Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Thank the Deity, 2020 is Over…and Other Stuff

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Folks, I wanted to start the New Year off right with a blog, but as you see, it took me a few days to write.

Why? Well, as I said in my last blog, I had a ton of editing to do in December. This is highly unusual but very welcome. (Publishing as a whole tends to take December off, I’ve found. Though the pandemic more or less uprooted everything, of course. As it does.)

I also am dealing with yet another sinus infection. This is frustrating me because it’s already getting in the way of the one meaningful 2021 New Year’s Resolution (TM) I have: to write more. Sinus infections sap my strength. They definitely get in the way of my creativity. And I wish there was a way to stop them, so I could be considerably healthier in the wintertime.

That said, so far, no Covid. (Thank the Deity.)

And of my friends who’ve come down with Covid, they’ve all recovered. (Again, I give thanks to whatever the Deity is.)

I have a jam-packed January planned, too, editing-wise. At least five books are planned by my various author-clients. And I want to work on all five. So I’ll figure it out, and shoehorn some writing in there now and again, too. (Just as soon as this sinus infection leaves me be, that is.)

Years ago, I read a short story by Rosemary Edghill in her excellent anthology PAYING THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN. In that story, one woman more or less confronts her fate. She either writes, or edits. If she writes, she does little to no editing; if she edits, she “confidently works on a novel she has no intention of finishing.”

This does come to mind, often, with my editing schedule as it stands.

However, there has to be a way to do both. Ms. Edghill herself has done both for most of her career, and done it brilliantly. So I just have to find my own way toward the same end…

Of course, Covid did change everything in 2020. And not just my writing to editing time-ratio.

For example, the Racine Concert Band, which I play in and have for years, could not perform any concerts for obvious reasons. And we’re not sure what will happen to the upcoming year, as it all depends on how well the vaccine rollouts go, much less how well they’re tolerated. (I think I can say this without breaking any confidences, as it’s all common sense.)

I haven’t managed to practice very much or very often since mid-2020. My energy had to be kept for things I absolutely needed to do for much of the year. Anything else — even things that give me heart’s ease from pain — was put on the back burner.

Did I want to do this? Of course not. But I’m an adult. Adults figure stuff out, as best they can, and try not to get too frustrated about things that do not go their way.

Writing-wise, I’m still battling two demons, which are:

  1. How to turn off “Editor Voice” long enough to get a first draft (so I can manipulate things as needed later), and
  2. The thought that none of my writing will ever matter to anyone, so what’s the point? (That last is an existential issue.)

The first is a technical thing. And since my friends who are good editors have found a way to do this, I should eventually be able to find my own way through that thicket, too. And as far as the second thing goes, it’s a matter of telling myself it’s OK if no one cares about my writing but me and a few of my friends.

Plus, there’s a strategy I can use to try to get my next series out there, and that’s putting out at least two books in the same series in the same year. That builds anticipation and excitement, or at least can do the same…plus, writing short stories in that milieu to get your name recognized by readers can’t hurt anything, either.

For that matter, I have a good friend who sells a ton more than I do who’s told me for the last three years he wants to write a book with me. The reason I haven’t done it yet is because he writes over ten full-length novels a year, and my writing time has been limited to maybe 35K in 2020 and 60K in 2019 (all projects). I don’t want to slow him down, in short, and I can’t figure out how to make our writing time issues palatable to him. (Unless he looks at it as a side project for him, with it being a main project for me. Perhaps that’s the way?)

Anyway, my hope is that 2021 brings joy, peace, happiness, creativity, and all good things to you and yours.

What are you hoping to accomplish in 2021? Leave me a note in the comments!

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 3, 2021 at 6:00 am

Posted in Editing, Writing

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