I’ve been really focused of late on my writing. I’m getting up at 6 to edit my two soon-to-be-published novels, putting in a couple of hours of revision in each. With any luck I’ll soon be releasing CRUDE SUNLIGHT and THRONE on Amazon. I’ve been doing extensive research and prep for my new project, which involves watching THE WIRE and dissecting each episode, learning how a series is paced and written. I’m reading THE CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF JAPAN, VOL II, a 750 page behemoth that goes into detail about the Heain Period of Japanese civilization, the time when THE TALE OF GENJI was written, the apex of classical Japan, learning about court life, the nobility, how the government was run, the rise of the warrior class, the problems with agrarian taxation and on and on. I’m tinkering and redesigning their covers, I’m perfecting the back copy, I’m debating pricing strategies, I’m doing all these things at once, and still feeling really unproductive.
Because I feel like the dude who really dreads cleaning the shower box, and so instead spends hours industriously sweeping, mopping, dusting, doing the dishes, the laundry, cleaning out the cat litter, mowing the lawn, fixing the roof, dropping shirts off at the laundromat, hitting the gym, buying groceries, cooking dinner, finally writing the ‘thank you’ cards, making the bed, defragging his hard drive, responding to old emails, etc, etc, while all the while that dirty shower box looms over all his work, making it a hollow effort.
What’s my shower box? THE GRIND SHOW II. I went on a fantastic research trip for it a few months back. I have the plot all worked out. The first GS is selling well on Amazon, and everything I know about business and marketing tells me that I should be releasing #2 next. But. Something inside is blocked up. I’ve tried writing it some five times, getting about five chapters into it each time before throwing up my hands. I’m not enjoying the process. I have no enthusiasm for the plot. I feel like I’m not doing the character’s justice.
Second novel blues, I suppose.
So yes. Editing, editing, researching, planning, preparing, everything humming along like a finely oiled locomotive, but over there, behind that grimy shower curtain, a source of frustration that robs my other work of pleasure so that when I’m done, I feel guilt instead of satisfaction.