Sometimes I look at myself and think, “Rebecca, this has to stop.” I have a bunch of crystals, I have a tarot deck, I practice yoga multiple times a day. If anyone ever notices me getting into the spiritual side of yoga, please stage an intervention.
I’m still working on the project I’ve dubbed Stormborne, but the flavor of it has changed a little.
The short of some recent … existential realizations is: I wrote all the stories in the Artifice and Ascension series because they were fun and I wanted to write them. But as soon as I made the decision to publish those stories, I started down the path of monetizing my hobby. I went hard in the paint into the indie author business thing, and doing so had a huge negative effect on my creativity.
I really should have known better, considering this wasn’t my first foray into self-publishing, but I suppose I’m lucky I realized within a year instead of five or ten. The pressure to get noticed coupled with the pressure to produce more content, and not necessarily content I was excited about producing (i.e. what might sell, or what I could write for no other purpose but to sell), became enormous, since it was now intrinsically tied to my success as an author. It’s been my dream since childhood to be a writer full time, but as soon as I got into the thick of it … well, big surprise, for a career that’s so romanticized. It isn’t anything like what I thought it would be. I don’t like most aspects of the business side of writing, especially marketing/endlessly screaming into the void. I just like to write and share stories, and the publishing side ended up getting in the way of that.
So, instead of letting this mood spiral out of control any further, I took a step back for a couple weeks and started the process of rewiring my brain. (This is a work in progress.) I don’t regret publishing any of what I have so far, and I plan to share more stories—I simply refuse to lose my love of writing in the process. And unfortunately, that’s what’s been creeping up on me since I released Legacy of Flame.
I have a really great idea for turning Stormborne into a serial on this very blog when I get closer to finishing, and the weight that’s recently come off my shoulders means I’ll probably finish it much faster now—as contradictory as that may seem—since I’ll be enjoying the writing process more. So keep your eye out for updates, or subscribe to the blog to receive an email when I post the official project announcement.
I’m … a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t get into fantasy books properly until I was an adult. Lord of the Rings was a given before that—both the books and the movies—and here and there I would read fantasy as it was becoming more popular in YA, but I spent most of high school devouring these fun and awful private school wealth-fetishization series, of which Gossip Girl was easily the most popular. My first novels, even, were in that vein; anyone who read them could attest to how terrible they were, and how misplaced my pride was.
Regardless, because I didn’t get into fantasy until later, I missed out on a lot of the formative epic fantasy books/series that I would have loved getting swept up in when I was younger. So I’ve spent the last couple months trying to catch up on some of them.
- Dune by Frank Herbert. Finally got around to reading this. Some lucky (unlucky?) readers will know that I played around with Aria from the OG Ice Realm timeline having this magical power called foresight in early versions of what became Blood of Ice. She was essentially impossible to kill because any threat to her life would trigger future-sight of it, though she wasn’t conscious she had this ability, at first. Had I read Dune before now, I would NOT have touched a power like that. It just gets out of control so quickly … Dune is a great book, by the way. You heard it here first.
- The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan. Epic fantasy has some of the coolest writing in the world, if you ask me. The feeling, the rhythm, the word choices: so good. I can already tell Jordan is a meanderer, and not just because I’ve heard that about him (and The Wheel of Time generally) over and over, but nothing can undermine how much I adore the prose in epic fantasy.
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. I did not finish reading this book because (SPOILER) Ged’s animal companion died (END SPOILER) and I could NOT take it. Again, though, that epic fantasy prose. Her style is so beautiful and punchy without ever feeling overwrought. What I did read took me to another plane of existence.
Does anyone want a black cat? He’s obnoxiously loud and he’ll ruin your furniture, but he likes to cuddle. Pictures are not indicative of psychosis.
That’s it for now. See you soon!
(Please leave a comment if you have thoughts or advice about vociferous and destructive cats.)