually it, my mind didn’t register the new month, or that I needed to have a blog post done for the hop. When it did dawn on me, it’d be like middle of the day and by then I was like too late now. But I’m trying to do better. I have a big calendar on my wall and I filled in “make blog post” as to not forget.
So why the tunnel vision? Well, for the first time in my indie career I attempted to make a schedule and have deadlines for myself. That was the influence of my writing group the Wordmakers. We collectively were attempting to work through the Zoe York books Romance Your Brand and Romance Your Plan. I’m a pantser, I write what I want when the idea comes to me and I’ve never considered the “what next” beyond the current book I’m working on. This year was different.
I planned* out a 3-book series: Love on Madison Island. It’s a small town romance following the lives of three childhood friends as they discover new love and adventures later in life (40+ leads). I set release dates, was supposed to have a marketing plan, and generally had all the grand ideas of this series being different overall than how I normally worked. To say it’s been a struggle would be an understatement.
Writing books comes with challenges on a good day. When I added to that hard deadlines (like putting up pre-orders BEFORE the books are done) the stress compounded. The other things were pushed to the wayside in favor of me getting words on the damn page to make the deadline of getting the book released on time. I didn’t/don’t want to end up in Amazon pre-order jail. Blogging was the first to go. I’d wanted to blog about the series. Do character profiles, talk about my fictional town, all that sort of stuff to build buzz. It didn’t happen. Not to mention missing out on the monthly blog hop. All the marketing plans I had, to boost the series on social media, not done.
My goal was to write-write-write. It was all I could manage with a ticking clock above my head. I got tunnel vision. And the pressure made the words that needed to come harder to get. Book 1 I got done, but struggled with my FMC and getting her character arc and personality under control. Book 2 I got side track with other things and wasted time “letting the story marinate”. Now here I am fighting with book 3. It’s not done. I’m 45k into a book that I’m not confident I can finish. I have a pre-order set for Sept. 22. The more I try to force it, the more stressed I get.
I’m trying to keep my eye on the prize and run towards the light at the end of this damn tunnel, but it’s like being in one of those horror movie dream sequences where the person is going and going but what they are after keeps getting farther and farther away. The other day I read a blog post by Vania Rheault, she is also a contemporary romance author and posts about her writing ups and downs, processes, and general thoughts that come to her. Her latest was on what it means to be a quitter and it resonated with me as I have contemplated throwing in the towel and leaving the series with just two books. I won’t, money has already been spent on the cover, but I won’t lie and say in my current mindframe I’ve not been tempted.
Not just with this story, but with writing as a whole. And who knows. I may be in desperate need for a break once I’m done fighting with the current story and it’s finally out in the world. Until then, I’ll have my blinders on and drag myself to the finish line. Hopefully once it’s over, I’ll be able to find that balance of not pushing everything off to get the single goal accomplished. Time will tell.
Until next time
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.