Monday, October 24, 2016

The Involuntary Pause - Misadventures In Writing & Other Things.

I wasn't feeling it today.

Maybe it was because I'd indulged a little more than I'd planned to last night at the Pub when I was catching up with family. Maybe it was because it was such a lovely morning this morning and I found myself tending to my garden and lawns while listening to an ever enlightening episode of the Osher Günsberg podcast.

Whatever it was - I just couldn't engage my creative impulse today and, despite the eventual two hours I spent at my computer, my output wasn't good. I think I stared at my screen more than I did input anything of value. I'm struggling with the challenge of bringing two people together in a way that is gentle and convincing - and not soppy. So far, it has involved my protagonist, Hayden Luschcombe, helping my co-protagonist, Isabelle Sampi, with a blocked fuel line in her car and her showing him her bakehouse that she pretty much built herself. There's gotta be romance in there somewhere right.

It's a long story...

...And it's not easy.

Traditionally, I've been really hard on myself and overly criticized myself for not being productive. It's sonething that has caused me considerable distress - unnecessary distress. But I've slowly learned to accept that, sometimes, I'm simply not going to be able to tap into whatever it is that allows me to write freely and easily. When that happens, I've given myself permission to step away and disengage and it actually helps a lot. Of course, as with any learned behaviour - particularly those that have been learned over a long period of time - it's not easy to shake the anxiety and the tendency to be self critical. It takes effort to deprogram yourself and that can be pretty tiring. As I sit and I type this however, I'm okay...

...I think.

To contrast this with something completely opposite, something ratrathgroynd shaking has happened with The Recipient in the past couple of weeks. Back at the beginning of this month, my publisher wrote to advise me that The Recipient had been accepted for a Goodreads promotion that would see it be featured prominently at Goodreads as well as being included in a subscriber email mail-out.

Well, as the result of this promotion, The Recipient embarked on a rapid climb up the Amazon charts, peaking at a ranking of 735 a couple of weeks ago (out of several million titles) and it entered in the Top 100 across several fiction categories. It's since settled back into the mid 10,000 range as I write this but, it's selling at least a half dozen copies daily rather than say one or two copies a week. It's safe to say that I've never experienced anything like this and I'm kind of unsure how to see this. Further, I've just been informed that Amazon itself has selected The Recipient for its Kindle Monthly Deal mailout for November which has the potential to continue this run of high sales through its high visibility promotion. This includes prominent placement across the Amazon site as well as its social network.

In a word, I'm flabbergasted.

In the six years since my first novel, The Hambledown Dream, was published, I haven't had this level of exposure nor sales and it's a little hard to believe it's actually happening.

It's all a little bit of yin and yang today (is that right?)

Have you experienced something similar this past week? Let me know in the comments section below.



  1. That is fabulous news Dean!! This writing thing has its ups and downs but every now and then, it is all worth it!! As for not being productive, that happens to me a lot. So much so I am used to it and don't even get upset - much! Glad to hear you are working on another amazing book. Cheers my friend.

    1. Thank you Darlene. It's been a crazy month to be sure.

  2. Great news. Can't say anything like that has happened to me lately.

    The painter, Francis Bacon used to just sit--dreaming, on his sofa--sometimes for hours, and eventually the ideas would just drop in. He found it more productive than staring at the canvas.