Blog-versary Author Post & Giveaway: Sloan Parker, Creativity, Disappointment, and Rediscovering the Joy of Writing
Creativity, Disappointment, and Rediscovering the Joy of Writing.
By Sloan Parker
Thank you, Kazza and Cindi, for inviting me to your blog-versary celebration. I always love being a part of this event. Congratulations on another awesome year with the site! Your love and support of gay romances is wonderful and greatly appreciated.
At this time of the year, I’m usually looking back over what I’ve accomplished so far and making plans for what projects I want to complete by the end of the year. I had some big plans for 2016. It went something like this: finish the second Haven book, revise More book 3, possibly get started on the new four-book series I had previously outlined, release a collection of my shorter works, which included two new short stories, and look into foreign translations for at least one or two of my self-published titles.
Ambitious for me, but I wanted to push and challenge myself in new ways where my career was concerned.
That isn’t exactly how 2016 has been turning out for me.
In addition to some family-related issues, the two short stories I wanted to write took longer than expected. Then I had to take unplanned breaks from the Haven #2 to let the ideas percolate. So much time, in fact, that I ended up forcing myself to work on other projects, as well as spend more time simply reading and filling my creative well. When I would get back to the story, I had to re-envision and revise large chunks of it. I had to make cuts and rework the tone and character motivations in places where I thought I had things nailed. I had to have long talks with my characters, find out who they really were when I thought I knew them as well as I knew myself.
Although maybe I didn’t know myself like I thought I did, my writer self that is. Maybe I never will. Everything in life is a journey, and we are, all of us, forever learning and growing. Being a published novelist doesn’t change that, and doesn’t automatically mean that I know all I need to know about the process of writing or the exploration of fictional ideas and characters.
Over the past six months, I often felt frustrated and tired and isolated. Some days I wanted to scream. Some days I wanted to hide. I avoided social media and all things author-related. My heart was heavy, and I felt stuck.
At times I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. (Thankfully those were short-lived moments, and I kept pulling out that manuscript day after day.)
Then, months past the date I had hoped to have this book completed, I realized all those changes I was plugging away on were actually turning my second Haven book into the story I always wanted it to be.
So I celebrated, high on that joyful moment in the process of writing where I could see everything coming together, where I would read through chapter after chapter and was unable to stop grinning.
It felt great.
No, it felt amazing.
Then I moved on to revise the next chapter. And I was stuck again. Something was wrong. I needed to rework another section of the story. More time. More reading and reviewing and reworking. More disappointment.
That’s when it hit me… It was long past time to have a serious talk with myself.
No one said this would ever be easy. No one said every project would flow the same. No one said I wouldn’t have an off month here and there.
Do I want to be able to say I released “x” number of books this year? Or do I want to be able to say I that I’m proud of the stories I wrote, that each of those works culminated in what I’d envisioned for the characters and their stories?
Many times, creative people can achieve both high levels of productivity as well as spurts of beautiful creativity. But sometimes a writer has to sacrifice one for the other. For me, that was a hard lesson to learn. And getting past that disappointment was painful, sometimes physically so. Yet once I did get past it, or better yet embraced it, I learned to find the joy in writing again.
I absolutely love these characters. I love the way they care, the way they love, the way they interact and never give up. I love who they are becoming, and what their story has had to teach me.
With this book, I’ve had some of my biggest writing highs and personal triumphs. I should not let the more difficult moments suck that joy away from me.
My wife always says I put more pressure on myself than anyone else could. Perhaps she’s right. Perhaps learning how to let go of that pressure and enjoy the process again is what 2016 is all about for me.
After all, over the past year I’ve really gotten into simplifying my home and my life in so many other areas. Perhaps it was time to simplify my writing life as well, or better yet, simplify how I react to the ups and downs of writing for publication.
So as I sit down to my laptop today and see what Vargas and Seth have to say next, I happily enjoy the journey of discovery, of romance and love. I hope readers will too when they get the chance to read this story.
GIVEAWAY NOW OVER. CONGRATULATIONS TO KATHI.
Winner’s choice of three backlist e-books in their preferred format, as well as a $10 gift card to All Romance eBooks. Simply leave a comment below for a chance to win. Giveaway finishes October 18th (Midnight US EST) Good luck and thank you for stopping by.
Some excellent books by Sloan Parker: Cover is a Link
Award-winning author Sloan Parker writes passionate, dramatic stories about two men (or more) falling in love. Sloan enjoys writing in the fictional world because in fiction you can be anything, do anything…even fall in love for the first time over and over again. She lives in Ohio with her wife and their neurotic cats where her greatest moments in life are spent with her family, her friends, and her characters. You can learn more about Sloan and her writing at :