Post Publishing Funk

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about being in a bit of a funk, and attributed it to the kind of work I’m doing with my Day Job. It’s all true, but there is more to it. I’ve been putting off talking about it, but since I’m just a couple of days from Writing Excuses Retreat 2023, I might as well get into it now.

Part of being a writer is selecting and striving towards bigger and bigger goals. Mine went something like:

  • I want to write a real story
  • I want to write a story I can enjoy
  • I want to write a story my friends can enjoy
  • I want to finish my first novel
  • I want to finish another novel
  • I want to finish another novel, this time in a different style
  • I want to publish one of my stories
  • I want to publish one of my novels

At first, I described these as dreams, but the difference between a dream and a goal is how much effort you put into achieving it. I still have untouched dreams, such as:

  • I want to write fulltime and survive
  • I want to win a prestigious award for my writing
  • I want to make the New York Time’s best seller list

There’s nothing wrong with wanting these things. I have no expectations on these dreams. I believe I’m talented, and I can work towards some of these dreams, but most of these are outside my control.

This ties back into that funk I was talking about before. As long as I’m alive, I’ll be writing. But I need a new goal. I need something to aim for, that is more than just write and pray. I don’t know what that is.

Publishing The Repossessed Ghost achieved one of my dreams, and it still brings me joy to look at this physical copy of a book that has my name on it. Nothing is going to take that away from me.

More people than I expected have read it and they seemed to genuinely like it. I’m surprised at how many people have talked about starting it, and then finishing it within a day or two.

I kept my expectations relatively low, and The Repossessed Ghost has done better than my expectations. It’s not going to win any awards. It’s not going to climb up any lists. It delighted a few friends and friends of friends, and it sets the stage for more books and stories.

I’m working on a short story in which Mel is selected to be on a jury. It’s fun, and it’s possible I’ll finish it this next week. I’m planning a direct sequel to The Repossessed Ghost. I still have more outlining to do for it. Perhaps that will be my NaNoWroMo project this year. I’m not sure.

After that, I don’t know. I’m greedy. I want more. I want The Writer’s Life, whatever that means.

This week, I hope to find some kind of answer to the question, “Okay, what do I do now?” It’s probably something along the lines of “keep writing” and “find an agent.” I’m going to get a chance to talk to Dongwon Song, and I expect he’s going to tell me to define what kind of writing career I want to have.

That’s all I have for this topic at the moment. I may post a follow-up later this week, based on the conversations I have while on the ship. Also, I’m planning on writing something about agency and fridging, as coined by Gail Simone. I have some thoughts, but I have to do some more reading first.