New Beginnings

It’s comin’ on the end of August
Another summer’s promise almost gone

And though I heard some wise man say
That every dog will have his day
He never mentioned that these dog days get so long…

(The song, by the way, is ‘Waiting in the Weeds’ from the ‘Long Road Out of Eden’ album. It’s a lovely song, go listen to it).

Upcoming honest-from-the-heart blog stuff. Feel free not to look.

I’ve just come home after a lovely weekend away with the fabulous Nik Vincent-Abnett in the very pretty city of Lincoln. If you’ve never been there, go along sometime, it’s quite lovely. We were told over and over by random strangers to eat at Brown’s Pie Shop at the top of Steep Hill. We did this on Sunday for lunch after Dan had arrived and my word, the recommendation was spot on. Most delicious!

Note. Steep Hill is both of those things. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Over the weekend, we had a great opportunity to just sit and chat and it was something that was very much needed from my point of view. In case you’d not picked it up from the relative absence on the interwebs over the past few months, I’ve not been in a great place. Truth of the matter is that I have a long-standing tendency towards depression and it sort of sucked me up in its vortex and refused to let go of me. The good thing is that I’ve definitely started fighting back. But a number of conversations with Nik over the weekend got me thinking about a lot of things and one of those was a sudden need to look at how I have actually changed in the three years since I started properly writing stuff.

I’m going to come clean here. The root cause of the current low ebb is my own stupidity and stubborn nature. I didn’t stop writing pretty much for two years solid. I wrote three novels and a lot of short stories pretty much back-to-back in that time. Doesn’t sound a lot when you say it like that, but tie into that the fact that I also have a full-time 40 hour a week job. When I turned in the manuscript for Project: Loophole in March, I sort of came to a halt. And then the exhaustion came up and whacked me in the face with a cricket bat. Back when I used to go live roleplaying, I always said that it only hurt when you stopped. Turns out that writing is much the same.

As a consequence, it’s taken me a while to get the momentum back up again. I’ve hardly blogged in that time and I’ve written very little otherwise. But the point is… I have written. Even if it’s not been a great amount, even if I haven’t been achieving the same kind of wordcount I was pushing out three months ago, it’s still writing. But I have this ridiculous personality trait which means that I beat myself up over it. Well, after this weekend, I’m addressing that. Because it’s quite frankly stupid.

I am, to paraphrase something I said to Nik over the weekend, bucking my ideas up.

So with September coming on, I’m preparing to get myself back into the routine. I will come home from work, I will spend time writing and then I will do the things I want to do. Not the other way around.

I said to Nik yesterday morning, ‘for the first time in months, I’ve realised that I can do this’. The evidence is already there. The Gildar Rift and Valkia the Bloody have been pretty well-received all round and that pleases me enormously. Sure, there are people who haven’t liked one, either or both of them, but I’m not so small minded and stupid that I insist everyone in the world like everything equally. My short story The Ballad of Gilrain will shortly be released in the Fox Spirit Anthology Tales of the Nun & Dragon alongside other illustrious and awesome folks. The evidence that I can do it is definitely out there.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some writing.

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4 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. Damn right! Taking a break is important. I reached a similar meltdown point a couple of months ago, although I hadn’t been at it for anywhere near the amount of time you had. Sometimes you need a break. You’re allowed. You’re also awesome. Really looking forward to your story in N&D 😀

  2. Christian Couture says:

    I hear you, on all accounts! In the hopes of fighitng off the invading tendrils of negative feelings, I have decided to leave my full-time job in an attempt to evade ‘the Man’ once and for all and do nothing but write. It’s bound to be a live/die by the sword kinda thing but at least it will be on my terms.

    I think that what most people call ‘maturing’ is just accepting all the absurdity that is society; wether it’s work-related constraints or non-sensical, ‘let us do all we can do be as bland as possible, Gods forbid we should offend the pure of eye and heart!’ Hell, if I wanted to be a skaven slave, I’d be one:P Ironically, I just started a Skaven army just yesterday but I digress…

    Please do forgive the rant, I am done. For what’s it’s worth Sarah, I’ve just read Valkia and was assaulted by shame whenever I put it down. It’s truly a fantasy wonder, and I read a disturbing bit.

  3. Christian Couture says:

    Keep fighting the good fight! Just remember, you gotta play as hard as you work. Else, nothing really has a point. Life truly is too short to live it any other way.

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