Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

Wow, another year gone! It's crazy to me how fast time goes.

Anyway...

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I know I haven't updated since October, but these last couple of months flew by with just so much going on in my personal life. But I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about the future, because that is what I'm really trying to focus on. I've wasted enough time beating myself up for not being productive enough over the last year, even though a lot of stuff was beyond my control, namely health issues. I'm not 100% but I'm hoping to get back to work very very soon. With a little luck, I'm really hoping to be able to release a lot more books in 2016 and play catch-up a bit. I know The Vampire's Castle was due out months ago, and it, along with several other projects, had to be shelved while I focused on getting better. That book, as well its sequels, are my top priority right now, and my current goal is to get them released over the next few months.

For now, I'm not going to talk about other books I'd like to release this year. I need to take it one day at a time and not overwhelm myself too much. Suffice it to say, I have no shortage of stories I want to tell and even ones that I've already penned that are on my looong to-do list to publish. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I am eager to get started. But I've also learned a valuable lesson in making sure to take care of myself first. And that was a tough lesson to learn because I tend to be very hard on myself. I tend to push myself past my limits, and I realize now that's a foolish thing to do. We live in a very fast-paced world, and I often get very overwhelmed with the idea that time is running out or that I'm falling behind. And that leads to a lot of negative thinking that only ends up derailing me all the more.

So, I'm trying to slow down in all aspects of my life. In fact, that is my resolution for 2016. Basically, I want to have time to stop and think clearly, time to stop and smell the roses. There are so many authors now who publish very frequently, and it creates a very competitive atmosphere in this business. But I remember when I was young, I wrote a lot, but I still took the time to really live with each of my stories. They weren't products to be churned out. They were escape pods to all sorts of different worlds, a vacation from the harshness of real life. I didn't write a lot to meet a deadline or because I was "falling behind" compared to this author or that author. I wrote a lot because they were stories I wanted to escape to and worlds I wanted to frequently visit. I don't want writing or publishing to be a source of stress and anxiety. I was letting a lot of self-doubt creep in, which can be quite crippling in any creative endeavor. So part of my resolution in 2016 is to write freely again and have fun with it. It's easy to get burdened by small details and the pursuit of perfection when creating something, but really I just want to tell stories. That's all I've ever wanted. So, I'm going to try to do just that and not get weighed down by fear or doubt.

When I started this blog post, I didn't plan to get into all of this, but I've kept a lot of it bottled up for awhile and it feels good to get it off my chest. 2015 was a lousy year for me, and oddly enough, I've heard the same from so many people. I hope that your 2015 wasn't so bad, but if it was, let's try to make 2016 much, much better. As important as I believe it is to be kind to one another, I think it's as important to remember to be kind to yourself. With each passing year, I think it's easy to reflect back and think about all the things you didn't do, didn't accomplish, and don't have. We, as human beings, just need to be gentler with ourselves. We need to forgive ourselves for what might be considered failures and move on and learn from our mistakes. Dwelling on the things that can't be changed is only wasting precious time now on things you can change. And this is something that I, myself, am going to try really hard to do.

So, with all that said, Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a (hopefully) phenomenal 2016!

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