Where to go from here?

I'm between books.

A dangerous place for me.

I always feel confident and engaged when I'm writing. It's only when I'm not writing that doubts creep in. (Well, re-writing is the worse, when I witness the reality versus the dream.)

I'm not sure I've ever gone more than about a week after finishing one project before I've started another. Usually, I already have one lined up.

I do want to finish "The Wyvern Riders" which is on the final stretch. (My "Tales of the Thirteen Principalities" are going to be something I go back to again and again without any concern for publishing...I just enjoy them.)

After that? I'm just not sure. I could start writing anytime, but I'd like to have an idea really grab me. I usually feel compelled to write, so I'm waiting for that feeling to overcome me.

At the same time, I'm wondering if I shouldn't put some thought into it. My approach since I came back to writing has been to be open to all ideas, to say yes to everything, to not let myself talk myself out of anything.

Which is good for motivation, but maybe not so good for progressing. That is, it's been a good thing so far, but I'm not sure it's the smartest thing going forward.

What is it I want?

So I've always had sort of two tracks; what I call the "career" path and what I call the "story" path. The career path is at least being aware of whether something has a possibility of selling. The story path is not giving a damn.

However, while being aware, I haven't chosen what to write based on that. I write what I want to write when I want to write them.

Some of my favorite books are the story path: "Gargoyle Dreams" about a lovelorn gargoyle, "The Last Fedora," a golem coming to life from the love a young boy, "Fairie Punk," a travelogue of American mythology, "I Live Among You," about a serial killer who finds he is actually a hunter of evil, and so on.

Even when I've presented these ideas to publishers, after I've written them, I could tell they had zero interest.

My "career" type books I've always been aware that there might be some interest in them: "Led to the Slaughter: the Donner Party Werewolves" and "Tuskers: the Wild Pig Apocalypse" and so on. Fortunately for me, they weren't written for that reason, they were written because I was genuinely interested.

Anyway, I'm at a point where I either have to step up my efforts to get published or take a step back and just do my thing.

I'm inclined to do my thing. (Always with the possibility that something I write for myself has broader possibilities...)

Some of my best books have come from a lark. The idea of a man besieged by killer pigs started off as a joke story about a friend's garden torn up and his dogs chased by by javilinas, or an article mentioning a black sea snake washing up on the shores of California, thousands of miles from where it should be, or the idiocy of "child slave" colonies on Mars.

This is one of those moments, though, when I'm on the cusp. At a time when I want to step back, it may be the moment I should step forward. Be smart, choose the right project. I could double down.

But looking inside, I realize I don't really want go there.

In a nutshell:

Publishing is confounding and frustrating.

Writing is a joy.