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4 Months of Physical and Emotional Pain (ha!)
The bad news is that I was having a bad time, even for me who tries to live life on a permanent fun ride. The good news is I’m back, as witnessed by my current blog entry. I’d like to take this moment to express my gratitude to those of my fans who hung in there sending their love and support for what I was going through.
For starters, the trilogy I had been working on (THE CARETAKERS, the story of a young man who wishes to open a retreat for aged BDSMers) was ‘dumped on’ by my publisher. Despite the success of the first installment “ZANDER’S PLACE” which
is still offerred as a free download.
First let me assure you that it was never my plan to get rich writing, especially via erotic romances. Of course “FIFTY SHADES OF GREY” has caused me to look at writing erotic romances with a less prejudiced eye to the possibilities! Anyway, the follow up installment was met with a lot less enthusiasm than my writings had been in the past decades.
I don’t know any creative person who doesn’t see their ‘creation’ as anything other than their ‘baby’! Attack my child, attack me. It is also not a revelation to know that many of us tend to have …well…uh…egos. Sometimes the more insecure we are the larger and more fragile our egos tend to be. I’m not saying that I’M insecure, (perish the thought!) lets just say that until the day I hit that one million sales mark I will continue to put my stories through rewrites up to and even right after publication.
My publisher, I must point out, has helped greatly in making me the writer that I am. She brought me from 1000 word short stories to 50,000 word-count stories and anthologies. That being said, she is also a writer and a business woman, but has no ‘bedside manner’ when it comes to personal interaction with her writers (at least not with me.) You say if she improved my writing then I should be happy…yes, I hear you. Problem is, it’s a classic case of tossing out the baby with the bath water. She made me a better writer but she took the fun and joy out of writing. As I said earlier, I’m not in this for the money. Bottom line is I just stopped writing, EVERYTHING.
To make matters worse, while still being plagued with foot issues I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which, contrary to popular belief, isn’t just for overworked writers. In my case it turned out to be a diabetic/arthritis complication and gradually I ended up with limited mobility in my right hand. I couldn’t hold onto things and my fingers had a mind of their own. The ailment didn’t interfere with my use of the keyboard but contributed to my general feeling of ‘loss’.
When my partner suggested a two month trip to Amsterdam I was in disbelief but jumped at the chance. Not only had I always been productive writing wise in Amsterdam, but I intended to use the time to ‘catch up’ on all my computer work and promoting myself by registering on sites and promoting the books that I had written.
I had also written two of my most successful stories inspired by previous trips to Amsterdam, “Daniel Does Amsterdam” and “I’ll be Damned“.
However my hand was rapidly deteriorating and I decided that I would have enough time to do the surgery and recuperate in time for the trip. I was half right. The surgery went well enough (jury is still out, I’m not dropping stuff anymore) but the recovery time is still going on a month later and I am on and off pain killers if not for the neuropathy then the surgical residue of healing. Besides after all, I am in Amsterdam
FYI The right hand is the challenged one. I am left handed in all things else.
There was a time when my “writer’s mode” consisted of whiskey and cigarettes which I called my Ernest Hemingway model. I now feel I am progressing into my William Burroughs’ mode, although not as drastic.
I no longer stayed up all night writing but adapted the “early to bed and early to rise” model of living. Hated it. My partner hated it more. I tend too be rather chatty in the morning. I even suggested we do a podcast of topics. Still a good idea I think, but that would mean we’d both have to be chatting.
That revelation, and the fact that I hate “early to bed..etc “, and I was missing writing was starting to get to me. Also, where it seemed I had only two options to getting my writing to the public, it turns out I might have three. One is to maintain my current position, I could self publish (which I’ve done a few times) or join my former editor in helping to make a change to another publishing house.
Certainly once I am fully over the self pity (fully in a day or so) I can come up with lots of refreshing ideas. One of them is practicing photography (some examples below) that will please me, publishers and you, good reader!
Amsterdam, which has long been my spiritual home, has worked its healing powers on me and given me more light and insight into not just my creative life but my personal life as well, which is also due for a few changes. Stepping outside the box, it is easier to look inside and see all that’s right or not right with its contents. A sort of broader oversight. I can see more clearly now.
See you sooner rather than later! Above pic: Me now with a new hat and a new attitude!)
(Below, hidden talents as a photog?)
Nimue Brown said:
I’ve been through people trying to ‘improve’ me and some of them have been helpful, and some of them were trying to turn me into things I am not, and nearly broke me as an author too. I know how this goes. As you say, most of us are not going to get rich doing this, at which point, why bother writing things you don’t love? Why do things that feel like a straight jacket? (well, unless straight jackets are something you find alluring…) I really hope you find your way through this and back to your muse, because I miss reading your stuff, I love your ideas, and that you always startle me and give me things to think about. Amsterdam sounds like an excellent route back to being yourself and finding your writing again. Fingers crossed for healing hands and heart alike.
Cain Berlinger said:
If anyone would understand I knew that you would and thank you so very much for your continued sup[port throughout the years.