Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taking Stock

I think now is a good time to sit back for a moment and take stock of my career in publishing.  It's only been three years since my first book was published. Since then, all four books of The Asphodel Cycle have been released, my short story collection Metamorphosis, the first book of The Vampire Covenants with Rob Graham, and now the first three books of Mythos. I have ten other books completed and another seven at various stages of completion.  Two of them are paranormal romance, one is horror and the rest are either urban or epic fantasy.

I have not been writing as much as of late--I've been concentrating on my role as an editor.  Since I began editing two years ago, I have worked on over forty books with over twenty writers.  I've advanced to senior editor at Aspen Mountain Press.  I came up with the concept for the Aurora imprint at AMP and am the head editor there. With the sneak peek of Aurora next week and the official launch of the company in October, I am focusing my energy and attention upon it.

Although I haven't been writing much, I am still meeting my daily word count requirements.  As of today, I have written almost half a million words in 2010.  My goal is one million words--and although 600,000 of them might be crap, at least they'll be on paper.

Currently, I have five other fantasy worlds completely built, down to societies, cultures, histories, mythologies, geography and races.  Those five worlds are peopled with characters who are completely fleshed out down to favoritehas the teeth colors and personality quirks.  Those characters' stories out sketched out: I always know the ending for my stories, but how I get there is made up on the writing path.

I am at a crossroads in my career and I know it.  Once Aurora is launched and I'm working on a nice, rhythmic calm schedule, with more editors to take up some of the work, I hope to be able to refocus upon my writing.  I could probably do it now if one of my story ideas took off with me. 

So that's what I'm hoping will happen.  I am taking a full week off from writing.  Yes, you heard me: a full week. Seven whole days beginning tomorrow. I am not going to open a single darn word file that begins with my initials.  Instead, I'm going to spend my free time reading.  I'm going to read every word I've got in the stories that I'm working on.  I'm going to allow my brain to consider each story, where it's going, what the stakes are for the characters, the pertinency of the conflict.  I'm going to try to determine which story has the teeth to sink into my psyche and shake me out of the morass of indecision that is stifling my direction.

Yes, I'm going to take stock. I'm going to go back to the time when writing was both entertainment and joy instead of work. I'm going to let a story take me for a while, instead of the other way around.  Sometimes every writer needs to do that, no matter what they have cooking on the stove. Feeling stymied?

Then stop. Take a break. Recharge those batteries and let your creative processes relax for a time.

And seven days from now, I'll come back and let you know if it worked.