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Yup, it’s that time of year. I’m done as a writer as of a few weeks back when I had a nervous breakdown over the damn Harlequin BLAZE I was 9k from finishing. I became frustrated when I was trying to bang out (literally) every single word for the last 2k. It was NOT fun and I destroyed things in the house, etc. This is NOT a typical tantrum for me. Only the second one I’ve ever had as a writer.

As a male, and a romance writer I rarely am truly allowed to break down over what it perceived as stupid shit. Yet I did. This book was supposed to launch me into a new realm of royalties, elbow rubbing and fame (HA!) as I climbed up the Harlequin ladder. But, as my publicist (whom I apparently yelled at) said, I’m done. Stress has reached an all time high and I blamed and took it out on the book.

Everyone has to give you the “maybe you didn’t want it” line. Bullshit. The reality is that all year long I’ve busted my ass with not a break in sight. I’ve done two cons, looking at doing three next year and those drain me. I have a bad heart and a worse working ethic that deigns I work my ass off and keep working my ass off until I’m dead, rich or famous. Preferably two out of three.

Now I’ve added editing to my repertoire as I mull through submissions for Sizzler Intoxications and the erotic romance anthologies. I’m really excited about all of that actually, bringing work to life by new writers and giving them more confidence to write is an amazing feeling. And I’m glad I can make dreams come true.

But I’m winding down. Hell, today I have a meeting with my publisher and I’m bringing a cigar or my pipe. Can’t decide which yet. But we have much to discuss and it can be done outside away form the laptops and confines of her office.

There are only two more weeks of the year left. I deserve a break 🙂 So do you probably!

10 Responses

  1. Sascha,
    Wow, I get the build up and the need for release – tantrums are tantamount – a good way to get attention, which is probably what you actually need. You do work yourself hard – instructing workshops, posting blogs, writing/authoring, marketing, and the many other writing related things you do, plus this time of year is…the end of the year.
    Sometimes you just need to step back and take the time required to recharge…get that passion back, refuel the fire…unbury the joy. You are a master at romance…don’t forget it.
    Kay Dee

    1. I didn’t find it to be a need for attention so much Kay Dee as more of a need to finish this novel that would hopefully jump my career (and my earnings) up a notch. But yes I do a ton of shit just for my career and for the benefit of others. It’s tough balancing time. I’m supposed to be off this month.

      Fat chance. Knocked out 2500 words today (ten pages) while out and I was “supposed” to be smoking a cigar. That cigar got smoked all right while I wrote…

      Thanks hon.

  2. So did you finish the story, or put it off till next year?

    I like it when other people have nervous breakdowns. It makes me feel more emotionally stable. 🙂

    Being married to a photographer, I’ve witnessed more than my share of breakdowns. My favorite was when we we’d been on location for a week and a half and husband had finally got in a great shoot the night before. He left to shoot at sunrise and I left our 2 yo in the other room for a minute while I threw in some laundry. I came back and 2 yo had pulled the film out of 3 rolls!

    It turned out he’d had a v successful morning, so he didn’t freak out too bad. (And it was his fault for leaving film where a kid could reach!) Still, I’m glad he went digital.

    Anyway- glad you’re taking a break. Sounds like you deserve it!


    1. Daisy,

      That’s the problem.  I haven’t slowed down.  I’m still doing blogs and editing for my line, hence pushing you to give me a story.  And writing…which we won’t talk of.  I actually did not finish the blaze.  Oddly I thought of what to do for one of the sizzler valentines day stories and it involves the end of my blaze…

      Wow with the husband.  I’d have murdered…


  3. I didn’t notice any pushing. But I’m workin on it. Finished 1st act yesterday. It’s nice to feel like I’m writing for fun again. I got a bit bogged down in forcing myself to do stuff in the past few months. Not good!

    Re. husband- yeah, I considered packing up the kid and making a run for it. Unfortunately, husband had the car. 0_o

  4. Dear Sascha:

    I hope your meeting with the publisher went VERY well, and that you annoyed the hell out of her/him with your pipe and cigar.

    Personally, I NEED you sane right now, my hopeful editor , but can I ask, one man to another: what kind of sexist bull-pucky says we men can’t have emotional meltdowns?

    Back in mt deep DEEP closet days, when I was in college, I developed a crush on one of my professors. I wasn’t because he was 6’4″, well-built and very handsome. (He was built so big that rumor had it that he would walk along side the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade wearing an orange tie unmolested.) It wasn’t because of his beautiful British speaking voice, (He hosted a TV show made by the college). It was because this prim and proper gentleman, always immaculately dressed (in the early ’70’s, that was rare even for faculty)threw a massive and MAGNIFICENT temper tantrum in class one afternoon when, for the fifth class in a row, the same three young ladies who came in ten minutes late every class, instead taking the first empty seat near the door, noisily pushed through the room to join friends at the rear of the room.

    He flung a mini-lectern from his desk-top to the corner behind him; books hit the floor; papers flew throw the air, and he knocked over some empty chairs, generally looking like a well dressed Frankenstein in full charge against the angry villagers.

    Then, when the tantrum passed, he calmly said in his deep, well-modulated British university voice: “If you are quite done interrupting our class, ladies, I would appreciate it if you would make an attempt to appear on time, and if you cannot… TAKE THE FIRST DAMNED SEAT!”

    They were always early for class after that, and I was in love with a man for the first time in my life. (I suspect I wasn’t alone in falling in love with him that day.)

    I began to jokingly call him “Wild Bill”, a name which spread through the department, and was still being used four years after I graduated, when I met some current students at a party.

    The point is, dear friend, that a controlled melt-down, carefully staged so as to cause no real damage (I noticed that everything large that was flung was thrown to empty spaces, while loose papers went towards students)can be a useful letting off of steam while achieving a goal.

    The students had treated him disrespectfully because they saw him, big as he was, as too polite to be a danger. After his tantrum, his ass was kissed daily by most of the class. No one was ever late; every assignment was handed in on time, and everyone was always prepared.

    Men in most Western cultures are trained to be stoic about our feelings. As writers, we should know better: emotions are our stock in trade, along with the words which are the fog we use to portray those emotions. But we were males before we became writers, so our earliest indoctrination kicks in first.

    So blow smoke in your publisher’s face and send obscene emails to friends, like me, who understand you are blowing off steam. Write letters to your editor telling him/her off. then rip them up and flush them down the toilet AFTER using the toilet. (An actual therapeutic technique.)

    I grew up blue-collar, so it sure beats the hell out of the way I was taught as a kid that a MAN would melt-down: get stinking drunk and start a bar-brawl.

    And easier on your nose…


    1. haha it might be pucky but it’s not the emotions I have a problem with. IT’s the tantrum and then the fact that I’m more or less a classic writer apparently. Meaning, I DO drink and get drunk when I write. Not horrible sloppy drunk but I have a few scotches…it’s no longer a relaxer because it helps the writing process when I DO drink. But the relaxation I get is through my cigars. No publisher is pushing me, this is self inflicted stress due to the change in markets.

      I bet that professor was an amusement for a LOT of students. And I understand the attraction scenario. Never had that with a teacher but hey 🙂

      I’m too violent for bar brawls. People would die first. Read some of my other work…heh heh heh

      Thanks Ike!

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