Writing, Depression, and Being Realistic

I know I’ve been rather quiet around here lately. That’s both for good reasons and some perhaps not-so-good reasons. On the good end, May was a productive writing month for me. On the bad end, depression has reared its ugly head once again.

Depression has been a hot topic on the internet in recent days, after the suicides of some high-profile people. It has always been a major part of everything I do. I’ve struggled with depression since the age of ten (so that’s 18 years at this point).

In my case, I struggle specifically with bipolar disorder. It’s predominantly depressive in my case, and the manic side is well-controlled on medication (better-controlled than the depressive side at any rate). Because of these struggles, I am not always as productive as I’d like to be.

To those who are following me, you’ve seen that I’ve been keeping a pretty rapid release schedule, releasing a book every three or four months. So far, I’ve been able to keep that schedule, but I’m starting to feel stressed about meeting these self-imposed deadlines.

And that’s how I’ve realized I’m going about this the wrong way. Writing has always been an escape for me. Since I began self-publishing, though, it has turned into yet another thing to cause me stress. That’s not what I want out of my writing career going forward. I need to find a balance. Some days, I simply don’t have it in me to write or edit. Trying to keep a consistent writing habit makes it feel like a chore rather than something I enjoy doing. If writing becomes like a chore, I’ll lose my will to keep doing it.

So I’m going to be dialing back my efforts. Some people can handle the rapid-release treadmill. I’m not one of them. I have my limitations, and I’ve recognized that. I’m no longer going to beat myself up because I’m not being as productive as I want.

We can all be our own worst critics, and that’s even more the case for those of us who struggle with depression. And we need to call it what it is. It is abuse. If I said the same things about someone else that I said about myself, it would be emotional abuse. And I’d never do that to someone else, so why should I do it to myself?

In the end, life is about finding as much happiness as you can no matter what obstacles are thrown at you. Focusing so much on my self-publishing career has been a rewarding experience in many ways, but it has also driven me crazy at times.

Once, I thought that embarking on a writing career would make everything feel better, but even if you’re doing what you love (if only part-time), you can still struggle with depression, and sometimes that thing you love simply makes it worse. I have to do what’s best for me, and what will ultimately be best for my readers. At the rate I’ve been going, I’ve been on the edge of burning out, and there’s no telling whether I would come back from that.

So, if it takes me six months to release a book instead of three, or if it even takes longer, that’s not the end of the world. I have to find the right balance. I hope you all can be patient with me. I’ll try to be better about keeping everyone updated. Thanks for reading.

The Gilded Empire is published!

I’m excited to say that The Gilded Empire is now published. That’s three books in the World in Chains series and four books overall.

One more World in Chains book is still to come, and then the entire series will be out.

I’m excited about this one because it’s the book where I really started taking the series in some directions that even I didn’t expect. And it’s all shaping up for an action-packed finale. The final book will be titled The Winds of Time, and I have a tentative goal of finishing my edits by the end of July.

If you haven’t already tried the series, it’s a perfect time to get started. With the final book coming out soon and the first book priced at the bargain of $0.99, you can start reading for almost nothing and not have to wait too long for the conclusion.

The Gilded Empire resized

If you want to buy any of my books, you can simply click on their covers at the right side of this page, and that will take you straight to Amazon. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can even read them for free.

As always, if you want to be the first to know about new releases and deals, you can sign up for my mailing list (also at the right side of this page).

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the books.

The final draft of The Gilded Empire is complete!

Just now, I finished my final draft of The Gilded Empire. I anticipate another week or so to do the final proofread, and then the saga of Nadia, Markus, Berig, Kara, and all the others will continue.

This book has a very special place in my heart. It’s the book where I really take the series to fun and unexpected places. The first two books seem like fairly straightforward epic fantasy reads. This one keeps the spirit of the first two, but introduces elements that make it much more complex and interesting.

After finishing the proofread, my next project will be editing The Winds of Time, the final book of World in Chains. If all goes well, I should have that out sometime this summer. Then I’ll turn my attention back to Sunweaver.

For now, though, I’m going to make that last push for The Gilded Empire. I hope you like reading it as much as I liked writing it.

The Gilded Empire resized

The Gilded Empire: An Update

I’m happy to report that I’ve been finding the time again to do some editing on The Gilded Empire. I’m also happy to report that the editing process is going very well.

I will not hit my initial deadline for the end of April, but I’m confident I can have it ready sometime during the month of May.

I’m really excited about this book because I feel it’s the best in the series so far. Empire of Chains started out as a pretty traditional fantasy. The Shadowed Land threw a few new wrinkles into that more traditional setup. The Gilded Empire takes the series in strange and unexpected directions, and it includes some of my favorite scenes in the entire series.

If you haven’t read Empire of Chains yet, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s only $0.99, or you can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited. I still expect to have the entire series released by the end of the summer, so it’s the perfect time to jump in.

An Update on The Gilded Empire

I know I’ve been quiet around here lately. That’s because life has become very busy. It’s been a tough semester in my electrical engineering courses, so I haven’t been finding as much time to write (especially here on this blog).

Because of this, I’m going to have to push back my tentative deadline for The Gilded Empire. I had hoped to have it out by the end of April, but I’ve had very little time and energy to edit it recently. It’s in pretty good shape overall, but there are still a few rough sections, and I don’t want to publish it until I feel it’s ready.

That probably means a delay of a month or so. As I said, I’m pretty close. I just need a little more time.

After that, I still hope to have The Winds of Time edited and published by the end of July. Again, this is subject to change, and it doesn’t bother me too much if I’m a little behind my self-imposed deadlines. It may be tough with The Winds of Time because it’s the longest book in the series.

This is mostly me reassuring you, the reader, that I am still working on these projects. With only one summer course, I should be able to get The Gilded Empire into shape by the end of May.

My next two releases after I finish World in Chains will be the second and third books of my Sunweaver trilogy. Tentatively, I expect to release those by the end of October and January, respectively. After that, it will be The God War’s Chosen, most likely next spring. I’ve already written the first two books, and I’m writing the third at the moment.

After that, I have no idea what my path is. I have a lot of ideas vying for my attention.

Cover Reveal: Watersong

I’m excited today to reveal the cover for the first book in a future trilogy titled The God War’s Chosen. The book is Watersong, and it’s an epic gunpowder fantasy primarily set in a tropical island nation.

Thanks to the talented people of Deranged Doctor Design, I have a great cover for the first book of the trilogy. The next two covers should be finalized over the next month. It will probably be a year or so before the first book is published, but there’s nothing like getting people excited early.

Without further ado, here’s the cover:

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