I don’t write every day

I am not one of those writers who writes all the time.  I am certainly not one of those writers who swears by writing every day.  Something, every day, no matter what.  Not for me.  (Though I have calculated that if I did, I could come out with something in the neighborhood of 10 to 20 new books a year, every year.)  Looking back, I haven’t written any new fiction (or produced any actual pages of the two non-fiction books I have in mind) since NaNoWriMo ended November 30th, 2009.  Four and a half months now, I guess, without writing a word.

Some writers include everything – from my thousand-word blog posts down to my 140-character (or less) Tweets, and grocery lists besides, but that always seemed disingenuous to me.  Until I take the time to put together a book or two from my blog posts (that pot is still boiling away at the back of my mind, believe me), writing blog posts isn’t the sort of writing that I consider Writing.  Using Twitter more mostly improves my ability to use Twitter more.  Most of the time the write-every-day writers seem to be doing so in the hopes that it is like playing an instrument & they just need daily practice to get better and better.  Which is an interesting idea.  Have fun with that.

I just choose to think every day, instead.  A lot of the day, every day.  Thinking.

One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is my audiobooks.  The audio version of Forget What You Can’t Remember was completed this week, both on my feed and on Podiobooks.com.  I began podcasting the audio version of UTFBF-RoaAP, Book One on my own feed yesterday (it goes live at Podiobooks.com April 27th).  Book One will be 10 episodes, after that I’ll start Book Two, then probably Book Three – each of them about 10 episodes, since the books are all about the same length…  And then, in about 30 weeks, I’ll be out of novels to podcast.  According to the Google Calendar, where I just mapped out those 30 episodes to Fridays, I’ll run out in mid-November.

So one of the things I’ve been thinking about is that, between now and then, I’d better write something new.  Maybe the Self-Publishing book I’ve been thinking about writing will be podcast-able, but in addition to that I’d better write some new fiction.  There’s a good chance that, reading UTFBF over and over again for the next six months will get me to a place where I can write Book Four (and maybe continue from there with the series).  And I realize that since I can certainly write a book in a month (and have produced various first drafts in: 3 weeks, 2 weeks, and even 3 days, once  upon a time) that six months is plenty of time, but … I also know that for me, a big part of writing is thinking and I’d better get to thinking.  Thinking I’m going to write more books.

One of the other things I’ve been thinking, along these lines, is maybe I’ll not do that cards/book thing I was thinking about.  I dunno.  Thinking about the packaging/marketing/sales side of it has been making me queasy.  Writing the book is one thing, painting/creating the cards is another, each difficult in its own way, but then … I can’t just set it up with Lightning Source and know that anyone can walk into a book store and order it, or get it on Amazon/etc..  I can’t have it set up for Wholesale/POD at all, really, since I need the cards to be packaged with the book – I’ll have to order a huge amount of books, order the same number of decks of cards, package them together all by hand, and then … frankly, sell them by hand.  Which … I, ugh… I mean, in person sales at Art Walks and Art Fairs and even via social media is all fine, but … going to stores and trying to get them to carry my product, dealing with consignment and/or other even-more-bizarre methods everyone apparently uses for accounting for business transactions… the thought of it makes me sick.  I really like the idea of the product, but dealing with getting it to market makes me feel like shit.

Which has a lot to do with why I haven’t moved forward with the research and/or the art for that project.  At all.  bleh.  (Overwhelming depression is also a factor, but one that I’m at least able to grind some productivity from.)

I’ve got to go get ready for an Art Fair today.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to think more, in between customers.

New novel complete!

(This post was originally created for and posted on the Modern Evil News (& Podcast) feed.)

Monday night I finished typing up the first draft of my new novel. (I’m still working on a name – what do you think of “Forget What You Can’t Remember”?) I wrote the entire thing on a manual typewriter, an Olivetti TROPICAL, which is to say ‘on paper, with ink.’ In between other projects and errands in the last two days, I’ve read the entire thing from start to finish. Out loud. Mostly to myself and to the cat. But it sounds pretty good, and I think it’s self-consistent, well-resolved, and perhaps yet another novel without an easy answer to the question “What’s it about?”

Briefly: It’s a followon to Lost and Not Found, though not a direct sequel. There are roughly two characters in common between the two books, and the main character from Lost and Not Found does not appear at all in this new one; it has an entirely new cast of characters and settings. It begins with the event that changed the world at the end of Lost and Not Found, and with zombies, but soon the story follows the characters to the flying city of Skythia while delving into the ways these various characters respond to both what has happened to them and the strange environment they now find themselves in. Going back to their old ways, moving on with their lives, lashing out against a system and a world they don’t understand, falling in love, or simply going a bit mad in a mad, mad world – the several interconnected characters’ journeys are really the heart of the story.

I’m about to start re-typing the whole thing into my computer. I haven’t decided how and when to first make it available, but I know for sure that it’ll be available in all the formats I have to offer: Paperback, eBook, and audiobook. I’m also planning on writing a companion book in November (for NaNoWriMo, actually), a collection of short stories which will tell stories somewhat perpendicular to the main thread of this novel. That is, where the novel follows closely the lives of its ensemble cast, especially re: the main progression of events, the short stories will help to build out the world the story takes place in, adding richness in the periphery of that story by telling stories that intersect with it. So, for example, in one chapter of the novel a superhero interrupts a mysterious, murderous heist at a Kwytzwyk Temple, and it changes his outlook on justice and ethics – and I want to write the story of the thieves, their previous exploits, and to give a lot more detail on the specifics of the Kwytzwyk religious practices and beliefs; all things that weren’t relevant to the main story of the novel, but which is a narrative with details worth exploring. (Playing around with a title for that gives me things like “More To Forget” and “More Memories For Forgetting”…)