What Not to do Next?

There’s a shitload of caveats/disclaimers going hand in hand with this post. Most notable: I’m currently sitting on info I’m dying to share, but can’t, because we live in a world made of paper and snail mail and I’ve learned, a long time ago, that you can’t say shit (or announce shit) until everything is done and over with. So here are my personal current levels of Hell instead, in no particular order.

The books I’ve already written first drafts of

Somehow, to me, they always seem to be at the very top of my priorities list (kept in my head, thank you very much, because I can imagine almost nothing worse than to do lists which you can actually see). Somehow, they’re the thing I hate the very most in life. Because editing sucks the life force out of me. And yet… I try to edit at least a little bit every day, nowadays. Don’t always manage it, but it keeps the momentum going. (Books whose first drafts are almost finished linger here, too.)

The books I already have planned out

Or trilogies. Because that’s where we’re at, here at S’n’W headquarters. As of this week, I have one book to write with already a few thousand words in (Johnny’s Girls 2—planned for NaNoWriMo 2020!), one trilogy to write which is already mapped out, except I didn’t nail down two of the main four characters yet (dammit), and three more books planted around (The Werewolf Novel 4, and JG 3 & 4). I’m not even sure why I’m writing this segment anymore, because there’s obviously nothing I can do about any of these until I finish the three books stuck in the top level, see above.

The stories inbetween (tie-ins)

They always seem to fall behind in triage, for me—and they truly shouldn’t. It’s just that, ungh, novels. Since I publish so rarely (working on it), I have to prioritize novels. It is the only way. (But I have no idea what I’m doing so, I can’t quote my favourite X-man to the letter, alas.) Out there, in the brilliant new world of online publishing, it makes almost no sense not to write tie-in novellas. I think they will start rising on my own priorities list, too, as stuff progresses. (Soon, oh, so soon.)

The mutual projects with fellow writers

I currently have only two and a half, but I’ve been known to partake in more, and… I never seem to manage it all at the same time. When you write for a while (dammit, I’m gonna start dusting myself for maintenance soon if I continue in this manner), you learn what you care about the most. And I care about my stuff more than collaborative projects, sorry. (I don’t even write collaborations—I mean more like magazines and events and such. 2020 was actually great like this.)

The blog (this blog!)

Oh, I love my blog. It’s the culmination of a decade of work in several written media. And I haven’t missed a week since sometime last winter (whoa). And I don’t intend to start anytime soon. (I do schedule a lot, no worries—can’t keep a weekly rhythm if my life depended on it.) Thus, the blog needs to be taken care of. Luckily, I use completely different parts of my typing brain to write the blog and the fiction, and I still find the blog easier (mostly because I have way lower expectations). And the subscribers’ list keeps growing, so… love it.

The education

Never forget your education. And I don’t just mean the writers’ blogs and social media you read to see what’s going on out there in the publishing world (that is, the whole wide world). I mean reading books about writing. Books about business. Trying out new tools. Daring to live on the edge. Weirdly enough, reading about writing makes me want to write, so it’s a double positive, for me.

My heart’s deepest desires

Like the novel(la)-in-the-making currently titled “Brigitte Frankenstein”. (Because it needs that much work to bring it back to life.) Or the unnanouncable project. Or books (khm 13-part series) I’ve been itching to write for the past five years (and more). And still, every other book—any other book—seems to be able to kick these out. At what point does a ‘priority’ become irrelevant? Probably sometime around the moment you become honest with yourself, that’s when.

So, to start the peculiar autumn of 2020 on an honest note, I’m only committing to working on one new novel and one short story (yes, it’s a tie-in) in the last part of this year. I’m gonna try and to more, I always do. But no promises.

Not in 2020.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash.