So, first of all, Queen’s Gambit is up to ~52,500 words. Not sure how long it’ll be, being honest… I usually don’t know at this point, though. I’ve also written a bit on Adept of Chaos, but not a whole lot. Why? That’s going to be discussed a little below. I’m cross-posting it from my Patreon from the other day:
So, this is to update everyone on my current status. Primarily about writing, but I may range a bit farther afield than that. I don’t know, I’m writing this because I felt I needed to.
Needless to say, the last year has been exhausting. Yes, I’m an introvert by nature, but even I like to go out on occasion, to see things and relax. It’s been a slowly-building source of stress for me over the entire year, and at the beginning of the year, I inadvertently increased my stress levels… by telling all of you what I hoped to get done this year.
Yes, as odd as it may seem, me telling you what I wanted to write this year caused me stress. I didn’t promise it, but that didn’t matter to my subconscious. I’m the sort of person who views something that I say as a commitment, even if I didn’t mean it that way. I think that’s a large part of why I ended up not writing for a large chunk of February, as it came right on the heels of writing the bulk of Chosen of Chaos in a month.
Anyway, I’ve also had other sources of stress. Taxes are always worrying (that got dealt with yesterday, thank goodness… a weight off my shoulders). I’ve had issues with artists several times over the last few months, far more than I’ve had in the previous four years that I’d been publishing. It’s possible that’s just the pandemic hitting other people, but I couldn’t say for sure. Anyway, I’ve put a fair amount of weight on my shoulders, and I think I need to take a step back and try to offload some of the stress. That’s part of what this post is about.
First off, here’s been my personal commitment for writing pretty much from when I started publishing. I want to publish three books per calendar year (excluding collections). More is good, but three books is what I want to manage. I’ve generally managed five a year, which is great! But at the same time, it’s putting more stress on my shoulders when I accidentally make that ‘the norm’.
This year, I’ve published Queen’s Journey and Chosen of Chaos so far. Queen’s Journey had done modestly well, but not incredibly. Chosen of Chaos, on the other hand, took off like a homesick meteor. Sure, it didn’t do as well as Ancient Ruins did when it launched my career, but thus far in the month so far it has exceeded the first three months of sales for all but five of my books. The Ancient Dreams trilogy, Born a Queen, and Down with the Queen are the only books ahead of it, and I’m quite confident that it’s going to get past both books of Lilith’s Shadow within a couple of weeks. If it does so, it’s going to have about doubled the first three months of sales for other books I’ve written. It’s insane, and I’m happy that’s the case.
However, here’s the list of projects I talked about at the start of the year:
- Queen’s Gambit
- Chosen of Chaos
- Broken Chains
- Soul Bound 2
- Through the Fire (starting with Obelisk of Blood)
- Beesong Chronicles (starting with Apis & Asps)
As you can see, only one of those projects has been published, Chosen of Chaos. As of this writing (March 24th), I have approximately 47,500 words on Queen’s Gambit, which is over half the length of Born a Queen (~93,000 words), and a little more than 1/3 the length of Queen’s Journey (~120,000 words). The only other projects that have a significant amount written for them are Broken Chains (~60,000 words) and Adept of Chaos (~32,500 words).
Now, stress management means that I need to tell you that I’m cutting a bunch of these from the list for this year. This does not mean they won’t be written in approximately the order I stated, just that I’m trimming my list to where it’s manageable for my stress levels.
- Chosen of Chaos has been very successful, it has my inspiration, so Adept of Chaos is going to continue. I don’t think it’ll shove Queen’s Gambit out of my primary spot, but the two are jockeying hard.
- Queen’s Gambit is coming along well, now that I’m past a writer’s block moment, so it’s definitely happening. Secondarily, this will end an ongoing series (at least for a while) which reduces low-level stress.
- Broken Chains is in a rough spot. I have 34 chapters written, but I haven’t worked on it since January. I just don’t have the energy to work on three projects at once, and even two is pushing it if it doesn’t have the insane enthusiasm of Adept of Chaos. I may, may choose to focus on finishing this once Queen’s Gambit is done. I don’t dare promise it.
- Soul Bound 2 (as yet untitled due to plot driving the name) is vital to get done before I can proceed with Through the Fire. The two series are geographically close together, and it will have repercussions that will be noticed in that series. It has to be done first, so it’s on the list. It’s also going to end the storyline, which will reduce stress (like with Queen’s Gambit).
- Both Beesong Chronicles and Through the Fire are being pushed off the list of plans for the year. They very well may happen, but my stress levels say I have to cut something, and they’re the victims that make the most sense.
I can’t say that I’m happy to make this decision, if I’m being honest. It feels like I’m being forced to pick favorites, and all my characters and series are near and dear to my heart. It also makes me feel like I’m failing in my obligations, which I don’t enjoy at all.
However, even with the reduced workload I’m talking about, I may not finish all the projects I’m talking about this year. I may be pushing myself too hard. I hope I don’t have to trim them more, but… you deserve to know what’s going on.
Hopefully this makes things more manageable on my end, and I stop feeling so frazzled.