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

The Unexpected Novel

Anyone else ever come up with a short story idea and have it turn into a novel? Somehow that happens with a lot of things I write, apparently. As I may have mentioned, I’m terrible at short things. Though, to be fair, this is considered short when you compare it to my Enorians books. I’m sure it happens to a lot of people. In fact, I was just watching the Neil Gaiman Masterclass, and he was talking about The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which, if you read my last post, you know if one of my favorites. That book started out as a short story, too, and then grew into the beautiful novel it is now.

Anyway, point is, here I am, writing an unintended book. Whoops.

In writing this, I started considering whether I should change my plans a bit for next year. Originally, I planned to revise book two of the Enorians Saga, then revise book one again once people get back to me, and in the second half the year, write book three. The thing is, though, I am well aware that my Enorians book one is long. It’s very long. Like in the 700s of pages long. And while that’s fine for already-published authors, I know publishers might be less likely to accept it simply because it’s…well, very long, and I am untested, if you will.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try querying it next year anyway, because I will, but I’m considering using the second half of the year to revise The Children of Oher a couple of times instead of writing Enorians book three. See, I have a feeling this much-more-reasonable-length book will be easier to have picked up, since it looks like it’ll be coming in under 100,000 words (Enorians book one, on the other hand, is over 200,000). That way, in case I struggle to get Enorians book one picked up, I have the Children of Oher to start sending out in 2022. Gotta be realistic, right?

That also gives me a chance to write my horse story, Spirits of the Sea, since that should also come in at a much more reasonable length than anything Enorian-related. Who knows, though, maybe I’ll just really want to work on Enorians book three in July.

If all goes as I hope, Enorians book one will be my debut novel. If not…Well, I like this new book, too, and then the Enorians will just have to wait their turn.

I know, of course, that self-publishing is an option, but that will be a last resort. I’d much prefer to go the traditional route. I definitely don’t need to be published by one of the big ones; I’m happy to be picked up by a small press, but there’s just so much involved in getting a book published that I’d rather let professionals handle (like finding editors, cover artists, formatting/layout, etc).

I was going to do a “Meet the Characters” for Enorians book two this week in anticipation of starting the revision next week, but since that’s being pushed back a month, let’s meet the characters from The Children of Oher instead! These will not be as extensive as the ones from my post a few weeks ago where I introduced Rowan, Aurea, and Draea from Enorians book one.


Meet the Characters

All pictures were made on artbreeder.com

Kora Mercer – Brought into Orilon against her will and forced to marry a man she’s never met, Kora just wants to get the heck out of there. While she doesn’t trust anyone around her, she is willing to use them to escape if that’s what needs to happen. Though she’s got no one left beyond the walls of Orilon, she still wants nothing to do with the town or the Children of Oher and would rather brave the abominations running around outside than stay where she is.

Asher Lindgren– Struggling between doing his duty to Orilon and Oher and also wanting to be with his best friend and love, Shay, Asher isn’t sure what to do. Shay’s been trying to convince him to leave, but Asher feels bound to do what needs to be done for the good of the Children. It’s more than that, though; he also fears he won’t be able to keep Shay safe from the monsters outside the walls, the same way he couldn’t protect his brother. He tells himself they can find happiness within Orilon, even while secretly knowing that isn’t true. 

Shay Clarke – Having been in love with his best friend, Asher, for years, Shay just wants to leave so they can be together. He let things be what they were for a long time, but once news came of the upcoming wedding, and knowing the two of them could never be happy in Orilon, he started trying to convince Asher to leave with him. The problem is, neither Asher nor Shay have ever gone beyond the fields just outside the walls, which means they’ll need help navigating the world beyond the town.

Cleo Harper – Aka Harp – Another of the girls who was brought in with Kora, she is forced to marry Shay, but as luck would have it (luck or Asher requesting the living arrangements), she ends up living right next to Kora. Like Kora, she wants to escape, too, but she does have people outside that she needs to find, so she asks Kora for help.

Oelia Payne – The Divine Elder of the Children of Oher. When the people of Orilon stopped conceiving female babies, she took it as a sign Oher was angry at them and was punishing them for allowing the abominations to live amongst them. She had to take matters into her own hands and start bringing in women from outside. Then the Melting Death happened, and she knew that was another punishment, not just of the Children but of the whole world. She’s doing all she can to attempt to appease the goddess and atone for their sins.


What I Wrote Over the Last Week

Chapters six, seven, and eight of The Children of Oher.

What I’m Reading Right Now

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir