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My "process"

The other day I realized something about myself--a pattern of sorts if you will.
It takes me approximately 3-4 months to write a book and then after I publish it takes me a month to "reboot".

Weird right? I mean, I'm like clockwork, but I'll get to that in a minute.

You see, I had been feeling like such a SLACKER lately because I hadn't had that need to write that I feel when I'm working on something. Honestly all I've wanted to do was binge watch TV shows (damn you, Netflix!) and clean...okay, maybe it's not so much that I WANTED to clean as much as I NEEDED to clean because we are in the process of selling our house so obviously I need it to be "show ready" at all times (which is challenging when you usually have 5 kids, 3 dogs and 3 cats in your home). My point is, if I wasn't binge watching a show, I was cleaning my house. Sometimes both at the same time because I like to multitask.

Anyway, so yeah, I hadn't written anything since Autumn and I publish Steering the Stars and I was feeling like this epic failure of an author. All sorts of thoughts were whirling around my head, but one question bothered me more than anything: Would I ever write again?

(I have overly dramatic tendencies sometimes)

Autumn and I had started talking about a new story to write together, but despite my excitement over working with her again, I just couldn't muster up the motivation to actually start it yet and I was feeling so guilty. I would try, but I'd just stare at the blank screen unsure where to even begin. Sometimes I couldn't even make myself sit down at my desk...what was wrong with me?

Then suddenly a few days ago the NEED to write hit me. I had an idea and I had to write it down as soon as possible. I scribbled it down with pen and paper and then that night I sat down to type it all out.
5 pages later I realized I had the start of my next solo WIP (and I'm super excited about it because it's going to be so different than anything I've written so far).

Then since I worked on something of mine, I went to Google Drive and opened the doc of the project that Autumn and I are going to work on and I wrote some more!

 It felt SO good to get those words written. They might suck and need some serious editing, but at least I had written something TO edit, you know what I mean? You can't fix a blank page after all.
It was a huge relief. I'm talking suddenly-the-sun-breaks-through-the-clouds sort of feeling.

But then, and I still don't know what made me think of it, but it just sort of hit me that I did the same thing before starting Steering the Stars....and again before Sea Swept.

In fact, once I went back and started thinking about it I realized I had done it with every single one of my releases.
(Here's where my nerdiness really shines through...I made a timeline):

February 2013: I released my debut, Lark
March 2013: I started In the Shadows (though that one took me longer because I was overwhelmed by the number of people who read it and were requesting the sequel and I was dealing with some medical issues that resulted in being diagnosed with cancer that June).
September 2013: I finally released In the ShadowsOctober 2013: I started working on Pieces of Me (and I finished it in November during NaNoWriMo).
December 2013: I released Pieces of MeJanuary 2014: I started working on Unfamiliar (and Like the Dawn on the side) with Komal Kant.
This was the first time I wrote two books at the same time. I focused more of my attention on Unfamiliar at the time since I was writing it with someone but I was definitely working on both.
March 2014: We released Unfamiliar
April 2014: I started really focusing on finishing Like the Dawn
May 2014:  Like the Dawn was released
June 2014: I started Sea Swept and its companion novella, Riptide (I finished both by September, but I wanted to try out the pre-order function so I had Sea Swept up for pre-order in October)
November 2014:  I published Sea Swept and the novella, Riptide
December 2014: Though Autumn and I had started the process of Steering the Stars, I didn't REALLY start writing until the end of December
March 2015: We published Steering the Stars

 And here it is April and I'm starting my next project(s).

See?!? A pattern! I have a "process"!

I'm so glad I figured this weird little habit of mine out because I was really feeling like a failure as an author. I mean, I was even beginning to plan out where I was going to apply for work when Jack started kindergarten (next year!) because I thought for sure I was just done. I was sure that the pool of ideas had dried up and I'd never again feel that drive or inspiration to put words on paper.

I'm soooooo glad that I was wrong. 

So there you have it. The most random and pointless blog post in the history of blog posts. I just really needed to write all that out because while it may be lame to you guys, it was an interesting thing for me to realize about myself. Most of all, I really just don't want to forget it because if everything continues like normal for me, I'll be due for another month of wasting time and feeling like a failure in August--September at the latest. ;)



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