I'm kicking off the New Year with a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It seemed like a good place to start for several reasons. First, the Admin for IWSG is announcing the winners of the IWSG anthology contest and you can find that here. Second, I think I more productive on Wednesdays than I ever am on Mondays.
Recently, I got a fan mail in my inbox that reminded me of why I write. I hope that you guys get fan mails like this because it was a little kick in the pants since I'd kind of lapsed on working on my sequel to Oculus, preferring instead to work on my Dungeons & Dragons game that I run every other week. My latest project for that was to do a map of my world in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. It's really quite fun, and I've spent hours drawing on my map while watching television on my new 4K ultra-high definition 55-inch OLED (it's beyond fantastic). The fan mail was really one of the shorter ones I've gotten, and its message very simple:
"I've been reading Slipstream and Oculus the past couple weeks and now am desperate to finish the story. Loved the 1st chapter of Caledfwlch and wondered when a possible release date could be."
I read that and was like..."uh..." hmm. So I started corresponding with this fan and told him that I was about 95% done, and if he'd like, I could send him the rough draft so he could read it and then get back to me on what he thought. And he agreed to it! So yeah...I got myself a beta-reader. In addition, because I felt embarrassed for having not worked on it since May, I actually started working on it again by re-reading and editing what I'd gotten done. And now I'm all caught up, the story is refreshed in my head, and I feel like I can finish this thing by the end of this month. I guess I've been guilty of being one of those people that get on George R.R. Martin's case about taking so long between sequels (you may recently have heard that the Winds of Winter is not going to come out before season 6 airs on HBO). George is (of course) in a different league when it comes to writing, but I think I get it. I think I understand how time can just "go by" in a blink and before you know it, it's been years between sequels.
I admire writers like my friend Patrick Dilloway who are so incredibly disciplined that they can churn out forty books in just a few years. I think that kind of discipline is pretty rare, a gift really, and is a wonderful thing if you got it. And I know fans have gotta love that kind of discipline in their favorite author. It's something I need to work on for sure.
Anyway, this has been my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. The co-hosts for January are: