Empty Nest Syndrome

Dear Reader,

Reviews for Catching the Rose and Haunting Miss Trentwood are positive, which I’m very happy about. And they aren’t just raving, glowing reviews which other readers sometimes doubt. All the reviews seem thoughtful. I couldn’t ask for more.

Or could I?

When I finish writing a new book, go through the edits, get it to production, I take a step back, admire my handiwork, and fall into a mini-depression.

Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer from empty nest syndrome. I want my babies back.

The nice thing about books not actually being children is that no matter how old I am, whatever my financial or romantic situation, I can make another. A stronger, faster, better one. And I can have as many as I want.

At least, I could if I weren’t also paralyzed by the fact that people are enjoying my work. I want to write, but I am feeling frustrated that the characters haven’t introduced themselves to me yet. And now I have the added pressure of making sure the next book doesn’t suck worse than a sophomore slump. What would that be, anyway, since it would be my third book? A junior jumble?

But hey, I don’t want to whine about how I don’t know my next book. Because that’s not entirely true. I do know I’m going to write a book that uses the research I did for breach of promise that didn’t make it into Haunting Miss Trentwood, which is, oh, I don’t know, all of it.

I also want to release an anthology of short stories, but the problem is that short stories are difficult! I like setting, building up the relationship with the characters. Everything is condensed in a short story. I tend to write contemporary short stories, but I want to keep to my brand and write quirky historical fictions in the short story format.

For whatever reason, I’m feeling 1930s America, which brings up another problem: the last time I studied this era I was in 8th grade. Do I want to do enough research to convert my short stories to fit that era? Or should I use my existing research and write another Victorian historical novel?

I have no idea. Performance anxiety for the fail.

I think rather than dealing with it, I’ll pull an ostrich move and shove my head in the deep sands of a good book. Can you help me out? What are some excellent books you’ve picked up lately?

Best, Belinda

P.S. It’s Monday, which means you should visit the blog to check out the Monday “Meet an Author” blog hop in the sidebar of Worderella Writes.

4 thoughts on “Empty Nest Syndrome

  1. Hey Belinda,

    I'm sorry things seem frustrating right now; I'm sure everything will work out in the end 🙂 But I do have a couple suggestions as for books to read:
    1) You're always welcome to enjoy the recesses of MY imagination and read The German Mine and the Secret of the Salt Chairs 😉
    2) I haven't read them yet, but I have the first 4 Artemis Fowl books at home if you're interested. I don't know if that's a genre you want to read, but it's an option.

    Hope you find a great book!

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    1. Thanks Ebiji!

      1. You're right, I do need to read The German Mine and the Secret of the Salt Chairs. I have it in my office, staring me down with The Eye. Better get to it!

      2. I think that's part of the problem… I feel like I'm in reading AND writing limbo. Not sure what to write, not sure what I want to read. I have a library of books and I look at them and say "meh." I'm spoiled, I think.

      Anyway, thanks for the suggestion! It might just be I've got the winter blues ahead of schedule.

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  2. Susan, definitely. I picked up an Arcane Society book by Amanda Quinn the other day and enjoyed it. It's historical fiction with paranormal elements, so I haven't entirely broken out of my genre yet. But you're right about reading outside the genre. That's my pattern once I've finished a book, it just always takes me a couple of weeks to remember what I did the last time to jump out of my funk!

    I used to prowl the BookPage free magazine at my local library, but lately the recommendations have fallen flat for me.

    I have the research in place (kind of) for the new book. There was a ton of research I didn't use for Haunting Miss Trentwood that will be the basis of this new book. I love your idea, though, and am going to look up information about twins ASAP. Thanks for your suggestions! ❤

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