I can't believe I haven't posted about it yet, but here is some good news I'm hoping you'll all be pleased to hear: From the Shadows is finished!
You read that right, it is FINISHED!
I struggled long and hard with this book for just about eight months, which strikes even me as odd when my previous two novels took less than two to write -- in fact, I wrote my second published work and a short story in the midst of writing this one. I don't understand it either, and can only think that perhaps I let too many outside influences get in the way. I suffered and struggled with stress, depression, and anxiety throughout the writing of this book. I lost some friends to foolish misunderstandings, my car to an accident, feared I would lose my job when it looked like I might not be able to get another one... So many things happened, there were times I just wanted to give up on it. Times I got sick of it not being done but feeling powerless to do anything about it (which probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense to you when I'm the one who was writing the story). It wasn't so much that I had writer's block, because the story was in my head, and I'd get ideas all the time as to where to take it. There was simply too much of a lack of motivation to do the work. More than once I opened up that Microsoft Word file intending to work and would look at the words already on the page and think... I just can't. And I'll be honest with you in that I fear that taking so long to get the story done has left me with a product that is not as captivating as it's predecessor. Only the readers, I think, can tell me different.
I know there is still work ahead with editing before I can publish, but I am feeling so much more relaxed now that it is done. I don't feel so stressed out anymore over a project that was taking far too long for my taste to complete. I'm going to be taking a bit of a break from professional writing for a week or so to work on some other projects. I've read and reviewed a book by a writer friend, and I've got a story to edit for another. I've also a possible editing job lined up which will earn me money, and I'd like to get back to work on a couple of fan fiction projects that got left hanging in the wind when I embarked on my professional writing career.
Yes, I still write fan fiction. Not because I lack imagination and originality, as I saw another person suggest fan fiction writers are without, but because it is fun. It's really quite amusing (and a challenge, in some cases) to take established characters on an adventure the original author might not have, all the while endeavoring to stay true to the character's established traits. It's also fun to create your own set of characters and insert them into in an established fictional universe. How would they handle that strange, wonderful, or frightening world? Far from lacking imagination and originality, fan fiction writers must have an abundance of it in order to make their stories as "real" as those penned which inspired them. They must work as hard, if not harder, than the professional writer who creates their own world. I can now proudly say I have done both.