Getting out of the rut

Another week has passed in self-isolation here in Devon.

Things are carrying on much the same. My children are still working in hospitals, and we are still worrying about them. This week, instead of filling the post with details of what I’ve not been doing, or about all the food we’ve been eating, I’m talking about writing. After all, the lockdown hasn’t really changed that.

I’ve been in a bit of a writing rut since the beginning of the year.

I had a mysterious illness in January and February. I know what I think it was, based on the symptoms, the temperature, the cough, the fact that I couldn’t breathe and that my asthma inhaler was useless. It took me nearly all of those two months to get over it.

Of course, there’s no way to be sure. And before you ask, I had the Flu Jab last October.

Anyhow, because I felt so rough I kind of stopped writing novels. I was still cranking out blog posts but on a reduced level. I was reposting old recipes. I had the Indie Showcase (which all I had to do was format) and a little new content ready from before Christmas. Apart from the Monday BlogHop, which was always on a subject not of my choosing, everything else was cut right back.

Then, in April, things kind of changed. I had posted on a Facebook group, asking for advice with marketing. One of the results of that was a revamp of my entire operation, covers, formatting, descriptions, keywords. I received a lot of help from other people, for which I’m very grateful. During this process, I re-read a lot of my novels to check that they were all updated to include the latest bio and information on my work. I made a few changes, removed some typo’s and corrected some minor things that I had spotted and never got around to fixing.

To my surprise (or should that be dismay), I discovered a lot of places where I could write sequels and prequels, as well as a selection of comments and situations that almost demanded them. For the first time in ages, I actually started to feel like I should get on with it. There were half-finished stories that needed completing. To celebrate, I spent a day tidying my study. It’s a job I hate doing, but it always seems to unstick any creative blockages.

As it stands, I have enough to keep me going for a year or so, just to clear up the works in progress. Naturally, given the way my creative mind works, the first thing I felt the urge to write was something completely different, a new story altogether.

In my Dave Travise series, for example, there are fifteen years between books one and two. This wasn’t deliberate. In fact, book two was written first, with book one added later as a prequel. Book three follows book one if you see what I mean. Anyhow, when I was proofreading book three, I saw that the gap between books one and two (are you keeping up?) could be filled with some more adventures for Dave. I even had a few ideas, based on things that Dave said in book three. The result will be a collection of Short Stories, provisionally called In the Wilderness, probably coming in at Novella length, with three or four tales. I’ve just about finished the first one (Bounty Hunter) and have a pretty good idea what the second (The Oblaya) will be about. We will just have to wait and see what else springs to mind.

Then, I might be able to get on with finishing the others, unless something else new comes up. There’s no way to tell. It all depends on the voices in my head, whichever set of characters want to tell me their tale.

I’ve set myself the task

of completing all my outstanding work by the end of April next year. If I can manage 2000 words a day (and the voices in my head behave), I should be able to manage it. That’s over 700,000 words. I managed to write 520,000 in 2017 so it’s not much of an increase.

I’ll still have to write all the blog posts as well, but with that much output, there should be plenty to talk about.

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how I’m getting on.

You might be interested to know that Andorra Pett is involved in a Bookfunnel promotion, along with some other great novels, follow this link to see what’s on offer.

And there is also a promotion running for The Lost Princess, my prequel to the Balcom series. This is now a FREE download. Check it out and all the other books on offer at the following link.

Promise Me, the third part of the Dave Travise series will be released on May 31st. You can pre-order at

All my publications can be found on my Amazon page, at

I hope everyone who reads this is coping and that your families are OK, please stay inside and stay safe.

I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free novella and more news by clicking this link.


2 Responses

  1. Gill

    It all sounds so exciting. Having set goals helps enormously at times like this to keep focused on the positives. Well done it’s obviously paying off.

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you, it’s all going well so far, lots to do but breaking it down into little pieces that can be done easily helps.

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