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I know, I ghosted my own blog. Here’s what happened.

The pandemic delayed the publishing dates of several series novels I was waiting to read. Those novels all came out at once, in August. Simultaneously, several older fiction and nonfiction books that I had on hold at the library — some of them for many months — came up in my queue. I was completely deluged, and spent the entire month of August with my nose in a book.

A couple of those novels, most notably the third Baru Cormorant book (Seth Dickinson) reminded me why I want to be writing fiction. And so in late August I picked up the epic work-in-progress and plowed into it again, for the first time since … April or maybe May.

All that reading and writing elsewhere derailed my intention of writing here. To be honest, that is going to happen from time to time; I deliberately made no promises, to myself or anyone else, about how frequently I will post here. When I am deeply engaged in writing my own novel, I don’t have bandwidth to worry about writing journal entries or nonfiction essays or anything else.

This past week also involved a major reckoning with regard to my writing in general and my novel in specific. Some of that played out in conversations on Facebook (not the venue I would have chosen, but oh well), and some of it played out in my own mind, and in lengthy conversations with Jak.

The end result is that I’m splitting the epic behemoth, which was always intended to be the first in a trilogy, into two books — not sequentially, but by point-of-view. I’m pulling out one character storyline to make a standalone novel, and focusing on that one exclusively until it’s done, at which point I will reexamine the other storyline(s) and approach the trilogy again.

There are artistic tradeoffs involved in this decision, but I’m almost completely certain it’s the right choice. The good news is that I feel much more certain in my level of competency to pull off the shorter, simpler book than the one I’ve been attempting until now. That sense of competency, the ability to see not only where I’m going but exactly how to get there, is making it a lot easier to focus on writing.

So I’m still working on the (new version of) my novel, and for as long as this energy lasts, I will be scarce in these parts. I’ll be back eventually, though. If you want to get an email ping when I do return here, there’s a handy notification form in the sidebar.

In closing, I’m going to repeat something that I wrote on Facebook, because FB is so damned obfuscated and ephemeral and I want to remember this.

I can’t shake the belief that the measure of a worthwhile life is making a profoundly positive difference in the lives of other people. Writing is the one way I might be able to do that at any kind of scale.

It’s not that I think my writing comes with a guarantee of an audience that will be affected by it, but I do believe that there is a decent chance. By all accounts and indications, writing has always been the best skill that I have, so if it’s not that, then I’ve got nothing.

Writing for me is kind of like parenthood, I think: social scientists have extensively documented that moment-to-moment, parents are pretty miserable most of the time. Culturally-approved narrative to the contrary, parenting is not a fun or enjoyable process. It’s hard work! What parents do very often have, though, is a sense of joy — the kind of glowing retroactive satisfaction that only comes with having done something that you believe has meaning and purpose.

My best shot at joy, however long a shot it may be, is to make a thing that I believe is beautiful and true, and then to learn from other people that they were moved by it. If I accomplish the first and fail at the second, I will be deeply disappointed, but I will at least know that I tried.

There are pieces of writing that affected me deeply, that changed how I understand the world, and myself, and other people, that made me a better person. If there is a point to the existence of Karawynn, I think it must be in paying that forward.

Published inMetaWriting


  1. David Gates David Gates

    Thanks for the post. I’ll be watching my email for the next one. In the mean time I’ll do some reflecting on some of what you’ve said in this one. It has made me realise that right now I’m not worrying at all about having a meaningful life. I’m just – in a big way – into surviving. Perhaps it is time that I took three steps backwards and looked at the bigger picture. I suppose that even in that you’ve had a small, and probably temporary, but clearly beneficial impact on me right now. Please keep up posting here, it’s one of the few feeds I get that don’t waste my time.

    • Karawynn Karawynn

      David, I have plenty of days where my focus is on ‘just surviving’. I don’t mean to shame anyone for that, especially now. But I am glad you think my words have had some small positive impact.

  2. Bill Batty Bill Batty

    K? I’m embarrassed to say that for all the years we’ve known each other I’ve never read any of your works. Is there a place I might find some of the ones you feel most proud of?

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