Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Tyranny of Writing.

April 2017

February 2017
These are the books I've written and published so far this year. Well, that isn't quite accurate – The Reclusive Duke is going into the next Regency Romantics box set which will be out this month. Search for a Duke was the last of my Robert Hale books that just needed re-editing so I didn't actually write that one this year.
An Unconventional Bride, the third in The Duke's Alliance series was written last year but published in 2017. The fourth book in this series, An Accommodating Husband, will be out in August. This was written this year. A Most Unexpected Christmas was in the Christmas Regency Romantics box last year. I have written this year's book – A Most Delightful Christmas, and this will be coming back from my editor on Wednesday.
August 2017
Currently I am writing the second in a YA paranormal romance, (the first is with a teenage beta reader and has never been published) and also about to start the second in the Ellen's War series. I've also got on my to-do list writing the fourth and final book in The Nightingale Chronicles, All's Well That Ends Well. I will also need a Regency for the spring box set ready by March next year.
As well as writing these books I also have two rounds of edits and two proof reads for each one, as well as having to organise covers, blurbs et cetera. On top of that there is the never-ending round of social media, marketing and promotion to fit in somewhere.
September 2017
Because sales and pageviews are no longer strong I've also started to take my World War II and Victorian books out of Kindle Select. D2D handle some of the platforms but I'm putting them on Nook and Kobo myself. So far I've got three books transferred and by the middle of August all eleven will be available on all platforms. It remains to be seen if this works – but I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain by spreading myself wider.
I think you get the picture – the more you write the more you have to do. If I only wrote one book a year my life would be so much simpler.
For the past three years I've been obsessed with my writing – not content unless I had written a minimum of fifteen hundred words a day every day of the year. Now that I'm less successful sales wise it's given me a moment to step away and reconsider.
January 2017
July 2017
As most of you know I am my husband's carer, he has vascular dementia as well as the usual problems associated with being eighty-five. I cannot leave him on his own but have a wonderful carer who comes in when I go out once a week. I also have to get up most nights so I'm not getting the sleep I require to function at 100%. In the past six weeks his condition has deteriorated and he needs me more than he did before. I don't know how much longer I will have him with me so he is now my priority.
Therefore, I'm no longer writing as much or feel unhappy if I've not written a certain amount by the end of the day. I don't check my sales, indeed I'm no longer disappointed that I'm not in the top one hundred writers any more.
I love writing and will never stop; as long as my brain allows me to work I will be publishing books every year until I die. However, I'm not driven as I was and I'm happier for it. Writing is an all-consuming passion if you let it be. A very good friend of mine told me she intends to write nine books a year – I'm going to be satisfied with whatever I can produce. In future I'll not agonise over my writing or consider myself a failure if I don't stick to a punishing schedule.
I am a writer and always will be, but in future I'm going to be kinder to myself, not set impossible goals and not feel guilty when I fail to reach targets.
I've written over fifty books in thirteen years – that's something to be proud of and something not many writers will achieve in their lifetimes.
I'm going to have a second hot chocolate and make my husband a coffee then watch rubbish TV and read a book. If I don't write anything at all today it no longer matters. To quote a family saying, "life's too short to stuff a mangetout."
Fenella J Miller

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