I’ve had this post in my head for awhile. It’s hard to communicate because it’s announcing I feel like a failure, which isn’t necessarily part of the ‘branding’ I’d like to associate with my name. Once upon a time, circa 2005-2010, I was a writing machine. Seriously. I was not only churning out original work, but a fairly high level of fanfiction as well. Things started to slow down after I finished a rough draft of my (still!) untitled Fates Project (which overlapped finishing my most popular fanfic to date, a 84K swashbuckler). Motivation for my last YA novel, Major Pain (which I am polishing now) slowed and towards the end of 2011, I began to despair I didn’t have another book in me. (This is, of course, very untrue… I have ideas for no less than 4 novels and 2 children’s books in my head).
What had changed?
Where had my motivation gone?
Where does it continue to go?
Is it tied up in the too many ongoing projects I have out there?
Is there always going to be a limit to how long we can keep up a high level of productivity?
I write this because I’m not sure if I’m alone in my feelings. Literally, I feel guilt if I’m not working on something. There is not a weekend where I can completely switch off. If I do something as mundane as watch a few hours of television or participate in any activity that distracts me from writing (and all things involved), I get down on myself. I don’t believe this is entirely normal behavior and yet, the inner critic refuses to stop taunting me. She is relentless and yet, without her, I’m not sure I would have finished any of the projects I started.
I’m not sure if I’m comparing myself to Courtney of a few years ago and all that she was able to accomplish or the fact that this time last year I was able to get a book published AND move countries.
I…just don’t know.
Yes, I’ll have a book out in a matter of weeks, but I know, deep down, that I’m not nurturing it or caring for it as I have my others. It’s not fair, but it’s something I need to check off. I won’t be able to mentally move on until it’s out there, but I wish I could summon more interest in my poor last YA manuscript.
TL;DR Author shouldn’t be so hard on herself, but continues to be.