Labor Day Check In

Behind the Curtain Read Time: 1 min

It's been some time since I've posted a general update on whats going on with me and my writing, so hang onto your hats.

I'm glad to say that, despite life's general chaos, I've established a fairly consistent writing practice over the last year. I've been spending most of my weekday lunch hours writing or working on writing-related stuff, and I've been working writing into some evenings as well (though I'm usually too mentally exhausted by the time the kids are in bed to do much more than bang around Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube). The biggest boon to my writing has been due to my wife finally convincing me that getting up early on the weekends and heading to the coffee shop will give me a couple extra, uninterrupted hours one or two days a week, without compromising quality family time (which for the last several months has mostly involved backbreaking labor on various home projects).

A few months ago, I started work on a new short story, the first few scenes of which my Patrons have already had the opportunity to read. This will be the first in what ultimately will be a collection of five or six loosely themed stories. I've been working with a friend who has a great knack for editorial feedback, so the first three scenes are already in pretty good shape, with another written but not edited, and couple more scenes left to write. I'm excited about this story, but I'm currently focused on the edits for Rogue Planet.

After getting and discussing my editor's feedback on Rogue Planet, I started a systematic review of the Earth-based chapters using the Story Grid methodology, which has given me a great overall view of where the novel is versus where I'd like it to be, and a great understanding of how it's currently working (or not working) at the scene level. With that comprehensive review and the editorial feedback and plan of attack, I'm ankle-deep in re-working the Earth chapters, having just reached chapter six this week. I'm really happy with how the work is progressing so far (though, of course, I wish it were progressing faster) and I know that the story will come out the other side stronger and more entertaining. I had originally hoped to get the entire novel edited and ready for publication by August, but... well, you can see how well that worked out. Despite the new, well-established writing habit, I still have only a few good hours a week. I'm making the most of them, but the work is complex and I'm a relatively slow writer to begin with.

Given the focus on Rogue Planet, which is arguably the most important thing I have going on right now (aside from family stuff, y'dig?), other projects are naturally getting left behind. For example, the Astronauts Sam project, which is near and dear to my heart, is a project that requires collaboration. I have discussed the project with an artist friend, but we both have full-time jobs and full-time families, and Rogue Planet is occupying all the liminal space I have available. When Rogue Planet edits are complete and I'm prepping the novel for publication, I hope to get the Astronauts Sam train rolling again.

I firmly believe that multi-tasking is a myth, and rather than half-assing a few projects, I'd rather whole-ass one project. There is always downtime, and sometimes you just need a break, so I'll work in what I can but I won't beat myself up if every pot isn't bubbling at once.

So, there's a picture of what's going on with me and my various projects. I very sincerely appreciate your support and attention, and I'm looking forward to sharing the fruits of all my labors with you!

Please feel free to comment on this post or send a message if you have any thoughts or advice, or if you'd like to share your own stories of prioritizing and getting stuff done in the midst of an eternally chaotic life.

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