Last week I posted a blog that was, in hindsight, a wee bit vague and perhaps had a tone of panic about it. I do know I had a few e-mails asking if I was okay and indeed I am. It was one of those times when I sort of had sensory overload, you know? And since my mind isn't spinning quite as quickly this week, I'm going to attempt to clarify that post with some calmer ramblings for this week's Writers Wednesday. This post fits more into the writing life as a whole rather than writing craft, and it's something that affects both published and unpublished writers - and that's the state of the biz.
The truth is the publishing industry is changing - drastically. The landscape is shifting daily. A handful of examples are the Borders "restructuring", the launch of Avon's new IMPULSE e-book line, the increasing numbers of writers turning to self-publishing. Now bear in mind that I'm on a couple of RWA loops, my publisher loops, chapter loops, etc. and I'm getting hit with this info from a lot of sides from a number of perspectives and viewpoints. At the same time I'm trying to focus on my story, meet my deadline, schedule promotion...
There is a lot of shizzle goin' on in my head, y'all. And I don't do well with chaos. Or when things are in flux. So while not particularly stressed, per se, I did get to a point where there were too many voices competing in my head and it became noise.
So much of what's going on is out of my control. The only thing I can truly control is what I put on the page. And so when THAT comes into doubt, it becomes a little harder. I do know that I have this book and 2 more that I'm writing for Harlequin Romance - hurrah! That's good. But I write other things too. And so I ask myself...What SHOULD I be writing? Where should I be targeting? I even...and I can't believe I'm saying this...had a moment where I thought I should be following a trend. I don't chase trends. Not in a "I need to write this because it's hot right now" kind of way. I'm more of a "do what I do best and tailor it to be as marketable as I can" kind of person. Which might be arguing semantics, I suppose. But I was definitely thinking about it in a much more focused, direct way - something I've always cautioned other writers not to do. *hangs head in shame*
Then I think about people I know who are seeing some success with self publishing, and I'm seeing a HUGE number of people considering/following suit and I wonder...am I missing something? I look at some of the promo efforts going on and wonder if I'm missing the boat there as well. Are old methods simply not working anymore?
It all comes down to...AM I DOING THE RIGHT THING? AM I MAKING A MISTAKE?
Which then boils down to ONE BIG OL' NASTY DISTRACTION from doing what I can control: the writing.
So that's where I was at. I'm still not sure if I'm doing the right thing by staying the course. I'm not sure where any of this is going to end up and if I'll be in a better place when it shakes out or if I'll be left behind. That's why I'm glad to have my agent and my critique partner - at least I feel like I'm not alone.
And the day of "reflection" was good for me. I figured out some of that question of what I should be writing (besides my deadline book, lol!). And the frenetic energy was good because I did sort a lot out in my mind and on the page. The chasing I was going to do has now become a family tree/outline for future use. My "other" project, which was possibly book 1 of a 3 book idea, is now book 2, because I figured out that it was off because the planned book 2 should actually be book 1. I wrote down chapter 1 and had 2000 words before i knew it - and 2000 words that felt GOOD. I also heard back that my current opening for my WIP is good to go.
Am I doing the right thing? I don't know. All I know for sure is that the surest way to fail is not to do anything at all. And that's SO not an option.