Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Back From Fighting Demons

Six months in between posts is probably a little excessive, I admit. I've once again been battling sub-clinical depression, and trying hard to keep my life on an even keel. Mostly I've succeeded, but the blog posts took a hit, especially since I wasn't certain why exactly I wanted to post.

Plus, this is my fourth blog, and I ask myself why I stopped writing a perfectly good blog and started another (two of them were kind of single purpose blogs that I stopped writing for good reasons). I guess the answer comes down to my perfectionism -- the title of the blog didn't say exactly what I wanted it to say, and some of the posts were a little, well, preachy.

Actually, scratch that. Some of them were in fact sermons, word for word as actually preached. So I'll keep that blog for my sermons or sermon-like musings and keep this one for musings about my life.

There. That distinction feels good to me.


An update.

I once again completed NaNo, and part of my upswing in mood has to do with the fact that although the first draft, as is usual, is shit, it actually has the potential to be a publishable book. Not pubishable by a big house, mind you, but I'm going to edit the heck out of it and then put it up on a blog and Amazon, and see where it takes me.

Part of my fear of writing in general and publishing my writing in particular comes from the complexity of the process that used to be. You had to write a book that was spectacular to even get noticed by an agent or publishing house. There are contracts and royalties and all kinds of stuff to get out of the way, and it takes years to get through the process with even one book.

You can still do it that way if you want, but things have changed so much in the past few years with internet publishing, and if you don't have a spectacular book, but it's still good enough for someone other than your father to read, you can write it, edit it, and get it out to readers around the world in a matter of months or even weeks.

It may catch on, or it may not. It may make money, or it may not. But at least it will get published in a format that's available to readers, as opposed to being published by a vanity outfit and never making it anywhere near a place where your readers can find it.

In order to do it this way, though, I have to let go of the money aspect and just write, edit, and put it out there. My readers will take it from there.

And I guess that's why I'm back. I've decided once again that the demons are not going to win. I'm going to write, I'm going to publish.

Money? If it comes, that's good. But writing a full novel in a month (I've won NaNo twice before, but this is the first time I can honestly say I got the complete concept down on paper in that time) has been wonderfully good for me. I'm a bit more confident in my skills, and I've learned even more about the writing process. (You'd think after years and years of this that I'd be a pro by now, but I'm really still learning...)

So I'm back, and I'm in the process of learning how to edit as I plough my way through Shards, my latest novel. Once the editing's done, I plan on putting it up on a "blook" and letting you, dear readers, have a look at it. I hope you'll like it, but if you don't, that's okay. Because I wrote it for me, and I like it.

I need to finish by telling you what it was, after six months away, that finally brought me to post again.

I was Stumbling around the net, as I often do, and I came across an article that was an almost minute-by-minute update of a man who spent Christmas Eve alone. The article was both pitiful and boring, just as his Christmas Eve was, and it was truly sad for me to read, because I realized that he'd actually chosen to be bored and alone, and that he wasn't enjoying his choice.

And I realized that I often make choices to be bored and alone, too, because they're easy. I don't have to put any effort into writing or editing or going for a walk or calling someone up and asking them over for tea. I just have to turn on my computer and Stumble around the internet or play CivIV or Sims. I think I was sad because even though I didn't spend my Christmas Eve alone (I went to church with the kids and enjoyed it immensely), I all to often spend other days and evenings in unproductive aloneness. In him, I saw myself.

So I'm going to try and make different choices this coming year, better choices. I'm going to spend more time doing things that may take some work in the moment, but will ultimately make me proud of myself. I'm going to dare to dream of a different life. If things don't happen on their own, I'm going to make them happen.