You ever walk outside on a cold winter day and get hit so hard in the face with a gust of frigid wind, that you feel like your entire bloodline for generations to come is awake? Like nature just slapped the absolute hell out of you and you have no words? Yeah, well that’s how I felt when I randomly started checking this blog to see what I should write about, and realized that I started sharing excerpts of Forgotten LAST YEAR. Way to fall behind, Kaia B.
A year ago I tried to do NaNoWriMo. I failed but I got a good 30k out of the bargain so I didn’t feel totally awful. Forgotten was the story I was writing, as it’s next up in my publishing queue. I was in full production mode, having just published two books, and getting ready to publish my third while working through edits for Loose Ends. My mind was focused intently on what others would see next. And that’s probably where things went a bit left of center. I was already worrying about what others would think. Gone was the blessed lack of awareness that accompanied writing Sunday, or the tenacity to finish what I started with Loose Ends.
This year I tried NaNo again, hoping to put a dent in Forgotten’s sequel while I finished up the first draft. I made it to about 4k. Dismal by comparison to my former output and my usual writing speed. And I was totally numb; I shrugged it off and then went back to fucking off online, diddling around with scenes for Forgotten, and working on my pieces for grad school. I could feel myself shutting down, and for good reason. I was probably tired. That and playing the part of a writer is different than actually writing, go figure. Coming from a world of instant gratification (posting my stories online for free), I was more apt to update FB than I was my manuscript, because interaction was mostly guaranteed and I was craving that. Publishing a book is all about delayed gratification.
Then I looked up the other day and BOOM! full-blown realization hit me. Forgotten still wasn’t done and not because it couldn’t have been. I’d wasted a lot of time talking and thinking about writing and other stuff. But that’s not really how I stay excited about a project, or how I create. There comes a time during every project where you have to put your head down and charge forward on your own, or it just doesn’t get done. So it was a learning experience for me, and going forward as someone who plans to write more books in the future, I know better and can do better.
This is a pattern that scares the shit out of me to be honest and I’m glad I recognized it. I’m not a writer who writes every single day, but I’m fast, passionate and confident once I’m in the throes of creativity. I finished Sunday in five months, The Fifth Day in a couple of weeks, and Loose Ends (a nearly 600 page series) in 2 years, with the first two thirds of it finished in less than one. There is an urgency within in me that will see a story through to completion, and I know it’s not a fluke. But I also know that if I don’t rein myself in I can go years (six at last count) without producing anything, just writing in circles. And I’d rather not go back down that dark corridor.
I’ve done a lot in nearly two years, but all the tweets, FB posts, blog posts, and Tumblr reblogs in the world can’t fill the void of actually writing another book. Talking to my friends about writing it won’t fill the void, and neither will trying to avoid all the tropes and plot points that some may condemn, readers and fellow authors alike. So it’s time to stop worrying about where I fit in this world as a writer and just write the damn book, which means I will be focused more on that and less on the instant gratification that comes with social media.
Now that I’m published and actually have a platform, I also have to be around every once in a while to update you guys. I do love hearing from you, answering your questions and sharing my journey. I just would like to also have a book to share with you, lol. So it’s back to trying to use this blog for that. I’ll update social media here and there, of course, but not as often as I have been until I’m closer to sharing a completed work and have something to say other than “it’s coming!”. In my little corner of the world/internet, I just want to write great stories and give you the kind of drama you can enjoy. Here’s to waking up next year with a new book on the horizon and Forgotten in someone’s TBR pile.