Feelin' Myself

I am in a serious book funk.

It's been more than half a year since I read a fiction novel written by someone who isn't me.

I used to read a lot. When I first got into publishing, and I was discovering the indie book world, I was clicking books left and right. There were so many possibilities; so many options; so many sales! I, like many readers I know, could devour an entire book in a day. Of course, that was entirely dependent on what kind of book it was. For a while, I was addicted to what I fondly referred to as book candy. They weren't deep, by any means; the plots weren't too intricate, the characters weren't too complicated, and romance took center stage. They were fun.  Every once in a while, I might find a more meaty read, but for a couple years, I was gorging on candy.

My reading pace slowed down significantly when I was writing and editing all the time. However, whenever I managed to find a week or two to stop and take a breath, I had a collection of candy I'd stocked up on that I could indulge in for a bit before it was time for me to get back to work. Then life started changing, and so did I.

This year began, and I didn't want to read fiction. I've read a handful of non-fiction (at a pretty slow and leisurely pace) and I've got another handful on my list I'm looking forward to reading before the year is out. I've long since abandoned my Goodreads book goal, adopting the same mindset in my reading as I have in my writing - it's not a race, and I'm not competing against anyone. There's no need to keep score. Even still, over the last couple of months, I've felt like I haven't really spent enough time reading, and I wanted to change that. For the month of July, I've given up television. It's actually been pretty great and might spill into August or even into September - because, you see, I set a little goal for myself to spend my extra free time reading. And not just non-fiction, but fiction, too. I figured it was high time I kick this book funk!

I've got hundreds upon hundreds of books on my kindle. I know my collection might be but a drop in the bucket for some, but it's still a ridiculous amount of novels I haven't read. That said, it didn't make any sense for me to buy any new fiction when there were so many books for me to choose from already in my possession. Trouble is, every time I open one...I get a few sentences in, and I want out.

See, I'm different. Life and time and my own writing ambitions have made me different. I don't really want candy anymore. I'd settle for chocolate, but that sugary stuff? I'm not feelin' it lately. The hard part is, I know not all the books I've got are candy. I mean, the law of averages tells me so. Accept, I can't tell the difference - and this funk I'm in makes me enter every story with caution and suspicion. Every story except for the ones I already know...

It's the strangest thing. The other day, I picked up Reckless Surrender. I haven't read it in...I don't even know how long. Now, admittedly, I might pick up a book of mine and read a chapter or two if I'm feeling nostalgic, but I don't typically sit down and read the whole thing. And while I didn't start at the beginning of Reckless Surrender, I found myself reading half the book - and then starting over. What amazed me about the story is that it didn't suck! No, seriously, hear me out.

My best work is my latest work. That's generally how it works. I try not to think about my first book or my second - or even the first four or five, knowing good and well that when I wrote them, I was still trying to find my voice. Not to mention, it's been so long since I've written them, so long since I've felt attached to those characters, all the magic and the love I once held for them has kind of petered out. In short, I'd forgotten the time and the energy I put into developing Logan and Roman or Trevor and Daphne. But then I started to read them. As I got enraptured by the story, I forgot I was in the middle of a major book funk.

The day before yesterday, I started reading Guarded. A friend of mine was rereading Leo and Jill in preparation for the third book in the Savior Series, and her excitement over the couple made me want to dive back into their story again, too - and now I can't stop reading! It's the damnedest thing. I'm totally feelin' myself right now - and I'm not even sorry. In fact, I know what I'm going to read after I finish this series. My man Sage and his broken love Millie - and I'm looking forward to it.

This might sound so strange if you aren't a writer. It might even sound a little arrogant. And if you are a writer, it might sound ghastly - or, perhaps, like a waste of time; but I would argue otherwise. It's so fun. In fact, if you are an author and you haven't gone back to read some of your old stuff in a while, you should try it. I mean, if you can't look back on the stories you're selling and think - wow, I really enjoyed that - then, why are you selling it? That might be a harsh question, but I think it's a valid one. You should be proud of what you put out there. I'm currently on a journey that has me remembering - I'm totally proud.


  1. You should be very proud ~ you're books are AMAZING, they take you on a journey, it's not all just "fluff". I have a special shelf with your books and I cherish them. I love telling my friends and family that these are the ones they need to read (just not my paperbacks)!

    1. Oh, that is so sweet! Thank you, so much! And I've got another one coming your way soon :)


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