09 July 2019 by Published in: Uncategorized 25 comments

After eight years of turning out roughly 8-9 novels a year, about April of 2019 I hit a kind of wall. Moving to a new place, dealing with personal issues, working with several new investments, designing homes, traveling…

After sixty-something novels, it seems the universe is telling me it’s okay to take a break.

So I am. I’m chipping away at the new DAN – Nemesis, but not at the 5-6K a day rate I’m accustomed to. More like 1000-1500 words a day. So it’s taking what for me seems like forever. If I’m lucky I’ll be done by the end of July for an August release.

Which has created an insane level of guilt in me, as I feel like I’m totally slacking. I know that’s nuts, but it’s the way I’m wired. And of course, there’s the fear that I’ll never be able to write decently, much less prolifically, again. Irrational, but it’s there like the fear that mole is something more than an annoyance.

My production schedule this year called for five novels: 2 JETs, 2 DANs, and 1 Ramsey’s. At this rate I can see perhaps the 2 JETs, and possibly either a Ramsey’s or another DAN in addition to the current WIP, but doubtful I’ll achieve both.

The truth is that my income is up by almost triple from where it was a couple years ago, entirely due to AMS advertising, so the pressure to publish every 5-6 weeks is minimal from a revenue standpoint. And there’s no fucking way I’m ever going to use a ghostwriter – it’s not that I’m opposed to the practice if the market doesn’t mind, it’s that it seems like it turns a labor of love into a manufacturing scheme, and that’s not my thing – I have enough business interests so that I don’t feel the need to turn my writing into another one.

This is all a long way of saying I’ve made the decision to take it easy this year, recharge my batteries, and only write when I want, so it’s not like it’s a job. Part of the problem in turning what you love into a job is you can lose the passion for it – it becomes work. And being shiftless and lazy, I’ve always despised actual work.

I would rather take a hiatus than hate what I’m doing. So I’m slowing to what I consider next to nothing, and taking it day-by-day.

For everyone who was eagerly awaiting a new DAN at the end of July, I apologize. For those who expected a new Ramsey’s, well, it could still happen in 2019. I’m not saying it won’t. I’m just saying that right now, the beach and margaritas and swaying palms and long siestas soothed by balmy breezes sounds better than 12 hours in front of a monitor.

Hope you bear with me.

I’m not gone. Just…resting.

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Comments

  1. Tue 09th Jul 2019 at 11:58 am

    I appreciate these kinds of posts, Russell, and the benefit of your experience.
    I’ve been running Amazon Ads since the beginning of the year and not worrying too much about current ROI but attempting to keep myself in front of readers who might click after seeing one of my ads for the 5th or 10th or 20th time. So far I feel the results have been pretty good considering my mystery series is only 4 books long. I hope that when it hits 6 or 9 books the groundwork I’ve laid will pay off even more.

    Reply
    • Stephen Berde  –  Sun 29th Sep 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Russell
      Have enjoyed the Jet series. Will be reading others as soon as I get through Jet.

      Reply
  2. Tue 09th Jul 2019 at 1:35 pm

    You’ve worked so hard. You deserve a break. Don’t feel guilty about working less. Enjoy your life.

    That said, I do hope you pen another Black book next year.

    Reply
  3. Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 8:23 am

    Perfect. Enjoy.

    Reply
  4. Theresa L Richardson
    Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Will there be anymore ‘Day After Never’ books?

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 7:28 pm

      Absolutely. I’m working on one as we speak.

      Reply
  5. Theresa L Richardson
    Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Are any of your other books focused on dystopian futures?

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 10th Jul 2019 at 7:28 pm

      Quantum Synapse.

      Reply
  6. Ann
    Thu 11th Jul 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Whew. I won’t lie. I was living for July 29. Because in the last several months I became wickedly spoiled by your books and getting to read series after series in marathon sessions. Truly. Your writing rocks. After reading another prolific author in the last two weeks, it became so clear to me that you do not have a ghost writer, for which I am SO grateful. Even if you never wrote another book, I was so blessed by the AS and DAN series. Of course, Jet, as well, but damn, I am just so partial to El Rey and to Lucas! Best wishes to you, and thank you so much. Ann

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Fri 12th Jul 2019 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m chipping away at the next DAN, but am taking things slow this summer so I can focus on other things. The good news is that even my “slow” pace of 3-4 novels a year is about 3 times more than most novelists turning out anything of quality, so hopefully the market won’t forget me that quickly…

      Reply
      • Brenda  –  Mon 23rd Sep 2019 at 3:07 pm

        I am enjoying your DAY AFTER NEVER Series. I am in th middle of Legion now and looking forward to the next episode. The series is great and Lucas is a great character, but I cannot stand Sierra. There is just something wrong with that woman and she is not good enough for Lucas. I am sorry you are slowing down your writing as I know people need a break now and then but remember leaving the writing for a long period of time makes the reader upset and they tend to forget to come back for the next book. I have been waiting for a long time on two other authors to come out with the next book and waited a long time. When the new books finally came out I found out I had lost interest. I read the books but something was just gone. Maybe readers and fans are fickle but the success only lasts for a time and the author has to continue to produce and keep the fan base. This is true in any field whether music or in the literary field. I am enjoying the 8th book in the DAN World and hope I don’t have to wait too long for the 9th in the series. Enjoy your time off but if writing is in your blood you might not be able to hold off and wait too long to get back to work. At least this fan can always hope. Can’t wait for more Lucas.

