Everything’s retrograding pretty hard right now, it seems.
I’ve been offline since last Tuesday night–my old modem went down and wouldn’t come back up, and this afternoon was the earliest a technician could come down.
I am chronically online, so this was very stressful–especially since I was supposed to finish up the last of a couple of big projects last week because this week is my birthday and I’m taking it off to read and recharge (and next week as well). I was still able to do a couple of things but largely couldn’t access my files or send files to clients–I was able to check my email via the poor connection at the town’s hotspot in a nearby park, just to ensure nothing terrible was happening. What might be terrible, you ask? Well, you know, KDP does stuff like “We have a problem with your account–please address this issue or we’ll close your account in five days”, which did not happen but it’s impossible to be a self-published author and not paranoid about it.
There was a notification from Kobo about ensuring my preorder was ready for tomorrow, and I nearly had a heart attack as I panicked about whether I’d uploaded the final files or not. I had, it’s fine, it’s just the boxset for Livi Vol 2 (if you wait for boxsets, you can grab that now: Kobo | iBooks | Nook | Payhip).
Still, it’s impossible not to be paranoid.
I was able to do a few projects offline for clients, things I sent off today. And although I’m no longer doing premade covers (basically, my market is tapped, Twitter’s reach is now non-existent, and it stresses me out to do sales and try to sell things when no one is buying), I had that time and a lot of photos, so there are a few new ones if that’s your thing.
Anyway, I was going to post this update here tomorrow, but I’ve got email and messages from just about every platform I’m on, and I’m extremely tired (I never sleep ahead of appointments), so I’m answering what I can, but, for any I miss: I’m here, I’m alive, I’m just exhausted.
I’m glad for all the physical media I’ve kept (and continued to collect), and rewatched a lot of older things I don’t have on streaming or digital. I also pulled out Waverly 5 and wrote about 20K over the past four days (9K on Saturday specifically). Without the constant stream of online information and that, it was kind of like I could hear myself think again? (Those of you who have cut various cords are probably saying, yes, duh, Skyla–but look, we have to get our dopamine hits somewhere–speaking of, hit me up if you want a Bsky invite code!) I think, had I been offline for another week or two, I might’ve gotten a really rough draft of it done.
Since I’m on holidays, sort of (one big thing to do tomorrow), maybe I’ll just unplug the new modem and get a big chunk of the book done. I might have to do that, when I’m in a position to make good progress on Livi 7, just unplug for two weeks and write as much as possible.
There’s a metaphor I’ve often used that I think came from Stephen King? I want to say it was from On Writing, which I read back in the day like literally everyone else. But it was something like, when we publish–or even going through edits–we open a door, but to go back and write again, we need to shut that door. We can’t have the reader, or critical opinions, or anything else hanging over us when we write. (If I’ve mangled this, I apologize, but it’s what I remember.)
I still use that to describe things, but at the same time, for me it’s a little different–it’s not so much opening and closing a door as it is I have to sever myself from books in order to publish them. Before I publish, I reread them all the time. I write what I want to read, every time, and I will just endlessly reread them. As soon as they’re in other people’s hands, though, I stop, and I cut myself off entirely the moment a book is published. I have to, in order to function (whether it’s the dumbest hatemail and name-calling, or the theft, or a complete lack of reception at all, I need a buffer there after being emotionally raw with a book).
With a series, that means there’s a process of continually cutting myself off and then reconnecting over and over again. Over and over again.
That creates a sort of mental and emotional scar tissue, and is harder and harder to do every time. I think that might be one of the reasons why I’ve been writing so much of Waverly’s books in advance–I’m almost halfway through #5, which will be a 2026 release (and I’d already started #6 last year before I realized I had to go back and write others). The more I’ve gotten those rough drafts done, the less I’ll have to go through that process back and forth of severing and reconnecting–I’m already a little bit severed after the zero draft, because I’m already shifting into revision mode and have a bit of distance. Standalones, too, help a little more with that, and I’d really like to do more thrillers and horror that are not remotely series.
Anyway, being entirely cut off of everything–streaming, social media, email, etc–seems to help a little with the reconnection part. I might need reminding of that at some point again.
I’ve still got some big stressful tasks to do that were put on hold due to the internet being down. The next pharmacy delivery came and the meds were once again listed as “compassionate” so I guess the company is still covering it while we’re sorting out all the funding (still no side effects, though my neighbour checks in on the injection days to ensure I’m not dead). Shawn and Libby have a vet appointment next week and Rodney next month, so…please buy some books and covers and whatever else lol.
God, I hope this little guy doesn’t need more teeth out this year.