I’m back from my Western Caribbean cruise and I feel refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired. It’s amazing how creatively stifling technology -and, in particular, social media- can be. I thought I knew how weighed down I’d gotten, but apparently that was just the beginning…the tip of the oppressive iceberg. I’d hit the thing head on and was taking on water faster than I’d realized. (See all the ship analogies there? Ha!)
Technological isolation is a magical thing. Staring off the starboard side of a cruise ship and watching the sun go down on the coast of Cozumel was an epiphany I hadn’t expected. Without the internet, the sun still rises and sets. Without Facebook, I watched rainbow sky instead of a meme. There was a world of beauty and romantic inspiration outside and I didn’t have to log into a damned thing to see it.
Between learning marketing strategies, fighting algorithms and trying to build up my readership, I was drowning, and my love of writing was sinking along with me. The business side of writing had left me no time at all to do what mattered most- write.
Away from the internet, there was just me and a place to let the stories flow without worrying about whether or not I would ever hit a best seller ranking. Away from the internet, things were much clearer. There was no competition, no drama, no anonymous predators out to sabotage others for the power trip. There was no constant upheaval to overshadow the new releases or emerging authors. There was no need to be constantly publishing, causing me to be unable to write at all. Paranormal romance takes research, you see, Dear Reader, and world-building and an immersive creation process that simply can’t be rushed. And I don’t want to. I want to give you stories that I’m proud of. I also want to branch out, exploring my love of romantic suspense ad horror, and trying my hand at dystopian fiction and romantic comedy.
I went on a cruise for a break. I came back with a renewed purpose and a revived love of writing for its own sake. I came back with a plan. It’s time to do what I want, rather than what feels expected or necessary.
To that end, I’m pushing back both the release of The River and The Mountain until I can give you stories worthy of reading. The Tribe legend is far too important to churn out for the sake of keeping myself visible in an unending pool of publishing authors. I’m going to expand into romantic suspense, horror and I’m going to get serious about a couple of collaborations that have fallen by the wayside. I’m going to write books. Lots of them. Even if I never make the top of the New York Times… if I never get that little orange banner on Amazon…if I never sell more than a handful of copies, I will remember the sun setting over Mexico and I will keep writing books, Dear Reader, as long as you keep reading them.