Originally I said I was going to start working on Refuge 4 as soon as I was done with Maidens & Mayhem 3, but I’m going to take a week off from Crystal Candy.
This is going to become the new schedule. Basically, I spend three weeks writing Crystal Candy, then take a week off. So a trilogy, then a week break, rinse and repeat.
The reason for this is twofold. The first is that as much as I was hoping it wouldn’t, writing both Crystal Candy and Misty Vixen is taking a bigger toll on me than I initially predicted it might. While writing Maidens & Mayhem 2 I got really close to like…freaking the fuck out from a stress overload. It isn’t just the writing, but other things going on in my life at the same time. Like, seriously, when that Friday hit, I was really close to some kind of meltdown.
But I chilled out over the weekend, and by the time Monday rolled around, I felt competent and calm enough to tackle Maidens & Mayhem 3. But I knew something had to change.
Combine this with the fact that Crystal Candy sales are flagging, and I’m more inclined to shift my workload. I don’t want to do LESS work, I want to do the SAME amount of work, but shifted towards Misty Vixen. Which is kind of annoying considering I created Crystal Candy to help take the financial pressure off of Misty Vixen!
But I’m just adapting to the situation as it changes, and right now, it looks like this.
To give you an idea of how Crystal Candy is doing:
In April, when I launched it, it did pretty decent, better than I thought it would. And then, in May, that DOUBLED. In June, I managed to hit a little bit higher than in May, so still a big win. But then it dropped by nearly HALF in July, and it’s looking like it’s going to earn even less than that in August, unless this last week sees a lot of sales. At most, I might break even with July. And those numbers, unfortunately, just aren’t worth this level of effort, as much as I hate saying that.
Another part of the problem is that some of my health issues have returned, namely the hazy thing where it’s hard to focus. It went away for a bit, but it’s been coming back, and it fucking sucks. It’s worst when I’m editing, which is why some things are taking so fucking long.
I think another part of the problem is that Maidens & Mayhem just isn’t coming out the way I thought it would. Or maybe I’m just not in the mood for another fantasy story right now? And it’s kind of a problem for Refuge, too. Not as much, but it is there. I think one issue is that, with going back to writing short, serialized fiction, I'm always kind of…working against myself, I guess? It’s like working with a handicap, maybe? Basically, I already don’t like writing short fiction, so automatically, ANYTHING I write that’s short fiction has a mental strike against it. So something that I can usually push past, is now something that I can’t because I’m already at a disadvantage.
Okay, it’s like, when you come up against something that, under normal circumstances, is just fucking annoying, and irritating, and you can push past it and deal with it. But then you come up against it and you have a really bad headache. Some stuff you can still push past, but some stuff you could push past minus the headache, now, if you come up against it with the headache, it’s just like, “No, this is too much, I can’t fucking tolerate this.”
Does that make sense?
And I know a lot of people would be like, “Well just do it anyway. I mean, it’s your job.” But part of my job is deciding what my job is. It’d be different if it was Misty Vixen material. I’ve been able to push through basically everything I’ve ever written under that name, and it’s easier for a number of reasons. There’s less holding me back or adding to my stress. But that isn’t the case with Crystal Candy.
So I don’t know.
Right now, I’m feeling good about Refuge. I think I can push through another trilogy at a reasonable rate with a reasonable amount of suffering. (And don’t let that fool you, almost everything I’ve ever written has involved SOME suffering. Even my favorite novels, I had times where I was like, FUCK, I WANT THIS TO BE OVER I’M SO SICK OF WRITING THIS FUUUUUUUCK).
I think I need to do something fucking weird and different. I mean, A Warm Place had its problems, but I had a lot of fun writing it because it was so different from anything else I’ve ever written.
Maybe when Refuge 6 is written, I’ll switch over to something radically different. I have been thinking about that dark monster survival-horror story a lot recently.
We’ll see. Sorry about all this. I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m really just trying to work with what I have. I’d love to be a lot more diligent, and hardworking, and consistent, to just buckle down and do the writing and roll out story after story in an unbroken, assembly line of consistency like apparently Eric Vall can just do, with a goddamned fucking 400 page novel every WEEK now, but apparently I just can’t. I’m not good enough or stable enough or smart enough or whatever.