… quite so quickly.
Wait. Did you think that I was going to say that 2016 is the year that I’m going to stop writing?
Oh, my, no. Nope. Never. No.
But – psych, huh? 😉
Anyway, back to the point, and the point is that 2016 is the year that I’m going to stop writing quite so quickly.
I published my first romance book, ‘Open Skies‘ on Amazon on July 1, 2014. Since then, I’ve written 22 more romance books.
Four more in the now-finished ‘Open Skies’ series. Five in the now-finished ‘Fighting For Love’ series. Seven in the ‘Unseen Enemy’ series. Six in the ‘Dangerous Curves’ series.
Twenty-two. Twenty-two books in seventeen months. That’s quite a few books, and it’s been quite a busy time in my life.
I love writing, though; I love it and need it and simply cannot imagine myself not doing it. I think I’ll be writing until I drop dead… I will absolutely be a little, old lady, pushing 100 years of age and half-blind and probably shouting at the neighborhood kids to Get off my lawn!, still writing about romance and passion and love. I look forward to it, actually.
But the truth is that I can’t keep going at the current pace. More than once over the past 17 months, I’ve wanted to slow down, take a break, take a breather. And I didn’t.
Right up front, let me assure you that it hasn’t been because of any pressure from you guys. Nobody has ever made me feel like I wasn’t writing fast enough, or producing enough. Many of you have expressed excitement about upcoming books and told me that you “Just can’t wait for the next book!!” but the truth is, you’d have waited an extra two months for me. I know that now.
No, the pressure has all been placed on me by me. Me alone and nobody but me. And I applied pressure on myself out of fear.
See, making a good living as an independent, self-published writer is freakishly rare. It’s like winning the lottery in many ways, and when it happened for me out-of-the-blue and as a complete accident, I was taken aback and unprepared. I was thrilled, honored, humbled…and also scared to death that it was all going to end as suddenly as it all began, and I’d be unemployed and broke.
I worried about not publishing fast enough, I worried that readers would be disappointed in me if I published less-frequently. I was so, so afraid to relax or let up at all, and so I kept up this breakneck pace out of genuine fear that if I didn’t, I’d be swept away by the overwhelming and constant waves of new romance writers publishing on Amazon. I thought I’d get lost in the crowd. I thought that you’d forget about me.
That’s the truth. I thought I’d be lost and forgotten. I’m ashamed to write those words, but they’re the truth.
I know now that’s all bullshit. I now know – know with everything that I have – that you guys are with me. Like with me all the way. You know me, you know my writing, you know my dedication. I hope you know my heart and my character; I really, really hope that you know you can trust me, count on me, believe in me. I hope you’ll stick with me even if I slow down a bit, because when I say that I’m going to publish, you know (I hope) that I will publish.
And it’s because I have this hope that I’ve decided that 2016 will be the year that I’m going to stop writing quite so quickly. I want more balance in my life, and sitting and writing for ten hours a day, six days a week, has not been balanced. Not at all; not even close. It’s been awesome, to be sure, and I’ve enjoyed it about 90% of the time… but that 10% when I haven’t has been hard and lonely.
I want to spend more time with my kids; I want to spend more time with my husband. I want to swim again, do yoga again. I want to eat better, walk outside more, meet friends for coffee more than once every three months. I want to take a whole day off without guilt or the nagging fear that I’m going to lose you if I don’t publish again in three weeks.
I want to write longer books (the trend in self-published romance writing seems to be shorter and shorter books, published every three weeks, with amazingly weak and poor plots, and I’m actively resisting and rejecting this trend – I’m gonna go longer and deeper and richer!). I want to write new series this year, I want to do some new things with my writing in terms of style and subjects.
Also? I want to share more of my life with you. My decision to post pictures of my family Christmas vacation and pictures of my kids on Facebook wasn’t an accidental one: I posted them as a first step in being far more personal and open with you. Until now, I’ve hidden my face, protected my family, concealed my life. I’ll continue to respect the privacy of my husband and kids, only showing their faces in profile, for example, but I’m going to be more accessible to you.
That includes showing you my face, showing you my life. Showing you my heart.
How many books will I publish this year? Hard to say… but I can’t see it being less than seven or even eight, since I love writing and need it like air. I plan to start and release three new series this year, and I’ll finish both the ‘Unseen Enemy’ and ‘Dangerous Curves’ series at eight books each. Yes, it’ll be hard to say goodbye to those characters, but when it’s time, it’s time. And I feel like eight books in each series is perfect.
So. That’s what I want to do in 2016. I will publish my first book of the year in March, and I have a few things planned between now and then that will keep me busy. I will absolutely share those things with you as they happen, so keep your eyes peeled for my Facebook and Twitter updates.
I hope that you’ll wait a bit longer for my books… and I hope that when they do come out, they’ll have been worth waiting for.
Most of all, I hope that I won’t let you down.