The Future of the Hemlock Wolf Pack

First, I need to say how much I’ve loved this journey into the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga. Things haven’t always been easy. I’ve moved twice with another move hopefully in my near future. I’ve struggled with my mental health and burn out. I’ve had all the ups and downs that come with indie writing and publishing. I’ve made a living from writing in one way or anther for the last decade. This has been my favorite part of the journey so far and I want to thank everyone who’s come with me on it thus far.

Over the years from freelancing to indie publishing I’ve come up with three rules I follow no matter what.

  1. I won’t do any job that negatively impacts my mental health.

This was a big reason I quit ghost writing and eventually freelancing all together. I don’t like living on someone else’s timeline and honestly for as many great clients you’ll meet in the freelancing world you’ll meet two assholes.

2. I won’t work on a job I don’t enjoy.

No, I’m not talking about editing. lol Over the time I spent as a freelancer, especially, in the beginning I took jobs I didn’t enjoy because I needed the money. I never want to be in that position again. It was soul sucking and impacted my already struggling mental health.

3. Whatever I’m doing has to pay the bills.

I know people like to say you don’t write for the money. Well, I could make money other ways. That’s true, but at the end of the day as much as I love writing and publishing it’s my job. I’m lucky enough to have made it my full time career. In indie publishing that means getting books out in a timely manner.

With my PTSD and physical disability I’ll never be able to go work an 8 hour job and come home and write for 4. A lot of writers do this and I admire them. My foot just wouldn’t have it. If I’m moving around for 8 hours my foot’s going to hurt all night and part of the next day even with pain medicine. Not to mention we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.

Which I guess brings me to the point where I need to talk about what the heck’s going on over on my end of things.

Life is changing and it’s becoming more difficult to stay on the same schedule as my editor. I’m lucky enough to work with my best friend on all of these projects. We’re both indies and have learned a lot over the years together about the industry. I’m more deadline driven than most people under the best of circumstances. After the book is written and ready to be edited my brain is on the bottom line.

My editor’s mother, who I love to pieces, because as a teenager she took me into her own home so many times when my life was upside down, has dementia. She’s progressing and my editor is her full time caregiver. They are receiving help from health care providers and all of that. It’s just changing her life. I’m sad I’m not there. I lived there at the beginning of the year, but the Midwest was never going to be for me.

The weather is insane and has left me with more anxiety than I’ve had in a long time. One particular night has added to my PTSD in ways I didn’t realize until recently. Here I’m having trouble finding a therapist that I jive with that takes my insurance.

Put together this has resulted not only in a bit of a melt down of communication, but so many delays. Delays that hurt my income. If we’re to continue we have to find a way to work around it. I couldn’t imagine bringing on another editor this late in the series. What other editor is going to remember Wyrnn has a child named Adrain somewhere in the timeline that I forgot about while writing this book?

So where does that leave us and the pack? In limbo to be honest.

I’m on a schedule now – sleep and wake rise- that works for my anxiety. If I don’t have quiet hours in the morning and predictable sleep most nights of the week I can’t function in life or creatively. This works well unless it’s storming and then all bets are off.

This has worked well for a long time now. Since I started working after my first move when everything was set up.I found my footing and ran with it. Now, the problem is in the last stage of editing we pass chapters back and forth until they’re ready. This only works of course if we’re both at the computer around the same time. With all the home help aids (Sorry, I keep calling you a maid (Name redacted), if you’re reading this.) in and out during my most working hours this isn’t possible anymore. The system we’ve used through 15 books (I think it’s 15 anyway not counting this one. I’ve lost track honestly. 9 Hemlock Pack books, 3 Fairytales, 3 standalones, I think. lol) no longer works. We’ve honed the system and now if we’re to go forward we need to change it without impacting my bottom line, mental health, or her mother’s level of care. The woman deserves the best in the world in her own home for as long as possible. She was and is to this day more a of mother to me than mine own ever was.

So, where does that leave us?

In the short term that leaves us trying to polish up this book this weekend. In the long term, I took the quiet moments between the horrible weather yesterday to examine our schedules and more so the way we can keep the Hemlock Wolf Pack going the way we both want to. Over the last few years this series and these characters have become a huge part of our lives and we don’t want to lose them.

I’ve come up with a few ideas to help with the next book. I’m willing to try one more and my savings is able to do one more, but if this one isn’t smoother and more timely I’ll have to find a different direction to go in.

This isn’t on readers. I’m not asking for money. I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on behind the scenes.

Stay safe and healthy out there!

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