Sometimes Schedules Go Awry and it’s Okay

This year continues to be a lesson in being flexible with the writing plans I make. Well, that and maybe being more reasonable in my expectations of myself.

When I first planned out my writing schedule for the year, I gave myself a month to finish writing The Children of Oher, three months to revise A Thistle in the Ruins, and two months to revise A Compass in the Shadows again. Well, none of that has gone the way I expected. The first took me an extra month. The second took me two extra months and grew much larger than I intended. And the third? Well, as I’m rereading it now, it’s becoming clear to me that this revision is going to be more work than I thought it would be.

I was supposed to be done with all of that by now, and then I was going to use the second half of this year to plan out a bunch of books and revise The Children of Oher and maybe even start something else. Obviously, most of that isn’t going to happen. Instead, the rest of this year will largely be taken up by revising A Compass in the Shadows. Which, as frustrated as I was initially, is fine. Whatever it takes for that book to be ready for querying, because right now it’s certainly not at its best yet.

I’m also trying to take things a bit easier the rest of the year, because I tend to not only expect too much of myself but also not to give myself breaks. Since January I’ve been just going nonstop, spending basically every free moment writing or revising, and so I was barreling dangerously toward burning myself out. Part of that is giving myself too much to do, but another part is simply impatience in wanting to get A Compass in the Shadows out into the universe. So if I got those other two projects done quickly, then I’d get to this book quickly, but things don’t work that way. So as much as I want to work on the other numerous books I have plans for, my sole focus will be this first book until I feel it’s ready to be sent out. Well, except for the break in December, during which my bestest writing buddy and I will be writing a possibly ridiculous, horror Christmas tale.

 Anyway, it’s okay for things to go terribly wrong and for all your writing (or any other) plans to go out the window. Try not to get too caught up in schedules and self-imposed deadlines. Be gentle with yourself. It’s okay if things take a little longer than you expected.


What I wrote this week

I read chapters eighteen through forty of A Compass in the Shadows.

What I read this week

Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Why Do We Write?

Hello lovely people!

The other day, someone on Instagram asked, “If I knew I would never be published, would I still be writing?” and I really had to sit with that question for a moment. Of course, my goal is to be published, and these days it’s not hard to self-publish, so even if traditional publishing doesn’t work out for whatever reason, it’s not as if I couldn’t just do it myself. I know plenty of people write just to write, but what about me?

If I’d asked myself the question four years ago, the answer would’ve almost certainly been no. My relationship with writing has changed dramatically since then. I was using every excuse I could not to write. I got into crocheting for a while; I spent my time drawing and painting; I played hours of videogames. Anything except writing. Which is part of the reason why this Enorians series has taken me so long. And when I first started taking writing seriously, it was like pulling teeth. I haaaated sitting down and writing, and I think part of that stemmed from just not knowing where I was going with it. Sometimes I would sit down and have no idea what should happen (pantsing is very obviously not for me) and I would just put words down to get my word count goal out of the way, and a lot of that ended up being nonsensical fluff. Which is how I ended up with a 300,000 word draft of A Compass in the Shadows that was a hot mess.

Thankfully, things have changed now, including the size of that book. I write (or revise or do some kind of book-related work) regularly – I won’t quite say daily, though I do try – and I actually look forward to it, most days. There are still days, of course, where I don’t feel like writing, and sometimes I give in to that and take the day off. For the most part, though, I love it.

And yes, of course I do still want to publish, and I fully intend to. However, if I knew that I never would, yes, I’d continue writing. Not only because I have at least one person who would all but demand it of me, but also because I want to know what’s going to happen. I want to see what’s going to happen in the third Enorians book. I want to see how everything with the gods plays out in books four through six. I want to see what happens next with Kora, in the sequel to The Children of Oher. I want to write that book that’s based around a Dutch tradition of taking horses down to the sea. Sure, I would probably spend fewer hours writing, but I would continue writing anyway, for me, because I’m writing books I want to read.

It’s such an interesting question to consider. So, if any fellow writers are reading this, if you knew you would never be published, would you still be writing?


What I wrote this week

I’m making my way through rereading A Compass in the Shadows for another revision, so I didn’t write anything besides notes for myself, but I did read the prologue through chapter thirteen.

What I read this week

Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland

Blackbird Crowned by Keri Arthur

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi