Is There Freedom In Writing?

Hey, gang! First, I want say thank you (SO much) for all of the encouragement and well-wishes left on my last post. Oklahoma is hard at work on the recovery process, and I've read so many extraordinary stories of people coming to aid those in need from loved ones on Facebook.

Authors Helping Oklahoma

Along those lines, I know many of you are authors and looking for a way to contribute. I recently learned of a group of authors on Facebook who are putting together a book auction with proceeds going toward tornado relief. The effort is being spearheaded by our own Shelly Arkon, and they are currently still accepting book donations from authors who want to help. (They are also accepting general donations with all monies generated going to the American Red Cross.)

You can check it out here

Together At Last!

In my own writing news, I've just released the first Moonsongs Anthology. It collects the first three Moonsongs books (Blood Fugue, Witch's Nocturne, & Dark Prelude) in one volume. 

BLURB: Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried...

Her life is thrown into chaos when she receives a message from her thought-to-be-dead grandfather, Billy Moonsong. After meeting with him, Jenny learns that her Apache ancestors were feared monster hunters on the plains of West Texas, and that she is next in line to take up the mantle.

Suddenly, she has a purpose and direction in life, but will she live long enough to fully realize it?

The Moonsongs Anthology 1 collects the first three Moonsongs books--a series of New Adult paranormal-horror-action novelettes--in one exciting volume. Follow Jenny and her best friend Marshal on their dangerous quest to unlock the secrets of her past.

Moonsongs Anthology 1 collects the three previously published Moonsongs adventures: Blood Fugue (Book 1), Witch's Nocturne (Book 2), and Dark Prelude (Book 3).

The three stories combined are approximately 154 pages or 47,000 words. Also included in the anthology is exclusive access to Jenny's own secret monster hunting journal. An account--in her own colorful words--of what she has faced so far, and a few tips for the next Moonsong huntress who might come along.

The anthology is available digitally at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $2.99. 

If you're curious about the series, the first book, Blood Fugue, has now gone permanently free on Amazon.

Is There Freedom In Writing?

There are many misconceptions about what writers do, and how the writing process takes place. Many folks think writers are dizzy daydreamers, caught up in one fanciful thought after another, and that we simply sit at our computers and crank out story after story.

There's also this myth about the boundless freedom--both in practice and spirit--that all writer's must surely posses. Yes, writers must live in a land of rainbows and no fences, racing up one grass-covered hill just to roll down into another flower-filled meadow below.

Here's the thing: There are points in writing that feel extremely confining. Down right suffocating, in fact. Mentally, it probably has more in common with a darkened, 5x5 ft cell with no doors you'd see in one of those SAW horror movies than an endless, sunlit vista. 

You have to commit a staggering amount of time to a single project if you plan on seeing it become fit for public consumption. You'll likely have to forfeit many important and fun things in your personal life to enjoy writing success. 

You'll read the same story a thousand times, live in the same character's head for months and months, and have most of your idol thoughts devoured by trying to fill the same damned plot hole you had when you started the project two years prior. (The writing and story are better, but the plot hole remains... always.) 

In writing, you have to have the mentality of a parent: You gave birth to that story, and will only be parted from it when it grows up and leaves you, or someone pries it from your cold, dead hands. 

So I'd argue there's very little freedom in writing. At least in the sense people think... But there is power in it. 

You eventually learn how to tell a story, and tell it in only the way you can. The more you write, the more you'll learn how to use the various tools and tricks to elicit a desired feeling in the reader. And there's power in that control. 

Once you know how to share and evoke emotion with words, you'll start to feel like you could tell any story, and take readers to the incredible places you thought only existed in your own head. 

But as Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility, and that responsibility is choosing how to spend your writing time. Assuming you don't have an infinite amount of it, you'll have to decide which project gets your attention.

So I ask you: Do you feel completely free in your writing? How do you go about choosing your next project? If you're published, do your readers choose them for you? If you're unpublished, do you let your inspiration carry you?



  1. Congratulations on releasing the collected works, EJ!

    Excellent remarks on the writing process. I'm inclined to say I feel free writing... but there are times it's confining!

    I'm one of the people behind the Authors For Oklahoma page. We're organizing, and have a number of works involved already. And we're posting other relevant links for the Moore recovery as well.

    1. Can't say enough how much I appreciate what y'all are doing to help my home state, William. Proud to donate my stories to the cause.

  2. Congratulations on the trilogy! Will do a shout-out for you Friday.
    That lack of freedom is one of the reasons I'm contemplating following music more rather than writing.
    And Uncle Ben's words I take to heart in regards to my blog.

  3. Excellent post. You are so right about writers, although I do admit I'm a little ditsy and different from the average person.
    Congrats on your anthology. What a great price too!

  4. Hey, EJ:

    We appreciate you, too. As for writing...I've written myself into another corner. Panster. I can't plot to save my life. SO I re-read my stuff a lot because I get lost.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  5. Hey, EJ--I'm Shelly's other partner in Authors for Oklahoma, and we'd welcome any and all authors willing to donate their creative efforts for a good cause.

    As for your thoughts on the writing process, I think we all get a little crazy at times. What's that saying about the fine line between genius and insanity?

    Good luck with the trilogy. I owe you a review. I've read a lot of books I have yet to post reviews for (I hope there are no grammar police patrolling here)!

    1. Thanks Norma! I knew that you were involved somehow or other. Really appreciate what y'all are doing!

      And if the grammar police are lurking, we're probably all in a little trouble. :)

  6. SO neat with the anthology, EJ! Sooooo awesome. And fabulous post, as usual. I'm always so captivated in your words! I absolutely let inspiration and gut feeling guide me. I couldn't work without it!

  7. Congratulations on the trilogy! As for freedom in writing, I feel like the freedom is in escaping the real world in ways other people can't. When it comes down to it, sometimes putting yourself in front of a computer and typing for hours because you're behind on your word goal is confining. I think we have it better than a lot of people, though. ;)

  8. Well said. Writing is hard work and not the life for everyone.

    Congrats on the collection! I have Blood Fugue and look forward to reading it as soon as I can.

  9. Congrats on the anthology! I don't know about freedom. If I don't write, I'm not whole. So I wouldn't call that free at all. In a way my readers helped determine the current Backworlds book. I wrote Stopover first and figured Lepsi was dead. Well, the fans loved him so much, I knew I couldn't kill him. so what did happen to him? We all find out in book 4. lol

    I must get to reading your stories... soon. :) Can't wait.

  10. Woohoo for the Moonsong anthology! :D

  11. I'm currently sort of stuck in the middle. I'm busy editing the first of my fantasy series for publishing, so I keep feeling like I should be writing the sequel to the sequel. (Sequel only needs to be edited.)

    On the other hand, I just don't want to. I love the story, but so much can change in edits that I don't want to mess up my thoughts.

    So... right now I'm just editing.

    Best of luck with the anthology. :-)

  12. I tend to cycle through projects, with at least 15 actively on the back burner, so for me, there's a great of freedom. I have, however, recently determined that only one project will get worked on at a time. Honestly, how else do you ever get anything completed?

  13. I feel pretty free with my writing. A few readers have said that my writing grosses them out but for the most part, I get lots of likes. And I've got to admit, sometimes I can get pretty dark and gross. I'm not sure why. I'm not that person in real life. I just like dark writing. Did I read too much Clive Barker? Probably.

  14. Great post, EJ! Agree. Writing's not all fun and games, but I wouldn't give it up now for anything. Seeing a polished, finished product come about worth it.

    I'm so glad to see you're offering an anthology. Best of luck! :)

  15. AS in all things freedom is relative. We are as free as we believe ourselves to be and allow ourselves to be. I am a slave to many things in life, but my head is one place I can go for complete freedom if I allow it and I can in turn siphon my dreams onto the page as freely as I choose to do. Too often we limit ourselves and thereby lose freedom.

    Wrote By Rote

  16. Congrats on the Moonsong anthology. That's great.

    And thanks for the info on the Oklahoma fundraiser.


“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.