On Shadows and Patience

I’ve only had one book come out this year.

Normally, I would have had a book with one of my publishers come out and I would have self published several books. I remember years where I had a new release almost every month. I would be writing one book, editing one book and promoting another. Even during the pandemic, I had a lot of releases.

Around the end of 2021, I realized that I couldn’t keep going at that speed. I was wearing myself out and I needed to take the time to fall in love with the act of writing again. I knew that my new years resolution would be to slow down and really take care of myself and find the balance that was lacking in my life. I realized that it wasn’t the amount of work I published, it was the quality of the words that I wrote that mattered more.

At the end of every year, I write a holiday themed story and give that away to my readers. I wrote one for 2021, but it ended up being a novella instead of a story. That novella ended up being Captain Maven and the Shadow Man. Though it is a tale of a band of superhero’s that all have different powers, and they work to keep the streets of Ottawa safe, it’s a personal story for me like all of my work. This was my attempt to make a frightening situation like having to take chemo into something lighter.

I decided to try something different. Instead of publishing it on a free to read service, I would publish a chapter a day on my blog. The one drawback was that I couldn’t tell how many people downloaded it, though my blog got quite an increase in readership, which was lovely.

Part of my decision for doing that was to not have another release that would fall into the shadows, lost amongst the shuffle of the other books I had released that year. The story was special and meant a lot to me, so I wanted to try something different and see what would happen. However, the story I wrote nagged me a little. It wanted to go out into the world and sparkle.

In April of 2022, I published the ebook through Amazon and Kobo. Again, I thought that was it, that publishing the ebook was all I was going to do, it was out there in the world. I kind of put it out there with little to no ceremony, a random blog post and some fanfare, but that was it. For some reason, it occurred to me in September to try and put out another paperback. I knew that it would not be a Halloween tale, but that I would finally, almost a year later, put Captain Maven and the Shadow Man out in paperback.

Since publishing my book of poems, Covidly Speaking, earlier this year, I haven’t publishing anything. I knew that I wanted to take my time with Captain Maven and the Shadow Man, that I wanted everything to look right and to feel good. To that end, I’ve just submitted the files for the paperback for the fifth time. While going through the layout for the paperback, I noticed things that had messed up with the formatting, so I took my time with it because I wanted to get it right.

Publishing Captain Maven and the Shadow Man has been the ultimate staggered release, first on my blog, then ebook and now in paperback. Throughout 2022, I’ve had a real focus on my mental, physical and spiritual health. I needed to find the balance within my life and within myself and this has involved therapy, meditation and various other things that bring me comfort like Tarot and Oracle card and crystal therapy. In order to take care of myself and my health, I can’t keep driving myself to exhaustion. I had to remember that just as it’s not the quantity of work that I put out into the world that matters, so too did I have to remember that I can’t give from an empty cup.

I had to really work at self love which is something I have difficulty doing. I’m getting better, but it’s a process, much like the publishing of a book. I’ve honoured myself this year by not letting myself be driven to publish everything I’ve written. I have taken my time and have found a balance, even if it sometimes feels wonky. Growth and healing are a journey and so is publishing anything in any format. Part of healing is being open with yourself, much like putting a book out into the world that will be read and either loved or hated.

On this journey, I feel like Captain Maven has been cheering me along the entire time.  It’s been a long journey for the both of us. Since I have been taking my time with the paperback, I even went through the layout and plot description for the ebook as well. I figure it’s all about making the book, and me, shine. Right?

Much like Captain Maven has to deal with the Shadow Man, I’ve had to deal with my own shadows this year. I’m in a good place now and I know that’s because I’ve taken the time to just relax, slow down and enjoy the flow of life and the words within.

Captain Maven and the Shadow Man should be available soon! In the meantime, I will be taking a deep breath and looking towards the future.

2 Comments on “On Shadows and Patience

  1. I have found this a very refreshing read, Jamieson. It is such a pleasant change that you are advocating slowing down and taking your time. So much of today’s society seems to be rushing towards burn out followed by oblivion! Well said. 🙂❤️🌹

    • Thank you so much Carolyn! I meant to write something else, but this came out instead. I think it’s important for people to know that you don’t have to write everything all the time. 🙂

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