Now that the crazy whirlwind that is the holidays is behind us, it’s time to dive back into daily life and set some healthy intentions. January 31 will mark one year since Dante and I published our first book, and wow did we learn a lot that we’re bringing with us into the new year, though some habits will be left behind. We’re expecting a new arrival into our family come July, so it was important for me to create a resolution that had a chance of surviving past the birth of a new baby (yes, I know priorities will change along with everything else once the baby is here, but the point is to try).
Before room can be made for new plans and habits, some old ones have to be cleared out first. While my writing style with Dante is ever evolving, I like to think that we’ve maintained a healthy balance between our personal lives and writing lives…mostly. Midway through last year I fell into the trap of endless work, of always pushing myself, and of not giving myself enough time to rest and recover. Needless to say, by the time November and NaNoWriMo rolled around, I was burnt out. The idea of editing the first draft of a new manuscript made me stressed and anxious. Whenever Dante tried to ease me into story creation or conversation, I would become overwhelmed. It scared me to recognize I no longer found enjoyment in any part of the writing or story creation process.
Admitting to myself that I was tapped out and allowed a break was no easy thing, but thankfully I had Dante here with me as I recharged. I did not complete the 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo, and I did not write much new content in December—instead choosing to focus on the release of The Druid’s Gift—but I’m now back in a place where the keyboard is no longer intimidating, and I’m actually excited about our stories again. So out with bad habits. Out with endlessly pushing myself to do everything at once, and out with thinking that more is more.
What I’ve kept are the habits that will keep me writing at a steady and consistent—not breakneck—pace. Dante and I are also making the effort to reach our local communities and spread the word about our books. We’re about to send off the first book in the Sons of Ferassi series, The Rogue, to our editor, and are planning to release it sometime in late spring or early summer. Exchanged’s sequel will be released on its own and as part of an anthology with a group of other awesome, fantasy authors. Finally, we aim to have the sequel to The Druid’s Gift ready for release by the end of the year.
More than anything, my biggest intention this year is to enjoy every moment of it. Dante and I love creating stories, and we’ll never stop doing so in one way or another, but we also love each other, our families, and our friends. We will strive for balance, and though we’re bound to fail now and again, we’ll keep learning and improving.