The Zodiac Posts - GEMINI [1]

Living a Double Life

I have been away from this blog, and my academic blog, for a while. I’ve actually been blogging at two other sites related to my day-jobs and voluntary projects, so I’ve not been offline for two years, but my headspace has been overcrowded.

I stopped writing. I couldn’t do it. It was too much pressure, and too much to cram into my head at once. But my goals for 2019 include gaining a HE teaching qualification (something I’ve been working towards since 2013) and publishing a book. I have a publisher interested in my academic book, which is a totally different topic to my doctoral thesis, but I will be going down the indie publishing route with one of my fiction novels. This is for a number of reasons, which I will explore in a later post. So here I am again, blogging.

I’m reviving the Zodiac posts (where I get topic inspiration from an attribute of a zodiac sign - Gemini = The Twins, hence my post on living a double-life). I might go with Elements or Celtic Tree signs next. I need prompts.

The main difficulty I have in my fiction writing is the tendency to write like an academic. I can't help it. It's very hard to switch from the academic writing style or vice versa, and I think it's something I've only recently got better at. While my paranormal and crime writing tends to be better in terms of the writing style (or so I personally believe), my fantasy work has more of my academic alter ego in it, and that makes it harder for me to switch styles. 

My academic work focuses on thirteenth century baronial families, and my fantasy series is also more of a family saga, with the interpersonal tensions of the characters driving the plot more than the external challenges they face. 

A lot of my ideas come to me while I am researching - almost all of my world-building came about in a library or archive, and lots of my scenes were influenced by the ways historical figures actually behaved. The problem is that I'm building my career as an academic (currently about as stable a profession as acting, and just as likely to get a full-time post somewhere as it is to get a Hollywood break... so maybe I should've gone with acting as a 'proper job' instead...). That gives me little time to write fiction, as I need to publish as much as I can while I've still got the time (read: while I'm only working part-time hours at my Paying-The-Bills-Job). 

It sometimes feels like I'm not just living a double life, but several of them all at once.

Currently, though, I am taking more proactive steps to streamline my life, and have more of a balance. I am back writing again: I have completed two new novels since February this year, and finished the Faustine Chronicles quartet. So hopefully my double-life will remain harmonious, rather than wrestling for supremacy.

Apologies for the unpolished post: I wanted to break the ice and say hi! I’ll be back soon with musings on conversations, conlanging and other topics.