The past few years have been hard for me to write. Like, harder than I can remember, ever. I have spent hours each week just staring at blank Word documents, or at the unfinished end of this paragraph or another and eventually wander off to read, watch a movie, play a game, go for a drive, or partake in any one of the little adjustment mechanisms I have used in the past to get my brain to refocus. But the usual tactics have not been as effective as they used to be.
I’ve been working on some short stories and other projects, but at the root of it all, it feels as if it takes so much more energy to put the words down as it once did. And if you’re one of these creative types like I am, I’m guessing it’s been rough for you too.
I watched an interview with Salman Rushdie a short while ago, and he admitted that even he has struggled to write. He explained that what with the current state of the world, he finds himself mostly bereft of the joy and hope he requires to write. He said it felt like running through water.
That, strangely, came to me as a comfort. And it shone a light on my own fuel; the reasons why I write. And the thing is, hope and joy are what push me to write as well. A hope that whatever it is I might put down might be picked up and enjoyed by someone else. That they might see in themselves the same struggles my characters have, that they might find a connection there, a shared experience, and an optimism for being able to overcome their own challenges. And the times I see that hope reflected in my readers brings me about as much joy as I think a person gets to imagine having in life.
Plus, just reading through some of the weird stuff I’ve put on paper just makes me shake my head with shock that this stuff came out of my brain, somehow.
I love these stories, I do. The characters feel like old friends of mine (and to be fair, some of them are), and getting the chance to tell you about their adventures, their struggles, their accomplishments - well, it’s an honor and a privilege.
I’m sorry some of these stories are taking longer than you’d like. But I promise, they’re coming. Book 3 of the Tales of the Dead Man is coming to life even now, and I am so excited to introduce you to the remaining inhabitants of the original Aesirium, as well as some of the inhabitants of New Aesirium, too. There are revelations, journeys, and discoveries to be had. New villains. New monsters. And we will learn just what risk the Dead Man himself holds for Aerthos.
It’s going to be a grand adventure, and I thank you all for coming along with me. I won’t let you down.