Author Update: Book 3 Progress, Struggles and Uncertainty

Hello everyone!

It’s been a strange month in all honesty. There’s been a lot of ups and downs throughout March, far more than I would like. I’m not quite sure what it is but I’ve become easily distracted by the smallest things nowadays. My mind has become a bit more foggy and my energy level each day seems to be waning more and more. It’s started to affect me harder than I thought it would and, reviewing my previous work, I feel like it’s affected the quality of what I’ve produced.

The progress I’ve been making on book 3 is nowhere near as far as I would like. While I am done part 1, I am finding it challenging to be able to sit and focus on writing. It’s strangely become difficult for me to plan out the scenes appropriately based on the character’s decisions. My main focus has always been to make sure I’m not forcing my characters to do out-of-character choices just to simply allow me to progress the story. It seems the quality of my writing has suffered and it’s something I need to correct if I’m to finish this book. I hope I can publish it by the end of the year, but I can’t make any solid promise on that yet.

While not directly connected to my writing, my artistic ability has been in flux as well. Something that has always helped me was being able to draw out my characters to get an idea of their personalities and their overall character. It’s easier to visualize the story and grow from there. Since I do my own cover artworks, I need to make sure I can do quality art pieces and it feels like I’ve been deteriorating as an artist. The latest hard cover I created, while at first I was happy with it, it doesn’t feel right to both the character and the story. It has more of a “magical girl” feeling to it rather than a shadowy ninja which is more appropriate to the character.

I was thinking about it and I think a primary cause in my declining quality is the fact that I’ve been taking poor care of myself both mentally and physically. While I have mentioned and discussed it before, I don’t think I took it as seriously as I should have. I’ve struggled to keep up a proper exercise schedule and I’ve been eating way more fast food than I should be. Surprisingly my sleep has also been pretty terrible as I’ve only managed an average of maybe 6 hours a night. This was fine when I was younger but now I feel it hitting me way harder than before. Something that I see people talk about a lot is how physical health (diet, exercise and sleep) does affect your mental acuity and focus. For a long time I’ve had a great fear and anxiety of developing memory problems and I think it’s starting to happen because of my own lack of self-care.

Moving forward, starting today, I’m aiming to cut out fast food, exercise every day (even if just a light amount) and get at least 7 hours of sleep. I’m hoping the adjustment to my physical health will also lead to improvement in my writing and artistic capability. I hope I can get back on track and be happy with the progress.

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey! I appreciate each and every one of you! 😊

– Raphael

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