Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Writing in Spite of Difficulties

with 7 comments

Folks, I just wanted to check in to let you know I’m working hard again on a novel. I don’t want to talk too much about it before I get to the three-quarters mark, but I can at least tell you I am working on it.

This is a big deal to me, because after my last novel failed to make a dent in the marketplace, I had to think seriously about what I’d do next. I wasn’t about to stop writing, but…did I want to be like the musical composer Charles Ives, where his work wasn’t truly played until after his death? Did I want to be like composer Nadia Boulanger, whose most important work wasn’t her own compositions (fine as they were) but championing her sister Lily’s, not to mention working with American composers Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson (among others)? Or could I keep going in the uncertain marketplace, and have faith, and continue on the path I’d already set for myself?

It took me over two years to figure this out, but I am continuing on my original path.

The important thing to remember here is, you have to write for yourself as much as anyone else. Yes, you hope your work will find its audience (how not?), but you have to write for yourself.

Nadia Boulanger did that, even though later she put her work aside. So did Charles Ives, who continued to write interesting music though his day job was in something else. (Insurance, I think.)

I hope I’ve learned that lesson now, and that I won’t have to learn it again.

Anyway, I’m back to working on my writing. And I do hope to have a novel done by the end of the year, along with a few short stories and maybe even finish that novella in my late husband Michael’s Atlantean Union universe…stay tuned.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 9, 2020 at 3:48 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Hi Barb.
    Glad to read you are starting to write another novel.
    One of the sad facts is the odds of a novel making any impact in a market place is are stacked against an unknown writer and a lot relies on marketing and networks.
    That said the important factor is to ‘Write’, for in writing each person makes their contribution and once that contribution is recorded it belongs to history to wait discovery, as sure as any. Even if the work only resonates with say 10 folk it takes on its own life. Thus when you place those two together you have a fact that you as the writer had made the statement ‘I achieved’
    I wrote a series of three rambling comic fantasy books which achieved zero. Undeterred I revisited that world and started another series at a ‘later’ date. The first two did not make much impact and the third undergoing a re-write will likely have the same fate. They are there, though, on Kindle and a few folk liked them. I will not be at rest until the fourth is completed and then it will be a case of ‘only just beginning’.
    Keep in mind above all else, is the beauty of creation of your own work.
    Follow your own path.
    And best wishes.


    January 10, 2020 at 9:42 am

  2. I love reading your inspiring posts. I have to write stories, or I’d go crazy! If a few people get to read them, all the better.


    January 10, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    • Thanks, Annabelle! I’m glad you enjoyed it and understood it. I wasn’t sure using the musical analogies would work, but I had to try them…and yes, that’s how I am with writing, too. (When I’m not writing, I’m not happy. Simple as that.)

      Barb Caffrey

      January 10, 2020 at 4:16 pm

  3. Hi Barb,

    I’m proud of you for getting back into writing. We’re here for you whenever you need support 🙂

    Keep smiling,


    January 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm

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