Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Heart To Heart

So, it's November 30th, and before starting this blog post, I was staring blankly at The Rook manuscript that is still in need of an ending. I'm someone who likes to keep her private life, well...private, but because this isn't the first time I've missed a deadline, I feel like I need to explain myself.

For years I've struggled with anxiety and depression. Most of the time I can write through it. But other times, I shut down. The first few days of November I felt really gung-ho, ready to work on something new after Halloween Street wrapped, and in a good frame of mind. I don't know what happened exactly, but it all came crashing down...hard. Honestly, I don't know where November went. I feel like I was absent for it.

I loved writing and releasing Halloween Street, but I realize now I should've taken some time off after October. I didn't realize just how mentally exhausted I was from the work itself and the stress of publishing everyday (especially when Amazon's publishing service was having big delays towards the end).
Earlier in the week when I posted my last blog post, I felt ok...not great, but ok. I really felt like I would have no problems finishing up The Rook and releasing it this weekend. Then on Thanksgiving I got a migraine that lasted through yesterday. Today I feel better physically, but there's still a brain fog going on and I'm struggling to deal with depression again.

I'll readily admit, writing this blog post is not easy for me. I thrive to keep my personal and professional life separate. But deadlines have become my worst enemy, feed into my feelings of failure, and overall do little good for my mental state. That's why I'm abandoning them now. I may set personal deadlines, but I'm no longer announcing release dates until the book is 100% ready to go. I feel like this is something I need to do for my own sanity and well-being.

That being said, I'm not announcing any releases for December. Just typing that out scares me a little to be honest. I'm not good at letting myself off the hook, so to speak. But I feel like I need to time to figure things out, fight this depression, and look after my health. I have a lot of plans for 2015 that I'm hoping I can still follow through with, and I feel like if I don't take this time now, I'm not going to be able accomplish even a fraction of them. I need this time to regroup, something I should've allowed myself to do in November, and instead broke down.

This is going to sound odd as well, but I might as well throw it out there too while I'm in the sharing mood. I wrote the first draft to The Vampire's Castle years ago during a tough time in my life. When I went to revisit it, rewrite it, and polish it up for publication, I realized I wasn't mentally prepared to go back to that time again. A lot of memories came flooding back, literally while rewriting the first paragraph. It saddens me, because I love the story and I hate that it's associated with a difficult time. I thought breathing new life into it would help to take the sting out of it, but I'm not ready to go there yet. For this reason, I'm delaying the series indefinitely. I might just have to work on it in pieces at a time until it's finished. Fortunately, I don't have so many hang ups with the sequels, so once I get through the first book, it should be smoother sailing.

I know this blog post is probably a bit of a downer, and I'm sorry for that. I just felt like I couldn't keep going on in the same way, making and breaking deadlines, without giving the honest reason. It's a tough topic to talk about, and I know there's many out there who struggle with these issues as well, but I also know there's still a stigma surrounding depression and other mental disorders. That's why I've never talked about it in detail and how it relates to my ability to write/publish. I love writing and I hate when anything gets in the way of it, but forcing myself to write when I'm deeply depressed saps the joy out of it. I'm not willing to sacrifice that anymore.

I hope you all can understand, and I also hope to be back with a new release soon enough. No deadlines, no pressure...just hope. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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