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?

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.