About Ryan Mueller

I'm an author of epic fantasy. I like to take the classic themes of epic and high fantasy and add a few modern twists. My influences include Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and many others. I'm also an author of middle grade and young adult fantasy. My influences here include J.K. Rowling, Brandon Mull, and Rick Riordan. Magic features heavily in my stories, and I prefer to have my main characters on the good side of the morality spectrum. That's not to say they don't have flaws, just that I'm a little weary of the Grimdark movement in fantasy. My stories can get dark at times, but I still inject optimism and human decency into them. I may also try science fiction at some point. Pretty much, I love anything under the speculative fiction umbrella (for any age category).

The Winds of Time is out!

It has finally happened. I’ve finally finished the series I first started working on way back in 2005, when I was 15 years old. The Winds of Time is finally out. I may have wanted to get it published during the summer, but better late than never, I guess.

Now that the series is complete, I’m working on cover art for a box set, which will give you the entire series at a discounted rate.

I’m excited to get to editing the next book in Sunweaver now. With how long it took me to get The Winds of Time ready, that series has been sadly neglected.

It’s all part of the learning process, I guess. I’m figuring out most of this stuff as I go.

An Update

Just thought I’d pop in here to let everyone know that I am getting close on The Winds of Time. Ideally, I’d like to get it out sometime this month, but school is getting very busy, so I may not meet that goal. Just know that it will come out, and sometime in the relatively near future.

After that, I’ll release a “box set” version as well. That will come at a discounted price compared to buying the books separately. Either way, the entire series is also in Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free.

And here’s the cover, which I really like:

2017-922 Ryan W Mueller b04

A Realization

Tonight, I had one of those random writing-related epiphanies I get from time to time. Oddly enough, it happened while I was reading.

This is my realization. I’m not the kind of writer who can write x amount of words every day. It just doesn’t work well with my overall personality. I tend to work in spurts, largely due to the manic side of my bipolar disorder.

But I’ve read so many bits of writing advice that tell you that you have to write EVERY SINGLE DAY. Maybe that works for these people, but it doesn’t work for me. Writing every day makes it feel like an obligation, and I begin to resent it.

Instead, I’m going to focus on writing when I have time during the week. I know I can do well writing in spurts, so I’m hopeful that, in two or three days, I can hit the same 7,000 words I’d produce if I did write 1,000 words every day.

In the end, I think this approach will be better for my productivity, my mental health, and my passion for writing.

Finding the right (write) balance.

I’ve written a number of posts on this subject, but I feel like it’s important to write another one. As writers, we are not writing machines. We are human beings with all kinds of interests and obligations. Sometimes, I have to remind myself of this.

In the end, writing is something I want to enjoy doing. The biggest part of making it enjoyable is taking out the pressure I’ve been putting on myself.

So I am no longer going to beat myself up for not writing or not editing. I am no longer going to scold myself for missing a tentative deadline. I am no longer going to pressure myself to write X number of books per year.

Writing is just one part of who I am, and I want to enjoy it again. But other parts of me are just as important. I’m a student. I’m a son. I’m a gamer. I’m a reader. I’m an engineer by trade and a scientist by nature.

Most importantly, I’m a slave to our feline overlords, and sometimes they don’t want me to write.

In the end, I have to do what’s best for me. I don’t want to forget about my readers (few though they are). So I just want everyone to know I am writing. It’s just not the sole focus of my life. I tried to put that kind of time and effort into it, and it sucked all the joy out of the process.

As someone who struggles with depression, I don’t need that kind of pressure making something I enjoy doing feel like work.

So I hope everyone will be patient with me.

I’m still alive.

Just in case anyone was wondering.

I’ve been back in school for the last month, and it has really been messing with the writing side of things. At the same time, my summer depression is still hanging around. A lot of times, it goes all the way through about January.

That being said, I am making progress editing The Winds of Time. I’m on the final draft and proofread, so I’m hopeful I can get it done in the next few weeks.

Sometime after that, I’ll get up a boxset of all four books in the series, which I will offer at a discounted price compared to buying the books separately. It will also be in KU.

My next editing project after that is Fireweaver, the sequel to Sunweaver, which I released in January. Ideally, I’d like to have Fireweaver ready by the end of the year. It’s on the shorter side, so it might be doable.

As for writing, I’ve been making very slow progress on Endlord, the final book of The God War’s Chosen. I don’t know why I keep stalling on it, but it’s been happening. I also wrote 2,000 words in a new project today. It’s one I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and I just wanted to get something down. We’ll see where things go from here.

Right now, I’m focusing on maintaining my sanity while self-publishing. While I’d love to release books more frequently, I have to do what’s best for my health. At the moment, that’s a slower pace. That may not always be the case, but it’s the right thing for now.

My hope is that I’ll write more consistently once I’m done with school. Between an unpredictable work schedule and unpredictable time demands for my classes, it has been tough to carve out a consistent writing routine. While I will probably be working full time once I graduate next May, it will hopefully give me the consistency I need to write.

Anyways, thanks for putting up with my rambling.

And if you’re looking to give any of my books a chance, Empire of Chains is still free. I’ve gone back into Kindle Unlimited with it, but Amazon hasn’t seemed to notice that it is no longer available for free in other places, so it’s still free. Not sure how long that will last.

An Update: Depression, Writing, and a Free Book.

I haven’t been on here nearly as much as I should be. I’ve recently struggled through a bad period of depression. It feels like it might finally be lifting, but I can never be sure.

Through the depression, I’ve been making slow progress with the revisions for The Winds of Time. I wanted to have it out at the start of September, but it’s not within two weeks of being ready, so I’m going to have to push that date back. Again.

I need to remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with taking five months between releases. Most trade-published authors go a year or more between releases. It’s more the crazy state of self-publishing that encourages you to churn, churn, churn. When I’m not going through a depressive phase, I feel like I can do that, but then the depression hits, and my productivity slows to a crawl.

It’s a bit of a vicious circle for me. When I’m depressed, I don’t write. When I don’t write, I get more depressed. If I’m not careful, that turns into a downward spiral.

So I’m starting with baby steps, both in writing and in other aspects of life. I force myself to do just a little bit more than I want to do each day. That way, I can start feeling more productive, which helps alleviate my depression, but I can do it without putting too much on my plate.

Now that all the depression talk is over…

I don’t know if I mentioned it on here, but Empire of Chains is now free on Amazon (and elsewhere). I still need to get the other books in the series published on the other sites. Thanks to my depression, I haven’t made it through that yet. It shouldn’t be too hard, though, once I get started.

http://mybook.to/EmpireofChains

Sunweaver, the first book in my other series, is a participant in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off, and it is still free for Kindle Unlimited members.

http://mybook.to/Sunweaver

I will probably try to outline my tentative release schedule in the next post.

Trying to find the fun in writing again.

I haven’t been posting a lot on here because the whole writing thing has become exhausting. I’m going through a period of writing burnout unlike anything I’ve had before.

The good news is that I think I’ve identified the reasons for this burnout. I’ve become obsessed with how much I’m selling and the quality and quantity of my reviews.

But that’s the wrong approach. I got into writing because I love writing. So now I need to figure out how to reclaim that love of writing. I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of what I put out. I think I can manage that if I just focus on the feelings that got me into writing in the first place.

I mean, if I’m not enjoying my time doing it, there are many other things I could do with my time. But I know that, deep down, I am a writer, and I always will be. I just need to figure out the right balance between writing and everything else.

Has anyone else ever had a period of burnout like this? How did you push through it?