Housekeeping and Progress

Good Sunday, everyone, and (if you celebrate it) I hope you’re having a fantastic Easter celebration today!

For the “housekeeping” part of today’s post, I wanted to mention something that I started earlier this week over on my Facebook page and Twitter feed. I started something I’m calling “Working On It Wednesdays” where I give you a little glimpse into what I’m working on for the Sunday blog post and newsletter. If you’re following my Facebook page and Twitter feed, this means you’ll get a little bit of early access / sneak peek into each week’s blog post / newsletter. While this might not seem like much, it could also include stuff like polls about what you guys would like for me to talk about, or even about what “sneak peek” I post next regarding Firebrand – stuff like character information, maps, and other fun stuff!

Now, if the housekeeping is the appetizer of this week’s post, I suppose the first course would be this section. I want to talk a little bit about progress, and exactly what that means in the life of a writer. From what I’ve observed, “progress” is quite the subjective term. For another writer, “progress” may entail 2,000+ words in a day, and might include a dedicated time to sit down and and write every day. For other writers, “progress” is reaching a weekly wordcount goal set on Sunday or Monday, regardless of time commitment or consistency. For me, progress is making any creative headway at all. This past week I’ve decided to take time every day to write, even if it’s just a little bit. So far this week I’ve managed to average around 300-400 words a day, which is a HUGE upgrade from the absolute zee-row words I’ve written over the past…well…several years now.

There really isn’t a problem with the amount that I’ve written this week. I’ve spread it out among several different projects. I have two short stories that I’ve been writing just for myself – I feel like you guys deserve some new material from me, and that comes in the form of a few horror(ish) short stories. I also decided that I wanted to try and write something new to (hopefully) be included in an upcoming horror anthology. I’ve also been working, sporadically, on the narrative of Firebrand this week. So, the question then becomes why have I not written consistently in several years. Well, kids, stuff’s about to get real, y’all.

Several years ago – when my son was just a toddler (he’s almost 19 now), I was diagnosed with a pretty hefty case of depression. I took meds for it for a very long time, but they made me feel like…not me, I suppose. I quit them cold turkey (yes, I know, super bad advice) and spent several years after that struggling with managing my depression on my own. Within the past two years, I’ve gone back on medication and things are better. Still not perfect (and I don’t think they ever will be), but better. I still have good days and bad days, and sometimes those bad days are very bad. I work through them, though (I hesitate to say “struggle” because although it is, I like to think of it as a challenge that I am going to meet, not a struggle that I barely make it through). Another facet of the depression that challenges me is imposter syndrome. The depression takes over and I can’t stop the thoughts that everything I produce isn’t good enough and never will be good enough. I work every day to meet that challenge and overcome it. Every day that I make progress on something creative is a day that I’ve accepted the challenge, risen to it, and feel better prepared to meet that challenge tomorrow.

So…I guess the point of this is to say that if you’re dealing with this, don’t let your mind tell you that you’re dealing with it alone. A lot of us work hard to keep our chins up, and the knowledge that I’m not alone is sometimes all that keeps me going. So keep on going. I’m going to keep on going. Let’s do it together.

Last but certainly not least, this week I stumbled upon a rather fantastic article written by the author Wayne Santos that deals with the validity of inspiration. I very much appreciated the article, and have shared it both on my Facebook profile as well as on Twitter. Santos makes quite a few very good points about inspiration, where it comes from, and why we find things meaningful as individuals, as writers, and as readers. I encourage you all to go take a look and have a read!

“Inspiration From Anywhere is Valid” by Wayne Santos

I’m already thinking about what I want to talk about on the blog next week. I’ve been thinking a lot about lists this week; in Firebrand our protagonist is working on lists at the moment that I’m writing this post, so…I’ve been formulating a “Writer’s To-Do List”. It’s something that I think about a little bit myself, and I thought I might address it in a few thoughts to you guys this week.

Also, what would you guys like to hear about here on the blog? What sorts of questions do you have about writing, or about writing in the fantasy or horror genres? What sort of things do you face and deal with as a writer that you’d like to talk about? Please feel free to put your thoughts out there in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

I like to pose a question to you guys each week – something fun for you to think about and perhaps give me a little insight into who you guys are. So, this week, I’d like to know…if you could sit down with any author from any time (present author or past author) who would it be, and why? What sort of insight do you think you would gain from their perspective on life, the world…everything?

See you all next Sunday!

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