Dusting off after the chaos

Last week was hectic, no joke.  I’ve learned some valuable lessons, which are as follows:

1) Keep track of one’s novels via search engines.  You never know where your stories may land.

2) Don’t be afraid to leave yourself a one-star review.  Or to encourage others to do the same.

3) A bad apple can’t spoil the whole bunch.

People, on the whole, are good.  That was the biggest and most valuable point taken.  I would be remiss if I didn’t note that while I’m still writing, and plotting, and even pondering far-off in the future ideas, I am facing more than a little weariness when I think about publishing.  This has been niggling before a pirate stole my book, but has grown since the Amazon debacle.  I’m not sure how much is due to temporarily feeling like my heart had been ripped out of my chest, or plain overwork.  Even though I’ve cut back, I’m still feeling pulled in too many directions.

When I started publishing independently, my goal was to carve out a niche for my novels.  But it’s funny how ideas evolve; over the last two years, since I began walking this indie path, I’ve learned tremendous truths about writing, editing, publishing, and… me.  I didn’t expect that at all.

I assumed I wouldn’t change in the midst of all the tear-down and build-up.  I would be the same hard-working, or yes, driven, person when it comes to writing.  And within my more plots than sense head, that remains as true in 2013 as it did in 2011, as it was in 2010, 2009, 2008…  In 2008, I dove head-first into the fictional pond, submersing myself completely   I loved it, felt such gratification.  It was about learning to write as much as telling stories.  I didn’t mind the lessons; nothing valuable emerges until a level of expertise has been gained, through hard work.  Not that writing is like building houses or farming.  But skills are acquired by practice.  I wanted to write, so I just did it.

Then I wanted to publish, so I queried, had a few nibbles, then reassessed.  Going indie was the culmination of many considerations, and I have no regrets.

Not until now.

And it’s not even a regret really; I was just telling my daughter that life is too short for regrets.  You make mistakes, you learn from them, you move on.  I don’t regret anything to do with my writing.  But as I said, even before experiencing piracy, I was starting to give pause to what I’m publishing and why.  Maybe it’s the result of all I did last year, maybe it’s aging, maybe it’s not enough roughage in my diet.  Or chocolate, or too much sun, blah blah blah…  All I know is that today I wrote a somewhat crappy chapter, then sat to plot next month’s Camp story, and not two minutes after pulling out the folder, laying it on the kitchen table, I closed it up again, no heart to even picking up a pen.  I poked through a chapter of another project, then was so glad my daughter was awake, ready to get something to eat.  We had arranged a late breakfast-early lunch date, and for the first time in memory, all I wanted was to get away from writing.

I’m discombobulated, as the lovely Melissa likes to say.

Discombobulated is a fantastic word; it’s being out of sorts, but in a long, complicated manner of saying it, much like this post, or many of my posts.  I’m not in need of assistance, which is great!  But I’m just not THERE, you know?

I’m discombobulated.  I think I need some chocolate.  Well, maybe not, but it probably wouldn’t hurt.

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About Anna Scott Graham

I'm an independent poet and novelist in addition to sharing my life with a wonderful man, various kids, several hummingbirds, and a plethora of plants inside and out. View all posts by Anna Scott Graham

21 responses to “Dusting off after the chaos

  • Beth

    Discombobulated is right up there along with mulligrubs. So glad to have run up on your blog via Thunderclouds and Tea Leaves.

  • Seabell

    I repeat Dianne’s words: don’t let any pirate make you question your reasons. And with or without chocolate, I just hope you are feeling great by now. :)

  • Melissa Marsh

    Discombobulated is the perfect word for your situation. :) And honestly, I would just take some time off from writing for awhile to regroup and reassess, and if that takes a few days or a few weeks, allow yourself that time. And yes, eat chocolate – it ALWAYS helps!

    • Anna Scott Graham

      That is a perfect word Melissa; thanks for bringing it back to my attention!

      I’ll be writing next month, but publishing might fall by the wayside for a good while. In the meantime, chocolate awaits! :)

  • Jill Weatherholt

    Funny, while reading your post, I was thinking the same thing that Dianne commented. I’ve been reading your lovely blog for a number of months and the joy you have for writing just pours out of my computer when I read your posts. Don’t let that ignorant individual steal your joy! Take some time, eat the chocolate, but whatever you do, don’t question your reasons for writing. It’s in your blood and that is a fact!

  • Sheila

    We all go through times where we need to put the work aside so that we can refill our senses in a way. Writing can be such an act of pouring out and whatever pours out needs to be refilled. Chocolate is a great refiller. :)

  • Jill London

    Eat chocolate. Hunker down under the covers. You have just been through a storm and these are the right things to do. Soon the need to write will pick you up again and this horror will be in the past. You’ll have your battle scars, and you’ll be wiser for them, but you will feel ready to face the fray again I’m sure. Why am I sure? Because you’ve got the writing bug. You’ve had it for years, as do I. We face storms, we weather them, we lose heart but we come back because, after all, we don’t have an immunity to the bug. Give yourself some time, some R&R – and plenty of Easter eggs.

    • Anna Scott Graham

      Thanks Jill; it takes a writer to understand a writer. I don’t know if inoculations exist to keep us from picking up pens, pencils, and keyboards! I opened a bag of chocolates last night, supposed to be for the kids, but they’ll not know the difference if I buy another. :)

  • Minuscule Moments

    Anna you are in the right time frame to have some chocolate, happy easter to you and I know you will start a new day with much passion and energy that you give your work, I love reading about your journey it is helping me to track mine and keep going…like you say when it boils down to learning the craft it is the hard work that teaches us in the end. May the easter Bunny be good to you

    • Anna Scott Graham

      It’s a funny journey, always changing, which I didn’t quite expect in this manner. Funny you mention Easter; my mum rang when I was writing this post, asking about chocolates and other goodies. You both had just the right idea! :)

  • diannegray

    Chocolate is always good when you’re feeling discombobulated, Anna :D

    Don’t let that stinking pirate make you question your reasons for writing. If you write because you like to write, keep going. If writing’s boring you, do something else until your muse returns with a passion ;) *hugs*

    • Anna Scott Graham

      Thanks Dianne. Lately I’ve been questioning the direction of publication; the pirate episode threw in another wrench. But chocolate smooths so many edges. As do the warm words of fellow writers! :)

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