It’s a telling thing when multiple people independently tell you the same thing, but even more so when it’s something you’ve been telling yourself for a while: after Drawful the Awful I’ll be taking a break.
I love writing, and I have dreamed of becoming a published novelist with my books on the shelves in Barnes and Noble since I was in grade school. In the summer of 2015 I decided to finally get serious about that by deleting all the writing I’d ever done to that point to force myself to give it my all and go the distance on a single project- produce a focused, intentional draft, edit and rewrite until I had finished project I was proud of.
I accomplished that. I am proud of the finished product that was Beneath the Wood, and I self-published. Then I took the process I learned from that project (which took a year and a half) and went right into Five Talents. I not only applied the process, but improved it, and again ended up with a finished product I queried on and was proud to self-publish back in June when no agents or publishers bit.
I intended on giving myself the summer off. Writing two books within a year is pretty exhausting, but then Drawful happened, and I’m working full of fire and faith in this one as well. However, looking over my list of ideas I had stacked up over the past few months to line up a constant stream of work for myself, I couldn’t say which, if any, I could even be half passionate about as Drawful the Awful, Five Talents, or Beneath the Wood.
Thus, I did in miniature what I did last summer: I deleted all the electronic files of outlines and proposals for next projects I’d accumulated this year. Drawful found me completely by accident, and appealed to me as a story I wanted to tell my nephew, and a story worth telling my niece.
I love writing. That will never change, but I’m never going to produce art I’ll be satisfied with through manic obsession because the dedication required to know your characters, edit, and rewrite has to come from love and faith in the story and its importance. Getting a book on that shelf in Barnes & Noble that I pass by every time I visit one of their stores won’t matter if it isn’t a story I love and believe in.
I don’t know what my next project is after Drawful the Awful. It is, if I’m being completely honest, possible that I never have another idea again and my completed works are comprised of this little trilogy. I doubt that’s the case, but I’m also acknowledging the bar I’m setting for undertaking my next project, and promising you all here and now what will be behind the introduction of whatever comes next:
Whatever I write next, will be something I believe in, through and through.
We move forward. See you all down the road.