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.

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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 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.

A Slight Change in Plans

I’ve decided to make a small change with my editing process and publishing schedule.

First, I’ll address the editing process. I’m currently hard at work revising The Gilded Empire, book 3 of World in Chains. I’m not sure when I’ll finish editing it, but I still think I can get it out there this spring. That may be delayed, however, because of the changes I’m making. Instead of revising just book 3, I’m also going to do some work on book 4 before, The Winds of Time, before releasing The Gilded Empire.

I don’t anticipate this taking that long. It’s mostly to refresh myself on all the craziness that happens in the fourth book before finishing up my edits of the third. This is necessary so that I deliver two books that don’t contradict one another. I did veer a bit away from my original plan in the fourth book, and I need to make sure those changes are reflected in the third.

I may end up doing something similar with the second and third books of Sunweaver. It’s one of the dangers of writing more by the seat of your pants. You can come up with some amazing twists you’d never think of while outlining, but it can make things a bit messy when it comes time to revise. That’s why I prefer writing an entire series before publishing any of it. I’m hoping I can get better at planning, though.

 

Now, on to the publishing schedule. I think it’s a better idea to publish the final two books of World in Chains before returning to the second and third books of Sunweaver. Part of this is my desire to get a finished series out there. Another part is that the worlds of World in Chains and Sunweaver are loosely connected. Anyone who’s finished The Shadowed Land and read Sunweaver might have noticed this.

The second book of Sunweaver does contain very minor spoilers for the ending of my World in Chains series. I don’t think this would result in anyone enjoying the ending of World in Chains any less, but I know some readers don’t like anything to be spoiled.

Personally, I think it can be enjoyable either way. If you read book 2 of Sunweaver, you’ll know that a certain character from World in Chains has survived the events of the series, but you won’t know how. So it’s a matter of which you’d prefer as a reader. Do you want to worry for the life of this character, or are you okay figuring out the mystery of how they end up in a completely different world?

In the end, I don’t think it’s a problem to read the series in whatever order you wish. I just thought I’d get the information out there and update everyone on why I’m changing my publishing schedule a little bit.

Based on these changes, I’d expect The Gilded Empire around April and The Winds of Time around July. After that, Fireweaver will probably come out around October and Sunlord near the beginning of 2019.

I may be able to speed up this schedule, but even these dates are tentative. There are a lot of other things on my plate between work and school and family commitments, and I can make no promises.

Thanks again for reading. If you want to be the first to know about new releases, you can sign up for my mailing list at the top right of the sidebar.

One more day until Sunweaver releases.

I’m starting to get nervous now. It’s not as bad as it was before the release of Empire of Chains, but any time you’re putting a new series out there, it’s anxiety-inducing.

Sunweaver will release tomorrow, January 11th. It will be available for $3.99 as an e-book. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you’ll be able to read it for free. I don’t have a print version yet. I need to get back with my cover designer for that. (I need to do the same for The Shadowed Land as well.)

 

Pre-order it below:

Sunweaver

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The sun is dying. The world has turned to ice. Only the Sunlord can keep humanity alive.

Deril was supposed to be the next Sunlord, following in his father’s footsteps. But it doesn’t matter how much Deril trains. He is no savior, just an ordinary Sunweaver, powerful but useless. But then Fireweavers kidnap his father, intending to use his Sunlord powers to free their mad god. Now Deril must infiltrate a secret Fireweaver organization and earn their trust. If he doesn’t, the mad god will kill all Sunweavers. Driven insane by centuries of imprisonment, he may even finish what he started…and destroy the sun entirely.

Rella is a Fireweaver living in secret. When her powers are discovered, she must flee to the frozen wasteland Fireweavers call home. There, she’ll come face-to-face with her family’s darkest secrets and with the plot to free the mad god. She has the chance to stop it, but first she’ll have to decide if she can support Sunweavers, the people who executed her mother. The people who would do the same to her without a thought.

Kadin is Lightless. He has no Sunweaving or Fireweaving talent. Sold into slavery by his abusive father, he struggles to survive under his cruel master. But when Kadin manifests strange abilities, he begins to suspect he isn’t as powerless as he once thought. He may even be the key to stopping the mad god’s return…but only if he first conquers the anger and darkness within him.

I’ve finished the proofread of Sunweaver!

,I can now say with great pleasure that I will soon unleash another book upon the world. Tonight, I finished the proofread of Sunweaver, the first book in a new epic fantasy trilogy. This book has been with me for a few years now. In fact, I wrote most of it way back in 2014. Needless to say, it has been through many revisions to become what it is now.

The best news is that I’ve also written the other two books in the trilogy. That means the wait should not be long before you can read the entire trilogy.

I’m not abandoning my World in Chains series either. I will continue working on the third and fourth books in the series. I’ve written them, but they haven’t seen extensive revisions and editing just yet. The third book of World in Chains should be my next release. Look for it sometime in the spring.

Now, back to Sunweaver…

The cover  I got for this one is absolutely stunning, thanks to the great artists at Deranged Doctor Design.

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The pre-order should be up on Amazon shortly. Once again, I am also enrolling the book in Kindle Unlimited, so if you have a subscription, you can read it for free.

It’s scheduled to release on January 11th. I hope you enjoy it. I know I’ve enjoyed writing it.

 

I’ve finished the first draft of Godchild.

I finally finished the first draft of Godchild, the second book of The God War’s Chosen, which I expect to be a trilogy. I really don’t think I’ll have enough material left for two more books. I may end up with a slightly longer book, but I’m okay with that. The first two books in the series are relatively short for epic fantasies.

I’ve been working on this first draft on and off since June of 2017. Normally, I like to do the initial drafting process in a month or two. Six plus months is much longer than I like. Obviously, I had other distractions. I wasn’t even close to writing every day.

But it’s done, and that’s all that matters. I’ll probably take a short break from drafting now and turn my focus to getting Sunweaver ready for publication. It’s the first in a trilogy, so I want to make sure it’s the best it can be. It’s very close, and I anticipate releasing it before the end of the month.

As for The God War’s Chosen, I suppose I should describe this series a bit. It’s a gunpowder fantasy with a lot of magic. The gunpowder aspects show up a lot in the first book, and while they’re still there in the second, the magic starts to play a much more central role.

The two primary settings for the first book, Watersong, are a tropical island nation and a desert nation. These are very much a departure from what I’ve written previously, and that’s a good thing. When you get into the second book, you’ll start to see how this series is connected loosely to both World in Chains and Sunweaver.

Like Brandon Sanderson, I have an entire universe in which I write my stories. They are all connected to some degree, but I will always strive to write each series so that you can read it without reading anything else. I don’t want to intimidate readers with some crazy reading order. I may give a recommended reading order at some point (once I have more books out), but it is not necessary to read any one series before another.

Some of my future series may not be as strongly connected as my first three. I don’t want to risk getting repetitive with some of the story elements.

Also, as I stated in my last post, I have not yet determined what series I’ll write after I finish The God War’s Chosen. It may be something set in a new world, or I may finally pull enough ideas together to write sequel and prequel series in the same world as World in Chains.

As always, thanks for reading. If you have Kindle Unlimited and want to give Empire of Chains a chance, it’s free with your subscription. Even if you don’t have KU, the price is only $0.99. And if you enjoy it, please do sign up for my mailing list so that you’ll be the first to know about new releases and sales. There are links for both the mailing list and my books over in the sidebar on the right side of the website.