I was hoping to start writing this week. So far I’ve not written a single word–excluding this blog. My brain has decided to take an impromptu vacation. It’s pretty much considered AWOL at this point.

Every time I sit down in front of the computer, it’s like I’ve forgotten how to write. The words desert me and my screen remains blank. The beginning of any book is always hard. It usually takes me a couple of days of circling the first scene to get it going. Although most times, I at least have some idea of what the first scene will entail. A place to start thinking about. Not this time though. That’s probably why I’m having trouble.

Writer’s block for me is usually a sign I haven’t done my due diligence in the planning stage. At heart I’m a pantser but doing a preliminary plot outline definitely makes things way easier. I also think it makes the story stronger in the end. More cohesive. At least in my case. Dragon Ridden was a pants moment. Pathfinder, at least the first two thirds, was planned. Most of the books since then with the exception of The Storm’s Whisper have had some outline attached to them. Let’s not talk about whether I actually follow the entire outline or go off into the weeds, necessitating an entirely new outline on the back half of every book.

Usually, I wait until I have a first chapter or at least a first scene to work from before I start a new series. It’s kind of how I know something is ready to go down on paper. The reason Dragon Ridden is my first book and not Pathfinder, despite the latter being in my brain longer, is because I couldn’t figure out where to begin when I sat down to write Pathfinder. Although Dragon Ridden was entirely thrown together with no planning whatsoever, I didn’t feel like I was ready to write Pathfinder back then. I’m kind of getting the same feeling with the book I’ve chosen this time as well. The idea is really cool, the world relatively well fleshed out, but it’s missing that one piece that would allow me to get going.

I think part of the problem is that I’m also rushing. I struck a deal with myself last week. I’d take the remaining time until Firebird 5’s edits returned to work on something new. I figured since I had to reread Aileen’s books anyway I could get a little writing done between reading sessions. Then when I transitioned to Aileen, I could use one day a week or part of the weekend to write in the new series. That’s actually how I wrote the first half of Rules of Redemption too.

Except that’s not going to work if I don’t actually do some writing. It figures that I’d pick the one series that doesn’t have a clear starting point. Not either of the two others that already had a planned beginning. I always make things as hard as possible on myself.

In other news, the cover for Trials of Conviction is in the process of being finalized. I’m hoping to have that book up for preorder by the end of this week. Everything is in place. I just need the cover now.

I’m eyeing December 26 for the release date. Usually I try not to publish around Christmas because of the holidays. Sales can sometimes be kind of sluggish around then. People tend to spend a lot of time with their families. Not everyone has time to read books. The Firebird series has a pretty devoted following though. Those who don’t pick it up the day of will still read it in the new year. From that perspective it doesn’t hurt me to publish around Christmas. And this way, those who do have time will get to read it a little earlier.

Responses to “Listless”

  1. Meghan Ciana Doidge Avatar

    Sometimes when the words aren’t flowing (and I’m still teasing the idea out) I just listen to music and play around with my notebooks (occasionally baking, etc). Somehow that eventually leads to fleshing out the characters, snippets of random scenes, and a skeletal outline.

    As of releasing around Christmas, I’ve always avoided it, but I totally think you should do it because I want the book. 😜


  2. Emily07 Avatar

    I’m retired, so Christmas is perfect for me. When a new book comes out from one of my favorite authors, I always find the time. And with Firebird 5, I’ll have trouble putting it down without finishing the entire book. So, sleep?? What’s that??

    Good luck with your writing. When the time is right, the words will be there. Peace and blessings to you and your family during this Holiday Season.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Take the time you need, your books are always worth waiting for. Looking forward to firebird 5, wonderful Xmas treat to myself

  3. Linda Avatar

    I, too, am retired, and anytime you publish, I’m gonna preorder. As for publishing at Xmas, Firebird 5 is my gift to me. May not sit immediately to read it as I’ll be cleaning up Xmas debris, but it won’t be neglected long. Getting started on your new book? Try laying down and letting your mind drift through your ideas for the new book. Your inner voice may just lead you down the path of a beginning.

  4. Katie Avatar

    I’m so excited to visit Kira again, but December 26th seems so far away!

  5. Kiri Guyaz Avatar
    Kiri Guyaz

    Hang in there. There are obviously times we’re all struggling to be where we already are, wanting to be somewhere else, somewhere farther ahead, but it will work out. I have faith in you! Hugs! 💜

  6. wendy somerville Avatar
    wendy somerville

    Boxing Day is the perfect day to read a new book, tidying and then lazing about. I was excited until I realised that it wouldn’t get to Australia until the 27th. Waiting for preorder and the surprise I get when I see it on my reader!

  7. Toni Avatar

    Ooo, I am so excited for the new firebird book. I will have to re-read the other 4 for the build up.
    My best wishes to you with your new series, and for you and your family for this happy holiday season.☃️🌟🎄
    Cheers from Australia

  8. Johanna J Avatar
    Johanna J

    We’re sending good thoughts and a big hug your way. The holidays can be a draining time on their own. The new story will come. You’ve got this.

  9. Carolyn Avatar

    It can’t be easy to launch into something new, especially when self-doubt rears it’s ugly head and you’re unsure how it’s gonna end up going. Have a cuppa, take a breather, it’llbe ok. We’ll still be here cheering for you.

  10. Tania Banfield Avatar
    Tania Banfield

    Sorry to hear about your creative block. It must be so frustrating for you. This time of year is so busy and hectic with the lead up to Christmas. Give yourself a break for a few days and do something you love. Keep rereading Aileen, it’s a fantastic series from an amazing author.

  11. widya Avatar

    excuse me for the excited caps lock. I just can’t wait until Dec 26. it’s officially 26 days to go. my Christmas gift. thank you so much!! definitely will buy and read it. because let’s be honest with how my Christmas last year turned out, I at least have something to be excited about this Christmas. that’s why it means a lot.
    so sorry for your writing block. but I hope you take time to rest and enjoy the holiday with your family too. happy holiday!

  12. Emma-Jane Reeve Avatar
    Emma-Jane Reeve

    Things happen ‘when they are meant to be’ you can’t rush genius😉take your time, and the words will flow before you know it.

  13. Stella Link Avatar
    Stella Link

    Congrats on your new book! Keep fighting to write no matter what happens. Love your work.

  14. Sue Avatar

    Maybe just relax and take a break. Recharge. The holidays are upon us and that tends to be stressful as well. The words will come. I will pre-order and read this next book as soon as it is available. Love this series. I enjoy all of your books. Take care. ❤️

  15. Charles Chapman Avatar
    Charles Chapman

    A very minor comment – there isn’t a date listed for your (new) blog postings…; I think (personal opinion) it’d be nice to have the date as part of your blog posting. Quick example – in the latest blog (Listless) you mentioned that you hoped to have a new book listed on Amazon “… by the end of this week” – OK, but without a date the readers don’t really know when to look for the new listing. 2nd minor comment/question – you mention a title for a new book – “Trials of Conviction”; is that the title for Firebird book 5 or will it be something else?
    I do enjoy your books!!!, Thanks, CEC

  16. Emily Avatar

    Please publish on the 26th! I needed the new book yesterday! Also, can we get an update on if there are any plans to work on the Dragon Ridden series.

  17. Charles Avatar

    Yes!! – the book is finally listed on Amazon to be released on Dec 26 & the title is, indeed, “Trials Of Conviction.” I will be reading it that day!
    Great news, CEC

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