“Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
As I sit here at my writing desk in a house in Lithia, Florida, it is late morning on Sunday, March 26, 2023. I’ve been up and about for a bit over three hours, and although I’ve already had two cups of Maxwell House Colombian Blend coffee that I bought on Amazon, I’m still a bit sleepy. I could have used an extra hour of sleep, especially since (a) the sun rises a bit later now that we’re on Daylight Savings Time and (b) it’s Sunday and therefore it’s not supposed to be a working day for me.
Speaking of that, I don’t think I’ll be doing much writing today. I have been spending so much of my time at my desk, making corrections and cosmetic adjustments to my self-published novella, Reunion; yesterday, for instance, I made minor adjustments to the paperback edition’s cover. Specifically, the layout of the reverse cover and the fonts; I didn’t change any of the wording, either in the “blurb” or the author’s bio, but unless you’re a skilled graphics artist – which I am surely not – and know exactly what colors work best against certain backdrops, it’s insanely hard to choose fonts, colors, and illustrations that not only complement each other in a pleasing manner but are easy to read as well.
I tried to address that issue with some tweaks last night, and the redesigned cover looked reasonably good on the preview screen on Kindle Direct Publishing; whether the changes will look good in the finished version, I have no idea. Amazon still shows the original and generic 2018 cover on Reunion’s product page; potential buyers can see the current cover art if they click on the “Look Inside!” preview button, though. If past experience with Kindle Direct Publishing serves as a guide, it will take several days (at least!) till the newest update to the paperback edition is implemented and the newer version appears on the “Look Inside!” window.
Not only am I stressing over the existing version of Reunion, but I am getting a case of the heebie-jeebies about the next story.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to write a new tale. I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a few weeks – ever since I started the revisions to Reunion, really. And I already have a reasonably good idea for a character-driven…project. (I don’t know what type of story this one wants to be, really. I’m hoping to keep it short and manageable, so it’s not likely that it’ll be a full-blown novel. I am so not ready to tackle a novel!) I even have at least two characters in mind, as well as one definite setting, plus a vague notion of what the story is about. I still have not chosen the specific year in which the story is set, but that’s the least of my worries now.
“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair … Come to it any way but lightly.”― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
At the same time, I am apprehensive. Racked with self-doubt. Worried about whether I can write stories that explore the human experience, entertain readers from different parts of the world and with different perspectives, and, within the fictional milieu of a “made-up story,” impart some bits of truth and wisdom. And, of course, I fret about the challenges that come with being a self-published author in the 2020s.
So today, I think, will be a day off from writing for me. I need to take my mind off corralling a multitude of ideas that are stampeding madly around my brain and just relax. I have so many books on my TBR stack that I haven’t touched in weeks, and I have a few new Blu-rays that I’ve barely watched even though I spent good money to acquire them. And today is supposed to be a day of rest, anyway, so….
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