Today marks a week since Bloodfeud was released and the Scarlet Star Trilogy was completed. The dust has only just settled for me after the administration of the launch, the bustle of marketing, and catching up on to-do’s that got buried under launch priorities. That’s why I thought it'd be a good time to sit down and take stock of what’s been achieved, and what should come next.
As you may have heard in my pre-release ramblings, Bloodfeud did not just mark the final book in the Trilogy, but it was also my 10th self-published book since the release of my debut – The Written – approximately five years ago. With the madness of making sure everything launched at the same time, and the excitement of what’s next, I didn’t really give myself a chance to sit back and say, “10 books. Wow.”
For any of you that know me personally, you’ll know I’m a self-confessed write- and workaholic. More so over the last two years. There’s always another project to tackle. Always another book idea bubbling up. Always something I can change or improve. Always another goal to get to. I measure myself on the number of items I’m slicing from my to-do list, not what I’m actually doing or what people are saying, and in that way I’m my own harshest critic. It makes me productive, but all too often I work myself too hard and forget to take stock of what I’ve actually completed and accomplished.
Yesterday, in the middle of examining the first week of Bloodfeud figures and plotting out my next few months, I came across several comments and reviews that showed me it was wrong to work like this. They were simple notes of excitement over Bloodfeud, but they were so perfectly timed – popping up every time I was knuckling my forehead wondering whether I should put Task J above Task H – and so damn congratulatory that in one fell swoop they dragged my head out of the sand, and showed me that my method of measurement, and my method of working, need adjustment.
Many creatives can become so entwined and entangled in their art that its mere creation isn’t enough. It must be pushed forward and bettered. Superseded and built upon. That’s brilliant for productivity, but I see now how distracting that mindset can be. Whatever you love, from knitting to boxing, politics and poodle-grooming, any achievement must be recognised and duly appreciated, no matter how small it is. Otherwise, how else are you able to identify improvement? Success? How will you know that you’re headed in the wrong direction?
I realised I’ve been placing the ticks on my to-do list above what I write, what people say, even the opportunities that are cropping up. It’s now time for that to stop, and time to pay more attention to what my books are doing, rather than just what I’m doing. The bigger picture is far more pleasing to the eye, after all. (10 books!)
In summary, I’d like you lot to know that your comments on Bloodfeud in the last week, all the reviews of my books over the last five years, and every single like, share, RT, dollar and pound are all very highly appreciated indeed. Your support has helped me reach the 10 book milestone, and shown me I couldn’t be headed in a better direction. Imagine what I can do with 20 books!
A massive heartfelt thank you for all your support.