Maternity Leave for Writers

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First of all, my apologies for being absent for the last week or so. We had a leak in the house and problems with our washing machine and then also with the new washing machine ... add to that doctors, midwife and dentist appointments for me and the kids and I'm sure you'll understand that I've had my hands full. So, the posts that I had planned are all going to be pushed back a week or so. As I write this, I am ten days away from the date that I've been booked into hospital to have my baby. This last week, while I've been stressing about not being able to get to the work I had planned, my husband pointed out that if I worked for someone else, I would be on maternity leave by now. I would be resting as much as possible and reading without guilt. Instead, I'm still trying to work on the marketing plan for Ashael Rising, write blog posts and flash fiction, finish the novella that I didn't manage to finish in November and read books for review purposes.

I clearly won't be able to keep up with all of that over the next month.

There is no mechanism for maternity leave when you work for yourself. There is definitely the advantage that I don't have a boss looking for work to be handed in at specific times and all of my current deadlines are self-imposed ones - to an extent. So if I'm too tired or too sore to sit at the computer, I can decide not to. However, there's no one else to do the work if I take the day off. At this point in time, I'm finding it very difficult to balance the self care that I need with the work that I also feel I need to be doing.

So, I've decided that I am on maternity leave for the rest of December.

Any of you who have been reading my posts here for long enough will likely suspect that I don't mean I'm going to stop working altogether and you would be right. My version of maternity leave is that I'm going to stop trying to do everything. If you're interested, here's a quick summary of where things stand and how I see them moving forward over the next month.

Ashael Rising - is complete and in the final stages of production. As far as I'm aware, there's nothing left for me to do prior to publication, which is scheduled for January. Watch this space for map and cover reveals, ARCs and giveaways. I'll continue working on the marketing plan as I feel able. I'm also in the process of arranging a blog tour to talk about the book and sketching out some posts. Get in touch if you might be interested in taking part in that.

Blog - I have a number of posts drafted or half-written so expect to see them in December but there's a good chance that I'll deviate from my usual schedule. Some of these posts will be scheduled in advance since I'm going to be in hospital and then caring for a new baby. So if you comment and it takes me a while to respond, it's just because I'm away from my computer. Please do continue to comment though - I love hearing from you!

Patreon - In the next few days I'll be posting November's stories and then I'm taking December off. It's unlikely that I'll be doing flash Fridays here so if you think you might miss the flash stuff, now would be a good time to become a Patron ;-). I'll be back to normal there in January.

Novella - I did not complete the novella during NaNoWriMo as I had hoped. It is still my intention to try and finish it in time to submit to Tor by the 12th of January but that's starting to look unlikely. Although, I might be able to rattle through it during the sleepless nights after baby arrives! I will continue writing it, whether it's going to be ready in time for Tor or not. If I miss the window, I'll look for a different home for it.  I may even consider self-publishing it.

Hmmm what else am I working on? Well, I've started taking notes for the sequel to Ashael Rising. I won't start writing that until the new year, probably after I've finished the novella. I'm working on putting together some really interesting features for here on the blog - more on that as soon as I've got enough pulled together to be sure it'll go ahead. I have two review books left to look at this year and then I'll be taking a bit of time away from that to just read.

And of course I'll be starting my reading challenge in January. I already have my first book lined up - The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard, a French-Vietnamese author of speculative fiction. I highly recommend her work and I'm really looking forward to reading this book in January. There's still plenty of time to join in with the challenge!