Saturday, December 28, 2013

What Influenced My Writing in 2013?

(Sometimes by Saturday I just have to change up the title...what was the topic, you ask? My top 3 writing influences of 2013.)

I write the same way year in and year out. I'm either in the mood for ancient Egyptian or I'm in the mood for science fiction romance. Not to say I wouldn't love to write Regency, because I enjoy reading it but apparently I didn't receive a copy of the gene for writing it. I also enjoy reading family-based contemporary romances like Shannon Stacey writes but again, my Muse has no idea where to start. That state of affairs covers mysteries, urban fantasy, BDSM...well, you get the idea. I do dabble in paranormal shapeshifters occasionally but they're as yet unpublished.

Well. OK, drifted off the the top three things that influenced my life this year, which in turn influenced my writing are as follows:

1. My health. Like probably most people, I have an assortment of chronic conditions that flare up and must be dealt with. (Nothing on the level of  seriousness and pain that my fellow Whore Allison has had to cope with though.) When certain issues are being a challenge, then I take meds and go to bed and no writing is done. I might do some thinking about plots but no writing. I have incapacitating migraines for example... but that's enough details probably...I'm grateful for the days when every nerve and muscle wants to work at full capacity and I try to get a lot done!

2. Self publishing. I fell into self publishing in 2012 with my first SFR "Wreck of the Nebula Dream". I talked about the whys and the wherefores of that decision in a blog post here actually. But for me 2013 was the Year of  Self Publishing, even though my second Carina Press release "Warrior of the Nile" also came out in September of this year. I managed to self publish two novels - one Egyptian paranormal and one SFR - and release one audiobook on my own. I learned SO much. I became a knowledge-sponge when it comes to self publishing. I love the freedom and control of being my own publisher (not to say I don't enjoy working with Carina). For 2014 I plan to get 3-4 more books self published and at least one more audiobook released. There's so much still to learn and refinements to make - I have to be a lot more efficient if I'm going to get a new book out to Readers once a quarter in 2014...I thrive on challenges though. The whole publishing industry keeps changing and morphing also, and authors, including me, have to be flexible to adapt. I'm looking forward to applying 2013's experiences - what worked, what didn't -  to the release of the next few books.

3. The Day Job. Much as I love writing and wish I made my living at it, I don't. Maybe some day! So I still have to report to work and do a good job for my employer. Yes, I'm fortunate to work at a fascinating place (think Mars rovers) and do interesting things (business process improvements and government subcontracts and more) but none of that is writing. Not romance writing anyway LOL. So...for example, if you Follow me on twitter, you undoubtedly saw me whining about the big audit I was supporting for weeks on end in November-December of this year. I got next to no writing done during that time because it was long days and I came home so tired, the Muse threw up her hands and went to bed. Also see point #1. Long days and being exhausted don't agree with keeping my brittle good health up to par.

I'm going to add a fourth thing, which is Learning to Live By Myself. It's been a bit over a year now and while I love it, the situation has taken some adjusting to. I was one of those "got married young right out of my parents' home" gals and then when I was widowed, I had two very young children...for awhile most recently I even had a multigenerational household, including my grandson...and then almost suddenly in Fall 2012 it was just me. In a condo, not a house. With Jake and Keanu, my new cats. So I'm a late bloomer on the "living alone" thing. But it's going well overall and I quite like it!

Who knows what changes 2014 will bring? But I'm ready and the one certainty is that I'll be writing romances.


  1. Well congratulations to you, Jake, and Keanu! Living alone is kind of candy for a writer and for introverts in general - not as optimal for migraine sufferers. :( And now that I know you've sponged up a bunch of self-pub knowledge, I may come knocking . . . there's an SFR that wants to see the light of day this spring. :D

  2. Always happy to help! I think it's a very good time for SFR. Happy holidays!