But the one thing that has picked up during this tiring time is reading. I think I've read more books this year than I've ever read in a year before (even if you disregard the couple of manga I threw in there). It decimates the past two years that I've been keeping track of. in fact, I've read more this year than those two years combined. I know 25 books isn't much compared to some people, but I feel pretty proud of myself anyhow. And I've mostly read books I really enjoyed, too. I've rated all but two books as four or five stars. I actually can't believe how lucky I've been to find so many amazing books. And the two books competing for my attention now seem likely to hit four or five stars, too. I've also been really wanting to reread some of my favorite series soon, but I'm hoping GoodReads adds an option to count rereads for challenges and such first.
And I have been making some progress with things like writing. I've now revised 26 of 34 chapters of Magic Inc. - versus 7 of (probably) 37 of Dreaming in Shadow. And it's making me really consider going back on my plans to release Dreaming in Shadow first. But I keep wondering why that is. Is it because I really think Magic Inc. should be my first published novel now, or am I just desperate to release something so that I don't feel like such a fake? So that I don't get so sick with jealousy every time I see a writer announce a new book or "brag" about their NaNo success? There's a part of me that knows I have to go at my own pace, but there's another part that says I should have finished something by now. That I'm not a "real" writer until I do. Which is crazy, because there are plenty of talented writers who never publish. And I probably would have published Dreaming in Shadow by now if I weren't working on four other stories and endless outlines at the same time, but I have absolutely no desire to give my multi-story workstyle up. It keeps me always excited about something, instead of dragging through one thing at a time.
So, maybe I will end up publishing Magic Inc. Book One first. But if I do, it has to be for the right reasons. Otherwise, I'm not really staying true to my vision. And that's one of those things I never want to betray. I have to do things my way, at my pace, and with all my heart and soul. Even if that means I have to wait another year or two to release my first novel.