Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

How & Why I Decided to Not Write My Next Book . . .


Well, I’m back to regular blogging here… Notes from An Alien

I made an unexpected but firm and rational decision to stop writing my next book.

There may be other books down the road; but, I need to explain myself; and, not just for regular readers of this blog…

My last book, Notes from An Alien, has been haunting me—partly because the book I won’t be writing was a “supplement” to Notes and partly because books can definitely haunt their authors…

Even though writing a book can figuratively feel like being pregnant, I’m happy to say that my decision to not write the planned book certainly does Not feel like I’ve aborted a fetus—it’s more like breaking up with a woman, on mutual terms, because the relationship was never a good fit…

Back to the haunting feelings from Notes from An Alien:

I remember the long period of research, nearly 23 years, and the 11 years during which I began to write from the thrust of the Theme while not having found the right plot—three miscarriages…

I remember, especially, the process of preparing to write Notes—a steady and empowering activity that continually provided confirmations that my Trek was bearing true…

So, the major haunting from Notes was the growing feeling (mostly unconscious) that I was on the wrong road—even, perhaps, going down a street that would end in a cul-de-sac…

When I had the full conscious awareness that I needed to stop working on the next book, I immediately probed my sense of intuition and engaged in a process that I use to check my intuitions—yep, stop writing…

The final proof that I’d made a valid decision was the clean and fresh feeling that wafted through my mind and heart—not some half-guilty reprieve from the hard work of writing—I love to write and challenges during the process merely add heat to the fire…

Another realization, after I made the decision and tested it, was that the next book was intended, specifically, to be more “popular” than Notes and lead folks to read Notes

Well, Notes from An Alien doesn’t need another book to entice people to read it—it may not be mainstream, it may not be what most folks feel they need to read; but, it is, in itself the Message I needed to deliver—another book would have sullied the Stream, confused the impact, and begged the question…

Also, there’s already supplementary material available—“…glimpses into the depths of the book—character disclosures, about people already in the novel and those yet to be mentioned—revelations of events that happened in the Worlds of Angi but weren’t rendered in the published edition…”—on the Behind The Scenes page of this blog.

For those of you who are slaving away at writing a book, I hope I’ve given you a few ways to check yourself when you feel the task is “too much”, or the phantom of “writers’ block” assails you, or you’re down in the dumps because fleeting feelings are whispering “you have no idea what good writing is…”.

Please be kind to yourself, push through or, if necessary, set the manuscript aside for a time—or, search out some good advice—like in one particular book I mentioned in the past post, So You Think You’re A Writer…

Without an immediate book on the horizon, I can now get back to the job of blogging about Reading, Writing, and Publishing on a regular schedule—at least Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; but, very conceivably, more often :-)
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19 responses to “How & Why I Decided to Not Write My Next Book . . .

  1. MarinaSofia June 9, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I’m sorry about that, but it’s probably better to decide this now rather than further down the line. Good luck with whatever else you are about to engage in! And looking forward to more blogging from you.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Well, Marina, I’m glad you’re still reading my blog :-)

      Like

  2. philipparees June 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I understand this completely. In much the same place myself! It is tempting to think one more push, or shove will get a book read, understood, valued when you may be right, it is already ‘there’ and one has to accept the verdict, and liberate oneself from its imperative demands! Thanks for sharing the abandonment.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      “sharing the abandonment”—whew! Such a great phrase :-)

      Very glad you’re still there, Philippa…

      Like

  3. It's me---Nicole.♥ June 9, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Welcome back! :) I missed you. And I think I can relate to what happened with your book.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 9, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Well, Nicole, I hope you come visit Arton and I in Kitely and share how you can relate to my decision :-)

      Like

  4. Jane Watson June 9, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Arton is bereft that you have made this decision – I just spoke to her, but she understands completely:-) One of the first requirements a writer or a blogger needs is courage and you have that, my friend, in a large amount. Look forward to discussing this with you more….and looking forward to more blog posts! :-) Philippa, I love that phrase too, ‘Sharing the abandonment…’ Writers spend so much time dealing with Abandonment in so many major or minor keys….It’s almost our signature tune…-:)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you, Jane, for your compliment…

      Glad you’re looking forward to more blog posts; and, we will discuss my not writing a book, soon :-)

      Like

  5. Martina Sevecke-Pohlen June 10, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Yours was a brave decision, and apparently the right one. I’m sure that the work you have invested in your book will find it’s way into other projects. And it’s great to have you back as a blogger :-)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 10, 2015 at 2:59 am

      Ah, Martina, brave?

      Perhaps…

      Though it felt more like reverting to a saner course :-)

      Very glad you’re happy about my blogging………

      Like

  6. Pingback: Are There Wrong Reasons to Write? | Notes from An Alien

  7. juliecround June 12, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I think the answer lies in your comment about trying to make the next book ‘popular.’ Immediately you were writing for an audience and not for yourself, to disseminate ideas that you felt you needed to express, even if nobody read them.
    My next book is one like that and could easily get abandoned, whereas all five of my previous novels have covered issues that I felt compelled to address.
    I’m glad you are back, blogging. I feel I have little to say at present.

    Like

    • philipparees June 12, 2015 at 8:36 am

      ‘Decide who your readers are…write the book they want…fix the genre …be discerning about categories…then graft away on twitter and Face book ads and you too will be a success. Meanwhile the world heads to hell waving ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

      Sanity is probably just turning away and talking to a few rather than shouting about anything. So it seems to me. I have subjected Involution to a court case examining its right to exist and the final arguments will happen this week. That may well be my swan song! You are far from alone Alexander!

      Like

      • Alexander M Zoltai June 12, 2015 at 10:20 am

        Every word you say Sings to me, Philippa…

        Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 12, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Well, Julie, I was going to try to surf the edge of the wave between let the book write itself and foam of “popularity”—so glad my Muse finally woke up and stopped me :-)

      Like

  8. libraryassociate June 14, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    We sure have had ups and downs? You remain my hero, I’ve learned from you-so much. And now I am blessed to teach and share this blog. The men will be excited that we will have regular posts again for our Thursday sessions.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 14, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      My! Do be careful of who you call a “hero” :-)

      It is good, though, to know the men you serve in the prison will be discussing the ideas I share………

      Like

  9. D.G.Kaye June 17, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Welcome back and thanks for this great info. I’m kind of at that crossroads now with my latest book I’m working on publishing. After revisions it wasn’t sitting right with me, but with the help of a good editor friend, I’m back re-revising again, lol if that’s a word.

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 18, 2015 at 12:57 am

      Thanks for commenting, D. G. :-)

      I feel rather “lucky” that I was able to stop the process before I’d actually written a draft of the book—otherwise, I might have had “too much” invested in it and slogged on to publish a book I’m sure would not have been “necessary”………

      Like

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