Though perhaps not the influence you were thinking of.
I’ve often wondered how valid the idea of ‘seasonal depression’ is. It seems like a copout to me. Maybe I’m just ignorant, who knows, but whenever I got really sad and fell into a slump around winter, I chalked it up to not enjoying the sights and hating the cold. This winter I really wanted to make a change, and I actually began writing more than ever. The trouble is, I was throwing out what I had written more than ever too.
I’ve written and rewritten about 40,000 words worth of content since my last release. Especially considering the average chapter of GBM is 5k words, that’s more than enough to satisfy a quota… but at the same time, it never felt right to me. The way the writing flowed, what it reflected about the characters… it didn’t seem perfect. Chalk it up to my perfectionist streak, I guess. (Insert obligatory joke about how what I do release sucks anyway so what’s the point of rewriting here.)
I think I have to accept that I have a bad work ethic when I try to balance this with something else (full-time work or school). Many readers most likely think that’s lazy, and by all means think that way, I won’t try to stop you. I don’t believe I’m lazy, it’s just that I can’t prioritize this highly with a good conscience, and in much the opposite way, I’m always keeping my hands full with initiative after initiative. Plus I’d be lying if I said going back to school full-time and having to be academic when I’m honestly not that good at it wasn’t tough.
Winter is a difficult time for me. It’s stressful, there’s less daylight in a day which I hate, and I get into my head too much. I think things about myself that perhaps I shouldn’t, and I just end up doubting myself into oblivion. It sucks, but it’s the way things are. The same factors I’d consider my flaws are the same things that make me myself, and inspire me to write and hopefully one day actually be a sustained writer. That day may never come, and to a good few, it may look like I’ve given up on it altogether. After all, I started in, what, 2014? To those that started following me even in 2016, wow. You guys are committed. Thank you so much.
That said, I’m not giving up. I’m just… prioritizing, in a way I really don’t want to. Nothing would be greater for me than to be able to pump out one or two chapters a month and keep a sustained reader base happy and enjoying my work. I have to recognize it’s not feasible now, and I can’t even answer when it is. That said, we all know I won’t go ridiculously long without publishing something, and I’m going to get something out there eventually. I hope it’ll be soon. I think it’ll be soon. Thank you all for everything you do, and I’ll talk to you all next week.