I have decided that I would MUCH rather write than try to get anything I write published. Writing is fun, creative, relaxing. Trying to find a literary agent takes time, isn’t fun, is stressful and can bruise the ego, too. So, my way to deal with this since Christmas was to essentially not do anything.
In all fairness, I didn’t do much writing for the last 3 months, either. I opened up my newest book to get reacquainted and found I had only written 9 pages and that the last time I saved anything was on October 31, 2016. This makes sense to me, as Halloween has always been the official “unoffical” start to the holiday season. It is when other things occupy my already limited time and my brain’s creative juice turn more to how to give 4 kids a good Christmas on a shoestring budget than to write. The limited time I did have was spent re-editing (again) my first two books, creating a webpage and starting this blog.
But, man, did it feel good the other day to re-open that book and get started. I thought I had lost my momentum, but instead, in two days, 8 more pages have come pouring out. That doesn’t sound like much, I know, but for the 1 hour I have been able to spend on it in the past two days, I think 8 pages is actually a pretty decent showing! I picked right up where my characters left off and I am excited about where it is all going.
Stress is a funny thing, though. It has a way of creeping in and diverting priorities. It also changes a writer’s mind. It is interesting the things I focus on in my stories depending on the day I am writing. On the days were I am full of turmoil, my characters experience more angst. The days where I feel stress’ grip lessen for me, I write more light-hearted events in the story.
My writing speed is also driven my my stress level. When I am very stressed and writing becomes my outlet, the words fall out faster than my fingers can type. When I am stressed, but focusing on other things, I am slower than molasses in December in the Antarctic. Stress also affects my ability to write romance. When I am too worked up about anything, my mind is just not in a romantic state.
For now, because of what is going on in my personal life, I will, for the most part, continue on my hiatus from trying to get published and instead just write for the sake of channeling my nervous energy somewhere else. I know that I should keep on with trying to find an agent, but at the same time, it seems like it would just add extra stress and that pretty much defeats the purpose in why I started writing in the first place.
The fact of the matter is that it is incredible that I wrote two novels in the course of 1 year and started on a third. In fact, I actually wrote two novels and started on a third in 10 months. We aren’t talking short novels, either; my two finished manuscripts are both around 350 pages on 8.5 x 11 paper, so in book pages, that is closer to 550 pages. I am still amazed what came out of MY brain… MY imagination. I kind of don’t really care if they ever get published or not, honestly. The people who have actually read them seem to like them, but I don’t know if I care enough about getting them out there for others to read that I am willing to take on the stress of getting them published when instead I can focus on what writing was supposed to be in the first place: An outlet.
So, I have chosen to put writing ahead of publishing. I will still be looking for agents and if I get published, wonderful. But, my focus needs to be on creating right now for my own sanity!