It’s uncomfortable to acknowledge and a little more serious than we tend to get in our videos.
In today’s episode of FraeLea Conversations, we talk about our unscheduled hiatus from writing, and the importance of persistence.
Transcript for FraeLea Conversations #11:
R: Hi, welcome to FraeLea Conversations. I’m RaeLea and this is Frank. It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. At this time, we’re going to offer a little explanation. Frank, our last FraeLea Conversation was three months ago. Can you explain a little bit about where we’ve been in the last few months?
F: Sure. It’s a little bit of a difficult topic, in a way, because I think as a writer, as any creator, any creative, you’re kind of creating in a semi-public atmosphere. And, it’s kind of challenging when you drop the ball because everybody sees you dropping it. So, we’re plugging along, it’s April, we’re writing Ascending Mage 3, Buried Truth, and some of the chapters were flowing really well. And, other ones were a little bit challenging. Our Alpha Team was giving us very positive feedback. So, we were generally on the right course.
R: And, Ember was talking to you.
F: And, Ember was talking to me. Which, that will be in an episode later that we’re going to be showing you. So, a little foreshadowing for you. We’d gotten to Chapter 8 when I knew it wasn’t very good. I had rewritten it and it still wasn’t very good. And, as part of our collaborative process, it kind of gets filtered through you before we pass it onto our Alpha Team. They then give their input.
F: I had passed it on to you and I think your words were something along the extent where you were like, ‘Frank, this is not up to your usual standards.’ And, I knew that, but hearing you articulate it – It was a little bit of a gut punch.
R: Well, it was painful to say, too.
F: It’s true though. That’s the thing, it wasn’t, you weren’t saying it to hurt my feelings. It was true. And, I always tell you too, that I would rather we discover the flaws in the story now versus when it’s out in the wild. Out in the public. Which is why we have this process that we go through, multiple stages of rewrites. That was in April, and this last winter was a particularly long and brutal winter in North Dakota. I think it lasted six months.
R: Yes, it did.
F: And, it wasn’t ending. The winter that never ends. I think there was a little bit of, I don’t know, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or whatever. I’m self-diagnosing myself a little bit there. But, it was a little bit like, alright, we’re sick of this being cooped up in the house because it’s cold outside. So, when it did start getting nice out, and that combined with the fact that I was a little discouraged. It was really easy to latch onto the distraction of the nice weather. To get outside.
F: We did a ton of camping. We were spending a bunch of time outdoors. I think we’re physically healthier for it. And, we’re a little bit tanned, too. Might be hard to tell, but, we’re normally much more pale. It’s hard to believe we’re even more pale than we are now. I think all of those things had an accumulative effect.
F: I hate to use the word ‘depression’ because I’ve experienced depression at least mild depression, years and years ago. A decade ago. And, we know people who have been depressed, or are depressed. So, I don’t like to use that term, depression, very casually, but I’d say it was kind of close to that spectrum where I was so discouraged that…Imposter syndrome, I guess is another way of calling it. Where you feel like you’re just not deserving of it or capable of it. So, that is kind of where I was at. It’s kind of like a multi-month break, which is kind of unfortunate because this is our fourth novel and we’re waiting to release Ascending Mage One and Two and Three. To release them all in quick succession. Rapid release. So, this has been kind of delaying that considerably.
R: I think that one of the best things, though, is that we persist. You need to persist in your passion and you are passionate about writing.
F: Well, definitely, you’re right. The stories are in there. Most of them are pretty good stories, I think.
F: It’s kind of recognizing that it’s okay to stumble and you pick yourself back up and you get back in the fight. It’s like a gladiator, you know everyone’s watching, and there’s a lot of pressure. But, it’s also so damn rewarding. And when you do, and I’m speaking in third person, but really, when I see something that you and I wrote and people actually like it, there’s nothing more satisfying than that.
R: It’s quite a thrill.
F: That’s a big thing. I really want to thank you, the readers, you’ve been encouraging. You’ve been like, kind of cracking the whip, saying when’s the next book coming out? We’ve had a lot of people say that. And, that’s really inspiring to us. It lets us know you actually want to read it so that makes us actually want to write it. And, I really want to thank you in this public setting here for being so supportive. Because, it would be easy to get discouraged and say alright, you don’t want this badly enough. But, I think you live with me. You see what I go through. You realize that the struggle is real, but the desire is real, too. Thank you for that.
R: Thank you. And thank you for watching. You can find us on frhurt.com and you’ll find our updates there.
F: Thanks, again.
R: Thank you.