DEALING WITH A WRITING FUNK
Posted on July 5, 2015
I've just spent almost two months not writing. That's a first since I began writing in all seriousness almost four years ago.
My original plan at the end of April was to publish Decisive Magic and then jump back into Angus Farseek, which I had stopped working on at its halfway point so I could pen a second romance under my D. Spangler pen name.
So what happened?
I got in a funk.
My sales on my books have never been astronomical, but for the past four months they've been a trickle. As much as I would say that sales didn't affect my drive, this dry spell in sales did. I felt like no one was paying attention to me, that writing another book to release to a miniscule audience just wasn't something I wanted to do.
Now I didn't stop writing entirely. Instead, I helped beta read a new book, Robot Blood, from my writer friend, Keith Robinson, and reread Norton the Vampire and Go-For-It Gopher to my classes in school.
Keith's book helped. We have a friendly back-and-forth where each new book we do spurs the other to work harder and Robot Blood is an amazing read. It got me antsy to write, but something still held me back.
The read aloud, however, backfired. Both books, having been written over twelve years ago, didn't have the weight or finesse that my recent books have. Much like with my recent rereading of the original Monsters in Boxers, I could see so many flaws in these works. As you might recall I unpublished the first Monsters in Boxers and rewrote it at the end of 2015. Thankfully, the new version was received with huge enthusiasm by my class when I read it to them this spring. They are eager for me to do a second, which I will be doing later this summer.
Not wanting to have inferior work out there, I unpublished Norton and Gopher. They were decent reads, just not up to my new standards.
This made me doubt myself for a little while. Was all my work lacking? Would I run through my catalog and remove even more books from the public eye?
Eventually, I got a handle on myself and realized that being able to see that these early works were not up to snuff was a sign that my writing had evolved, that I was worthy of putting books out for consumption. This helped to pull me from my funk, but I wasn't out of my slight depression yet. I spent that last three weeks, piddling around with rereading Robot Blood again, attempting to avoid rereading Angus Farseek. I feared that I would find the book lacking and unpublishable.
This weekend, I couldn't delay any longer. Monday was fast approaching and with it the window of opportunity to write for thirteen days thanks to my summer track out. Was I going to let any of those days go by without writing? It sure felt like it. My funk was still there. I procrastinated for two days―until it was suddenly Sunday. I sat down this morning and read the 60 pages still in front of me and found myself entertained, sucked in, and brimming with inspiration. Wow, the book was outright awesome! Clever twists I only vaguely recall writing six months ago, gripping action, characters itching to be developed and expanded upon. Suddenly, my funk dried up.
It also helped a little that sales on my books jumped back up last month and were starting out well for July. Nothing earth-shattering, just slow and steady.
I feel better now. I let peeking at my sales and reviews each day dictate my attitude when I should've let the creative high from writing steer the ship.
Tomorrow will be my first day back writing after two months away. I expect to be a little rusty, but the prospect of delving into the mysteries and wonder I've created for Angus will help me push through to the other side. I'm ambitiously going to shoot for finishing book one of Angus Farseek by the end of July and then moving on to writing a follow-up of the first Monsters in Boxers. After that, something new, something wild and untamed. I want to write a book with an edge and with a little bit of brutalness. Not sure what, but I know it's got me excited.
Sayonara, funk! Here's to never seeing you again. If I do, be prepared for a takedown. Not going to let you win again.