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An Uneasy Accord with Burnout

I can't believe it's been so long since my last blog post in September 2022. I was having a bit of a hard time when I wrote it and talked about feeling a bit burnt out after writing The Pack’s Bride and how I was going to change my author platform to prevent energy drain.

How I laugh when I look back on that.

Because right after, I wrote Misfit Survivor and Redeeming Aries and fully burnt out.

The last year and a bit has been interesting. If you were to ask people who knew me, they’d call me low energy. I get drained easily, especially in work situations outside of the home; but it turns out, when I work for myself, I’m a workaholic. I struggle to relax at all, even as my energy levels bottomed out. Even last year, when I said I was definitely going to rest I was still trying to work behind the scenes, writing over 40k words of The Ilia's Lovers and even several thousand words of Teyr.

But the burn out affected my ability to write, to do admin, to do advertising. So the last year has been me watching my author platform sink beneath a surface it was only ever a few feet above in the first place. I know the journey back to just where I was is going to be hard.

I am coming out of burn out, I’m not out and I’m still struggling to do nothing. Such as today, this is meant to be the second day of some time off and yet here I am writing a blog post, something I have scheduled to do tomorrow.

But, it’s time to get the blog back up and running and that means an update.

One of the biggest aspects of burnout is apathy. In this way it's a lot like depression but without the low mood and you can still get joy from other things, just not the thing you burned out on. The things affected, in this case writing, doesn't move you in any way. It's a hard thing to experience because writing is the biggest passion of my life outside of my family.

Last year, at the beginning of my burn out, I built a whole new world. A historical paranormal fantasy mystery series is how I’m currently describing it. I built a world set in 1837, not a popular time for this kind of story, about a aristocratic debutante who discovers the paranormal world when she is linked to a murder and forced to work with someone who might be the killer. I planned out a nine book series and no, this didn’t hurt my burn out. Creating worlds was something I still enjoyed doing.

In December my brain started spitting the story out at me. The first 10 chapters were dull and boring and I hated them. Then chapter 11 hit. The heroine met the hero (way too late for pacing) and the story sparked to life and so did my enthusiasm for it.

Apathy is a horrible thing to feel about a story. It's worse than hating it because at least I know when I hate it there’s a reason why. Either the story isn't working, the characters or my writing sucks, or I just think my writing sucks in comparison to… enter excellent author I shouldn’t be comparing myself too here. But apathy is nothing. Apathy is a void that swallows your joy. When my enthusiasm sparked, I knew my burn out was healing. I haven’t shut up about the story since. Writing a new book is falling in love and everybody has to hear all about the specialness of this story. The characters and the plans and the details and the things you’re not telling anyone about yet, but my poor husband has to hear it all.

Please spare a thought for my poor husband's sanity!

I finished the book in January and by then I was beginning to look forward to going back to finishing The Ilia’s Lovers.

First, I had to get rid of those first 10 chapters and make a better beginning, which I think I have done now.

I still have a lot of work to do on this story but I plan to release it at the end of quarter 2, June time.

It’s not strictly a romance. There is no romance in it at all and if you decide to read it you’ll see why. But the series, overall, will be a romance between the two leads. They have a very rough road ahead of them though. If you think I’ve done terrible things to my characters thus far, this will be worse.

The first book is called Uneasy Accord and when I’ve finished writing it, it will be somewhere around the 80-90 word mark. I feel like this is my best book yet.

So, what about the future of my writing and The Ilia’s Lovers?

As I said, finishing this story has made me feel excited about writing again. Last week I wrote 1,200 words on The Ilia’s Lovers and as the mood grabs me, I will continue to write bits here and there. Once I am done with Uneasy Accord, I will turn my full attention back to The Ilia’s Lovers with a view to getting both books in the duology out this year. My plan is to start slow, just like I did with Uneasy Accord, rest often, and let my energy levels rise naturally as I write.

But, overall my writing will slow down now. Uneasy Accord is a part of a series I’m currently calling A Play of Light and Shadow, though it’s such an overused format (A Song of Ice and Fire; A Court of Thornes and Roses) I’ll most likely change it. I intend to release one book a year in the series. Then release at least one book in SFR and then, if I have the energy to write a third, I’ll either write another SFR, or another genre so I don’t burn out again. I plan to get The Ilia’s Lovers, both books in the duology, out by December, but that could change, so keep an eye on this blog, my newsletter or my Facebook Page or Group to keep an eye on any changes.

Next month I'll start introducing you to the world, both the period and the paranormal and mythical aspects of it. I spent early last year just worldbuilding. There's a lot about this world I can't talk about yet because it will be revealed over the course of the series, but to write it with verisimilitude, I had to learn so much about 1830’s fashions, corsets, petticoats, houses, staff, coaches, and social events, it’s ridiculous and I intend on spewing those things at you over the coming months along with characters, locations, and more.

Do you like the name of the series? Or do you think the format overused? Do you have any ideas for an alternative?

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