May. 20th, 2011

naomi_jay: (angel fire)

Today is the deadline for Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell. I've got three more stories to read through, and then I'm calling the anthology full and closed, and going into the editing phase. I'm really proud of the stories in this one, and of how Wicked Witchery is shaping up, but I'm going to take a break before starting any more. For one thing, Static Movement has dozens of open anthologies right now, and I think there is such a thing as too much choice; for another I really need to cut some stuff out of my schedule for my own wellbeing. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I'm exhausted and verging on being a nervous wreck, and something has to go.

I think I have to take that approach to all my other writing stuff too. My main focus at the moment is Night Breed, the third Urban Wolf book. I don't want to get all distracted and delayed with that like I did last year with DARK HUNT because of DEMONISED, so I'm attempting to be strict with myself. Things being as they are, it hasn't worked very well so far, but I'm optimistic that once Serve in Heaven... is edited and outn of my hands, that will change.

I'm musing a lot right now about where my focus should be next, and what sort of writer I want to be. I'm getting disillusioned with the indie route, but the traditional route kinda scares me right now. Epubs and small presses are great, and I'm very loyal to QueeredFiction and Damnation Books, but I'm feeling torn right now between being two types of writer: one who writes a ton of different stuff and gets it all published one way or the other and is known for having a lot of work out there, or one who has a couple of different series (in my case, Urban Wolf and Shoregrave) and sees those through to completion before moving onto the next. I see benefits and disadvantages to both routes. I'm not sure where I'll end up, but one of the reasons I'm getting disillusioned with the indie scene is that so much of the focus seems to be on getting your next book published, not writing the best book you can.

See, the temptation for me is to just pump out whatever story strikes me and see if I can get it published, which is fine, but it means I'm never disciplined in my writing. I'd planned to have the sequel to NIGHT AND CHAOS ready by now. I'd planned to be halfway through Halflife before starting Night Breed. Neither thing happened because I got distracted by THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE. I don't want to keep putting out series' starters and then not finishing the series because some other shiny new idea gets in the way. I'd rather be known for producing a few quality novels than dozens of novellas and novels that promise more but never deliver. And that's the trap I could easily fall into.

This is possibly why I did something (I feel is) a bit crazy this morning. I queried an agent about WILD. I know! This will be the first and last query I make, and if nothing comes of it, I will still go ahead and self-publish WILD but it will be the last thing I self-publish for the time being. I want to focus on the Urban Wolf and Shoregrave series, as well as the Ethan novellas. I want to build a consistent name for myself as a writer, and the scatter-gun approach isn't working. I won't be pulling NIGHT AND CHAOS just yet (there's a new cover in the works, and I want to see what effect, if any, that has on sales), but by the end of the year, if nothing has changed in that area, I will. It all kind of feels like I'm moving backwards instead of forwards, but like I said, I need to cut some stuff out of my schedule and make time for things other than writing and panicking about writing.


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Dirty Little Whirlwind

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