It's been a while since I've posted anything here. I could make all sorts of excuses as to why, most of them legitimate, but the truth of the matter is that I'm simply not consistent. It's probably my greatest failure as a person overall, and one that will always be a part of who I am. One could argue that the circumstances of my life have dictated this pattern of beavior and they would most likely be right. For instance, the current house we own is the first time I've stayed in any one place for longer than a small handful of years. It's a level of stability I am unfamiliar with but it is something I have always strived for. At any rate, the gist of this revelation is to basically state that part of the package that is J. J. Westendarp is a bit of inconsistency.
Inconsistancy is why, after four months of being "done" with the first draft of Book Two, I have just now finished the initial edit. That's the initial edit mind you, the one I do immediately after the rough draft to find major inconsistencies in the story and get them corrected before I send it off to beta readers. Which is to say that there's still a lot to do and despite my desire to have a regular release of Eternal War books every year, that won't be possible for 2011. Split is the best I can offer for this year (and is a damn good offering if you want my personal opinion) and The Plan (which is mediocre in many ways but was a good try at a genre I don't normally touch) and for that I offer a bit of an apology because I was hoping to do more. I just got in my own way.
The current plan is to work as hard as I can to get Book Two ready for a release before my birthday, which is in early February. To accomplish that I have taken on a divergence of my routine when I'm not at work, which those of you who follow my Facebook feed already know about. Basically, I remove all distractions from my presence and go to the library to write and/or edit. It has worked out wonderfully so far, and it's a shame I can't do it more often. The main reason I can right now is because the kids are in school for a couple of hours past lunch so it allows me to go there without having to bring them with me. It's truly a distraction free environment. So far it has worked out wonderfully. I was able to edit over half the novel in less than three weeks, and was able to put the changes in as well. I anticipate using this distraction-free method quite often moving forward.
Despite my inconsistencies I am still a very imaginative person so when I get an idea I write it down. To that effect, I have the basic ideas for Eternal War books 3 through 6 already set down, plus at least two shorts. As well, immediately after Book Two I will be sitting down to finish some editing touches to a revision to a fan fiction novel I wrote back in 2005. The changes will make the story my own, though astute readers will know where the inspiration came from very quickly. The reason for doing this is because the most important thing for me to do as a new independent writer is to work to get product out there. And not just any product (a lesson learned from The Plan), but quality products that highlight my two strengths: Characterization and Action. I have the story in hand with this other novel, I just need to flip it around to my own making. In the end, you all should have two novels from me in a relatively short amount of time.
I'll hold from going further than that with my plans but know that my recent foray into distraction-free writing has rejuvinated my spirit as a writer and I feel it is something I can be consistent with. That's a good thing.