The plan for this year was simple: get my freelance work cleared in the first quarter, settle the second draft for Internal Damnation by the end of February – and start working on my very first novel in April.
Things, I’m sure you can guess, didn’t go according to plan. Freelance jobs got postponed indefinitely or outright cancelled. While working on Internal Damnation, COVID hit me – and hit me harder than I’d imagined, not so much physically, but mentally.
Between greater financial uncertainty than I had hoped and cabin fever that I was not at all expecting, I couldn’t focus on my writing as much as I wanted. So, I had to prioritise. I knew that all my attention had to be on my ongoing projects. I decided that writing a whole new book might not be on the cards for me this year – and I found myself… relieved.
Ever since going freelance, I’ve struggled with overloading myself, though surprisingly not so much with the purely bread-and-butter stuff. Instead, I look for more and more projects that I’m passionate about. I’m lucky the Difference Engine team understands my capabilities, but my own brain keeps thinking about stuff like starting a new anthology or working on a novel or stockpiling more episodes of Ghost Maps. And when my body and my loved ones tell me to stop, I feel disappointed with myself. Relieved, yes – but still disappointed.
It’s easy to say that it’s for the best, but we all know that these things never sink in as quickly as we would hope. That said, I also know that keeping all of this inside of me never helps either, so that’s why I’m sharing this – to let these feelings breathe, to let the air corrode that sense of disappointment.