Now what?

I got to the writing cabin late today. Old What’s Her Face had to work and the dogs let me sleep in. Since this never happens, I took full advantage.

Lisa Burton sat in the front office drinking a bottle of peroxide.

“Stop! What are you doing? Don’t you know that stuff’s poisonous?”

“Really, after all this time you don’t understand the robot part of robot-girl?”

“Then why?”

“I’ve been out stumping for Quantum Wanderlust. The hosts usually have tea or some kind of special snacks. I eat it to be polite, but my holding tank needs cleaned on occasion.” She stepped from behind her desk wearing yet another new knee length dress; black with white polka dots. She proceeded to cartwheel across the office floor.

I turned away as her dress flipped up. “Stop! Nobody wants to see that.”

“Marilyn Monroe made a statement when her dress blew up.” She placed her hands on her hips. “Would you be more comfortable if I jumped up and down instead?”

“No, I don’t think that would make me comfortable at all.” I wrapped my hand around my beard. “Tell you what. I’m going to my office and you can do whatever you need to do – out here.”

“Fine. I can’t go around smelling like I have halitosis.”

I stomped off to my office and got started. Today was singularly unproductive to be honest. I pulled up my collection of storyboards and all of them need some work. I intend to write another novella next, but want to dive deep into another novel right on its heels. Neither storyboard is ready for prime time.

Storyboarding is my way of outlining. I always write faster with a good outline/storyboard. This means I need some solid daydreaming time. I may have to turn off the radio during my commutes, because that usually attracts the Muse. I have some great ideas, some fun vignettes, even some good characters, but no story yet. At least not ones I’m content with.

I feel bad about it, because I’ve only put out The Enhanced League this year. Enhanced League did great for about two weeks then flatlined. Yak Guy is close to ready, but I want to try something different with it. Here I am facing October, usually my best month of the year, with nothing new to promote. I’m going to push some of the older stuff, and I might come up with something for the baseball playoffs. Maybe I should have started on The Hat sooner and gotten it ready for an October release. Fact is, I didn’t so there’s no use dwelling on it.

My mind is in a weird place too. I got another great review for Panama today, and Quantum Wanderlust is starting to get a few reviews. Sales are kind of dismal though. There are so many free and 99¢ titles available I don’t know what else to try to get readers. It isn’t really about the money, but it would be nice to cover the expenses in putting the books out.

I never actually step away, but this is as close as I’m going to get. I need some time with my thoughts, but those thoughts are going to be about my storyboards so I can keep writing stories. I will try to come up with something that resembles a plot and character arc for the storyboards I have. This may take a few days or it may take a few weeks. No telling.

While that’s going on, I have a list of short stories I could dabble at. It never hurts to have a few of those in the bank, and they could lead to a future Experimental Notebook.

Regrouping for me. Do any of you ever get to this phase? I never see other authors talking about it.


Filed under Muse, Writing

23 responses to “Now what?

  1. I have regrouping phases from a blog standpoint. That is what Mediocre Medical Poetry is all about. Haikus are especially easy to whip out. Gives the brain time to slow down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wish I had some advice for you. I’m not sure anyone knows what works in marketing right now. I’ve heard that we’re in a slump but that that’ll go away eventually. Eventually is the problem. No one knows. It’s making me hold off doing too much right now. As for the storyboards, I do that too. I call them bibles and I do all my figuring in them. I keep them in notebooks. Usually, I work on them at the end of the night. I have two I’m working on at the moment with a third in the wings. I thought one of the two would be my next project but then my current idea came along. I’m seeing a lot of books about this creature right now though so I don’t know if it’ll be a dead trend when I’m ready or not.

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  3. I call these periods, ‘the doldrums’. This is when I usually down tools for a while and do something completely different. My mind hates it, and works harder to get me back on track, coming up with new and interesting ideas.
    I have had some proper brainstormers at these times too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad Saturday was productive for you, but sorry you don’t feel Sunday was. Don’t worry about it. Sometimes you just need some down time, or to approach a project in a more patient manner, or whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I kind of always pretty much know where I’m headed, project to project. Once in a great while I might flounder with a start on something, then switch to something else, but Tend to be pretty focused on my projects.

    I wouldn’t feel bad that you only had one release this year. Many writers go a year or two between releases, and you’re doing many other things to stay connected with readers (and other writers).

    I need to start plotting my next one. I need some of that just dreaming time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m having the same problem with marketing – seems like nothing works. Who knows? But seriously, Craig, you’re one of the most productive people I know – have no idea how you keep up. Good thing you have Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I decided to take some time away from blog and work on some other writings. It’s only four measly days, but it’s good. I think regrouping is essential for pretty much anything. Step back, evaluate, regroup, proceed. And always with the pauses 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not going to allow myself to freak out. I could start on the novella at any time, but I feel like it needs something extra. A week or two won’t matter on that front. Sometimes the writing brings something extra too because the thought process is different.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yup. Regrouping can be the best move you make, IMO, when feeling overwhelmed. It’s always good to step away and look at the big picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Writing Links…10/9/17 – Where Genres Collide

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