J. Zachary Pike's

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The Fall of Optimism

Fall foliage and leaves on the ground

Every summer, I make the same mistake. I start to get really optimistic.

I don’t mean in general; I’m not talking about how I feel about humanity or the nature of life. Those things aren’t quite so seasonal. I mean, I get optimistic about what I can realistically take on.

My wife has a reduced work schedule in the summer. My day job doesn’t officially have less hours in summer, but there’s a natural slowdown to projects as people take vacations with their kids. My kids have less commitments. We take days for ourselves. And I’m generally pretty darn productive.

This summer was a doubly happy, because I spent the first part of it launching Son of a Liche. Let me just say, few things in life feel as thrice-cursed productive as publishing a book. Riding high on the effort, and all that spare time, I felt ready to take on the world. So I took on some big goals.

Regular blogs! Video work! 1,000 words a day! Supplemental fiction! I’m never going to die!

And then autumn arrived.

New routines for the wife and kids. Big projects roar back to life at the day job. The sunlight begins to fade, and the extracurricular requirements kick up. And I learn, once again, that I can be a part-time author, but I can’t do everything full-timers do in a fraction of the time. (Most full time authors I hear from don’t have enough time either.)

This autumn stung doubly so, because I flubbed one of the key elements of the first acts of Dragonfired. Like, swing and a miss. And while other people will say you just should write through that, I really have not developed that ability. I can write through spelling errors or scenes that should be funnier. Having a structural flaw in my narrative is paralyzing.

So I took a short breather from Book 3 — just a few weeks to determine what to do. The good news is that I didn’t take a hiatus from writing, and I hope to have a new story set on Arth to share with you much sooner than Dragonfired. I’m also hoping to throw some more video content up, and I have a few books to review / bits of news to deliver.

But it won’t be as fast or as frequent as I like. Because autumn is here, with cold winds and colder reality.

7 thoughts on “The Fall of Optimism”

  1. I’m not reading Litch until you’re almost done.

    1. The difference between motivation and blackmail would fit upon a razor’s edge.

      1. David Lurie says:

        But the difference between a snarky reply and a hilarious one is enormous, and yours was definitely on the right side!

        (plus itโ€™s a rather beautiful sentance in its own right)

  2. Chris Gaboury says:

    You do what you need to do for you. I will say I have greatly enjoyed what you have put out so far and anticipate seeing your new (short?) story in Arth and then later, Dragonfired. After I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Orconomics, I was looking forward to see what would come next and when Son of a Liche was announced, I pre-ordered as soon as I could and you did not disappoint. So I will be pre-ordering Dragonfired as soon as I can as well!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m glad you enjoyed the books!

  3. Quark says:

    Wait, is “Son of a Lich” out already? I must have missed that email! I got directed here from the Halloween email you just sent out. I guess I better go looking for it. Do you have a preferred book seller, that gets you the most bang for our buck? I’m always looking to support the authors I like in the best way I can. I wish I had known to pre-order it, I know that gets you more support from your publisher.

    1. Hey Quark! Yes, Son of a Liche this past summer. Don’t sweat missing the pre-order. I’m self published, so I know I’ll get the attention I need from my publisher. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I actually don’t have a preferred book seller. I make the most money when you order through my website. I get a boost in rankings when you order through the online book sellers. That usually evens out, honestly. So I really appreciate it when people are thinking of me enough to ask, but my answer that you should buy the book in the format that makes it easiest for you to enjoy. Thank you for reading!

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