Discover more from This Creative Life
Overdue Updates + Kyra, Just for Today
New book cover and the future.
Hello to new subscribers as well as longtime listeners!
Did you catch the cover reveal of my 2024 book? If not, here it is. I love it as much as or more than any cover I’ve had over the course of 11 books/ I wrote a little more (but not much more!) about the book here. Come fall, I’ll be sharing more, so for now just enjoy Elysia Case’s perfect illustration.
I’m sorry we all have to wait nine months before the book is out. And meanwhile?
Well. In the spring, I found out that I’d received some grant money I applied for last fall. My immediate reaction to the news was simply, great, I’ve got my basics covered for a while. But I soon realized the opportunity the grant gives me to take a long pause than I normally do between books, and take stock.
Any working writer knows the cycle: you write a partial thing, sell the thing, finish the thing, and immediately work on the next partial thing so that you can line up contracts, aka money, which means rent or mortgage paid and food on the table for another stretch of time. Unless one of those things happens to become a big seller, or you don’t need money, you stay in this cycle at the fastest pace you’re able can to keep ahead of the cost of existence breathing down your neck.
In many ways, it’s a lucky thing to be in this cycle. It means people are still willing to pay you for your work and they trust you’ll come through. It’s a sign that, on some level, your career is “working.”
It can also be rough on the part of you that needs to go deep into ideas when it leads to burnout and you can’t afford to take a recovery break. (Chalk one up in the pro column for day jobs and their paychecks.)
So this grant money means time for a recovery break. Not just the usual break between books that I’ve been writing about a bit in recent newsletters, but something longer and, most importantly, deeper. It’s real space for a pivot. Not just breathing room, but room for big cleansing breaths.
I don’t want to fill that space with newsletters, social media posts, and podcasting. While those things allow me to keep connection with people interested in my work, which is important, they also tend to eat up energy and time. It’s easy to let those “free labor” parts of the writing life take over the actual creative writing—the very reason for the existence of everything else.
And with a whole nine months between now and when Kyra, Just for Today comes out, it’s a prime opportunity for me to be alone with my thoughts and plans.
Now, about the podcast: as I’ve mentioned, I do have one more TCL episode cooking to wrap up the latest series, but it involves getting some schedules to line up, and that will happen when it happens. After that? We’ll see!
Believe it or not, you actually can pre-order Kyra right now even though you know almost nothing about it and I haven’t even looked at the page proofs yet. What a world! (No need to panic-buy—I will be posting plenty more reminders about it this fall and winter.)
You may have noticed that Substack has introduced new features. You may be getting notifications of Substack Notes (which is kind of like Twitter) and you may not want those notifications. You may not even want this in your inbox. If that’s the case, you can change your settings or get the app and have it all come through the app, or just leave everything like it is!