        Reply
  7. Bill
    Mon 15th Jul 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I enjoy your Day After Never series. I listened to the first 7 via audible.com and read the last one. I hope there will be more in this series. In the mean time I will read your other series.

    Reply
  8. Cully
    Sat 20th Jul 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Great job Russell. I am enjoying the Jet series. I am not a writer yet but I follow several. I do empathize with the guilt of work through other professions. SeanWes went through something similar and even started taking sabbaticals. He talks about it in on his write100k.com videos quite a bit as he hit the wall as you describe. Keep up the great work at your own pace.

    Reply
  9. Jordan W.
    Mon 22nd Jul 2019 at 3:00 pm

    I am very eager to get to the next Ramsey story. Enjoy the downtime it is much deserved. Maybe if I am lucky I can have a Ramsey in my stocking come Christmas.

    Kind Regards,
    JW

    Reply
  10. Morrie
    Mon 22nd Jul 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I think I can speak for anyone who enjoys your books whether it be about Jet, Black or anyone else , The wait will be worth it

    Enjoy your rest time

    Reply
  11. Alexander Brown
    Tue 23rd Jul 2019 at 4:24 am

    Well you won’t hear me complaining, considering I just started reading day after never and am already a fan and you have a fuckload of other books for me to read. I got plenty to keep me occupied while you rest

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 24th Jul 2019 at 7:17 pm

      Never underestimate the value of a fuckload!

      Reply
  12. Tucker
    Wed 24th Jul 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Good for you, you do deserve a break. Sometimes writers think that they cannot not write. We get out of balance about it.
    Thanks Russell.

    Reply
  13. Jill Payne
    Thu 25th Jul 2019 at 6:32 pm

    I just discovered your books with the first Ramsey book (I just went through the 3 in a week). Starting on Black next. I read your latest post – it’s mind boggling you were turning out 5-6 novels a year – and good ones! I am thrilled if my fav authors can put out 1 book per year – and as I could never write a novel, I find even that amazing.
    I’d say you were way the heck overdue for some down time. Since I just found you there is plenty of back list for me to enjoy while you recharge. Looking forward to reading more of your work. Rest and enjoy!

    Reply
  14. Alan R. Smith
    Sun 28th Jul 2019 at 9:58 pm

    G’day from Downunder!

    Time to relax for sure mate!! You’ve been on a grueling schedule for soooo long! Of course, I have loved every single book you’ve written and live in constant anticipation of receiving the email that announces the next release, so I can pounce on it like a dog with a fresh bone! LOL!!!

    OMG! 3-5 novels a year is still a powerful pace! I totally concur with your thoughts on the creative aspect of top class writing or doing anything constructive for that matter. It must be a labour of love, not a task or a chore!

    If sitting on the beach with a pail full of Margaritas and watching the palm trees helps with the inspiration, then I’d stay there all day!! LOL! Maybe even a nice bottle of Shiraz!

    Looking forward to whatever book comes next! Every one is a sensational result!!!!

    Reply
  15. Cleta A
    Sat 10th Aug 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Would love if you continued the day after never series 🙂

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 11th Aug 2019 at 11:04 am

      I am currently writing the next installment!

      Reply
  16. Bobby A
    Mon 14th Oct 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Dang you! Once I read the first 3 pages of Blood Honor, I was totally worthless for the next 2 weeks while I tore through the next 8 books. Now…I’m going to have to wait for the next one…for how long???? Can you help a guy out? When???
    Retirement is just not the same without reading your books. Guess I’ll have to try some of your other series until the next one comes out. Either that, or waste my time fishing.

    Reply
  17. Yoda
    Tue 29th Oct 2019 at 8:15 pm

    I want to first say thank you for your characters. Its not everyday we find those special stories that pull us in like a dream and we become part of those stories. You have a special gift and it shows in the way you write.
    You have lead a lot of people on the trail with these stories. I hope your characters continue to have success as we are right there along side of them.
    The other thing I want to say is….
    Sierra is a total brat and needs a spanking.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Fri 01st Nov 2019 at 6:44 pm

      I deliberately wrote her annoying. Sort of like Jack Bauer’s daughter Kim in 24, where you want to frigging strangle her. From all the comments, I’m presuming it worked.

      Thanks for the warm words.

      Reply

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