My dear readers,
Back in August I revamped this blog (changing over from Google's Blogger to one offered by this site's provider, Wix) with the intention of being more visible and using this space as another way (outside of Twitter and Facebook) of sharing content directly with you. My plan was to author a new post once a week, covering a variety of writerly topics such as book reviews, interviews with other authors, updates and musings on the newest manuscript, experiences writing my previous books (published, unpublished, and the downright so-awful-it-shall-remain-buried-forever-in-a-crate), random life stuff, and the like. Things started out well, I must say, interviewing fellow author Kevin Lucia and reviewing his latest, Things You Need...
Life happened. As it does.
So often does.
And time. Time also became a factor. There's just never enough of it.
I don't discuss my day job on social media, or here on the blog, for many reasons. Suffice to say, the nine-to-five has been exhausting and draining these past few months. My current WIP - the second draft of a new novel called Renewal, which was a hard rewrite of a previous novel attempt of mine called Mystery Garden and then renamed A Matter Of Time - has taken twice as long to complete because I just haven't had the energy or the long-term focus at night after the kids are in bed to dedicate any substantial time to my writing.
Sure, there's always been the option to take an hour or so after the day job is over, but that's right in the middle of family time. Quite honestly, as my kids are growing up (my daughter four, my son now a year old), and my wife's work is consuming in it's own way, family time is integral to all of us at home. And that's time I'm not willing to compromise, no matter how big the dream of nabbing an agent and selling a book to a big publishing house. Priorities, dear readers. Family comes first.
In terms of progress, I've been toiling away a few pages at a time on Renewal's second draft since late August. Currently, I'm about 68% through the material, and have trimmed a good deal of fat. The first draft came in at a hair over 100k; the second draft will likely total out somewhere around 88k - a goodish length for a quirky, closed off, family-centered contemporary novel.
I suppose it should be noted that second drafts, for me anyway, take the longest - another contributor to the current four-month stretch of working on this story. It's in this stage of my process that I'm figuring out what works, what needs to stay, and what, ultimately, needs to go (killing those darlings). My second drafts are typed as a whole new document, using the first draft as a guide. My third and fourth drafts are edited on screen so they don't take nearly as long to complete.
While the work has been slow, I'm very confident in the way Renewal is being shaped. I've fine-tuned much of what I love about the story, and axed entire pages of material that just meanders or drags. Much as I want to scribe an epic novel, this is not that kind of story, and I tend to prefer lean and mean writing versus doorstop manuscripts that take too long getting to the heart of the tale. In short, I'm moving in the right, and most comfortable, direction.
Going forward: once I (hopefully) finish draft two by the end of January, I'll be taking February off entirely, and then delve into draft three in March. By summertime I'd like to begin the agent search.
I'd also like to find the time to work on a new story - I'm penciled in for a novella release with Winter Goose Publishing at the end of 2019, and have one already fleshed out called The Midnight Carousel, which will get me back into my wheelhouse of tales featuring supernatural elements (akin to The Painted Lady). It'll take a small miracle to have that story ready, but it's something I'd really like to accomplish. Especially since my last published book was two years ago. It's time to get something out there - just as much for you as for myself.
Also, I want to do more blogs. I don't know about once a week - that's spreading myself a little too thin - but maybe bi-weekly. At the very least once a month. I have two drafts partially written that I need to finish and post - 1) a wrap-up of the books I've read this year, and 2) how the works of author S.D. Perry were my first heavy influence to become a novelist at the age of 14. Look for them next month (if time and energy allow).
Well, that's pretty much where everything stands as of now, dear readers. I want 2019 to be a more productive year writing-wise, but I make no promises when it comes to the completion or release of content. In the end, things will happen as they are meant to.
Until next time...