On Tuesday, I published my 12th novel! I'm so excited that Calum and Harper's story is finally out there!
Off Beat is the first book in my new rock star romance series that follows The Forgotten Flounders, a [fictional] punk-rock band from Nova Scotia, Canada. Book 1 is about the frontman of TFF, Calum Jacobs, and the regrets he left back home that he has to face.
I started outlining this series back in 2018, and I'm so excited about what's to come! I have so many stories planned for the boys of TFF and their loved ones!
But this blog post is not really meant to talk about the book or series (although I really do hope you'll check it out): this post is more about my writing and publishing goals. Because, yeah...I just published my twelfth book, baby!
You'd think the excitement (and the nerves) would dull with twelve books and counting...but if anything, it only gets more intense. Especially this time, with this book.
Although it has nothing on 2020 in hindsight, 2019 was a rough year for me mentally and physically. I pulled back from pretty much everything. I have a chronic pain bone disorder called Multiple Exostoses, and before my last surgery in November, I had a few problematic issues with exostoses causing internal complications. One was growing off the right side of my pubic bone, putting pressure on my femoral artery whenever I sat. The sharpest point of that tumour ran right over the femoral artery, and there was a real risk it would severe it if left. Since I have a bleeding disorder, that wasn't good news. My doctor expected I'd be able to get it removed immediately, but by the time we realized what was actually happening there, we were already waiting on two surgery dates for the boys and their MHE issues.
In addition to the one on my pubic bone, I had a few exostoses clustered on the back of my right scapula that made holding my arm in certain positions challenging. Washing hair, typing, lifting things...all of it hurt and exhausted me. I also had one exostoses on my right rib that had broken it and prevented the rib from healing for at least a year.
I was in a lot of pain; so much so that I couldn't sit at my desk for longer than two or five minutes at a time. I only had the desktop computer, so that meant that I couldn't write as much as I normally did. I felt guilty, like I was letting everyone including myself down. I guess I didn't realize just how much I depended on my writing as a creative distraction from pain until I couldn't do it as much, but now I can see how crucial it is for my mental health. Writing has always been the best means of therapy and distraction for me, even if I'm not actually writing about my own problems.
Creating a character and being able to slip into their world and life and "experience" their problems helps me stop from overly focusing on my own.
When I'm not able to write as much, or do as much for that matter, my depression gets worse. It started getting harder and harder for me to get the momentum to write, and because I wasn't writing as much and didn't have books coming out...I stopped trying to keep everyone engaged and interested in what I was doing. My thought process was "it's only one book, and I don't know when I'll be able to publish it. Why bother anyone with it?"
From there, it became easy to stop putting money and time into my writing career. I told myself "nobody's paying attention, anyway"; which was harmful and definitely wrong. But the thing is, once you stop doing those things...finding the momentum to do them again can be challenging.
That's the position I found myself in when it came to releasing Off Beat: The Forgotten Flounders Book 1: I had this finished book, this book I loved and couldn't wait to get in my readers hands...but again, I found myself back to that mind-frame that spending money on my business was scary.
I kept telling myself it wasn't the right time...but if not now, when?
Which is why I had to publish this book in 2020. I needed to do it, even if I could have been more prepared on a marketing and promotional level if I'd waited until the spring or summer of 2021 to release it.
It's been two years since my last release, and I was afraid if I didn't hit publish...I'd talk myself out of ever doing it again. So, I did it!
That's why you got an extremely disorganized release from me this time, because I got so tired of talking myself out of all the things I hadn't done yet or should do, and decided to just...publish the damn book. You guys have waited long enough!
Now that I've got it back...I need to keep the momentum!
In 2021, I'll be getting more into a routine with my writing and my business, and doing my best to stick to a publication schedule. It's easy to let deadlines pass by when "you're your own boss"; so my new year resolution is to not do that anymore. I'm going to smash my writing goals out of the park, and I'm going to make sure I do the same for my publishing goals.
Now, let's get to work...shall we?