Many of my long-time readers who started following me way back when I mainly blogged about writing and becoming a super-famous author whose books were turned into movies or TV shows the instant they were published may be wondering if I’m ever going to get back to that whole book thing again.
And to that question (wait, there was a question in there somewhere, wasn’t there?) I give a hearty, “Yep.”
I know I’ve gotten a bit sidetracked from writing about writing, but there’s only so much time I can devote to blogging each week. And since most of that has been taken up with showing off my art projects, begging you to check out my Etsy shop, and bothering to wish you all well during the holidays, I’ve found it hard to squeeze in any writing blogs.
So, here it is (cue trumpeting fan fare)….
MY FIRST WRITING POST OF 2016
(If you don’t want to read all this, please do take the time to skip down to the takeaway message at the end.)
I have to admit I’ve been a bit unmotivated to write since early summer. It wasn’t writer’s block, it was simply not wanting to write, so I granted myself a leave of absence from the writing department. In September, I promised myself I would get back into writing, but wasn’t sure what to write. Would I continue on with the Osteria Chronicles series or try something else?
To be honest, I just didn’t have the heart to get back into the series. The third book’s first draft was about two-thirds done and I just didn’t care to finish it. People seem to love these books, but after a book signing where no one even took a second look at my books, I began to wonder if I’m the only one who likes the idea of mythological re-tellings.
From the pile of first draft manuscripts lurking in my closet I opted for a historical novel I’d finished a few years ago. I re-read it, jotting down notes of what work needed done, inconsistencies that needed fixed, and facts that needed checked. Notes completed, I felt lost for what to do next. What in the world was wrong with me? I mean it’s not like I don’t know how to do a second draft. I simply could not get motivated to do it.
GETTING MY INSPIRATION FIRE RE-IGNITED ON TURKEY DAY
Luckily, I had loads of excuses to avoid the novel. I had my shop to open, I had the county fair art contest to enter, I had wine to make, and I had gallery applications to complete. Obviously, much too busy to write.
Then came Thanksgiving (we’re into November now for those of you in countries where people don’t gorge themselves on turkey just because it’s the fourth Thursday of the eleventh month of the year).
At the Thanksgiving dinner my dad and stepmom hosted was my stepsister, Susie (Suzie?) who I don’t know very well (Which should be obvious since I don’t even know how to spell her name). Out of the blue she told me how much she loved the Osteria Chronicles books, that she read the first one (The Trials of Hercules) and couldn’t put it down, and how excited she was when she got the second book (The Voyage), which she also found herself glued to.
Of course this prompted questions of when the third book was coming out.
“Um, I, um, well, I’m working on it.” Which was not technically a lie. I mean, I was thinking about working on it a few months previous.
I’m normally one of those people who can motivate themselves (you have to be to work from home otherwise you end up eating chips and watching TV all day), but I think I really did need something to get me back on the Osteria track. Susie’s compliment was that something!
Within a week I’d cranked out the final third of the third book (working title: The Maze) and soon after I set up a schedule for the first read-through. In December, I completed that read-through (and good lord that first draft is one ugly baby). Despite how horrible the first draft is, unlike the historical novel, I am itching to get going on the second draft of The Maze, which I plan to release sometime this year, possibly late summer or early fall.
THE TAKEAWAY MESSAGE?
If you have read a book or seen a piece of artwork completed by someone you know (or just admire) and you enjoyed it or thought it was pretty darn nifty, let them know. And don’t simply hide your words in a review; send them message, mention them in a tweet or Facebook post, or tell them to their face if you happen to see them.
Artists and authors live in their own little world that is populated primarily by self-doubt monsters. We may joke that we are fueled by coffee and red wine, but the truth is that we are fueled by encouraging words…things that are often difficult to find in a society that seems to thrive on negativism.
Oh, and if you want to give us those encouraging words over a cup of coffee or bottle of red wine, we won’t object!!
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCIL. YOU CAN FIND HER WORK AT TAMMIE PAINTER’S BOOKSTORE & GALLERY.