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Posts Tagged ‘The Orion Records’

We sold more books through our website today than we usually do in rounding up accounts with bookstores. And it feels good. To have money to put into the bank and the hope of recovering costs for Mark of Orion. To have the draft for the next book complete. To live the dream with late-night writing sessions at my local Starbucks and with complete autonomy in what gets published and when.

It feels even better as I read popular young adult fiction. There I discover that my standards for family friendly reading are probably seen as prehistoric confines that we, as a refined society, should shed. Only I won’t be shedding my standards any time soon. And with every story I publish I hope that others will join me in reclaiming their own.

And yet there is the growing, gnawing sense of discomfort with my present reality. It tells me that this section of my life may soon be at its close. It scares me.

Don’t worry, I won’t bid farewell to writing. You can expect to see the completion of The Orion Records before I decide what my writing career will look like as an adult. For now, I cherish the young person’s freedom to keep writing and publishing stories that people love and are influenced by, regardless of a professional publisher’s interest or whims. For now I breathe in my small town life, grateful for extra sunshine and quiet moments to rest. But change… change is coming.

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It has been a ‘my-brain-is-on-overdrive’ kind of week. Not one, but four books on three worlds in five different novel sections simultaneously vie for the attention of my mind even as my return to business school has publishing racing through my neurons. If one of my students asked me what to do in a situation like this I would tell them, politely, that it was time to grow up and let all but the most important, most pressing story rest on a dusty shelf. If I have told you something like this, I have new sympathy. But the advice stays the same.

I am determined to capture just enough of each tale to write a few pages of the story and an army of bullet points as to where it is going. Then I am going to let those stories fade away as I return my focus to The Orion Records (both Mark of Orion and its sequel). I am hoping that this method will keep the creativity flowing, while slowly turning it in a more useful direction and preserving the beauty of the untold tales. In the past I have tried to cut out the irrelevant stories from my imagination entirely. This left me with a severe (and, as my deadline approached, rather terrifying) form of writer’s block. To this day, I have been unable to recapture that lost novel.

So this is my new strategy and my repeated advice: when you have more than one story vying for your attention hash out the important details and then force your brain to move on. It is a hard learned skill to know how to hold onto the right novels and let go of those whose turn has not yet come.

(Side note: it can be a very good thing to be plotting novel C while you are drafting novel B while you are editing novel A, but you had best be very careful when you introduce novel B and novel C so you do not overcrowd your brain and explode.)

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