Discover more from Misfits & Daydreamers
It’s Been a While
Adjusting to my new normal (again)
It’s been a while, friends. Sorry about that. As you know, Cricket was in the hospital, and then it took us a solid two weeks to get our footing afterwards—what with all the new procedures and medical equipment that now are part of our daily routine. Then, as those of you who follow me on IG already also know, I got antibiotic resistant pink eye, which caused my vision to change seemingly permanently. Because of course! That is just the way 2023 has been going.
As you might imagine, it has been slow going adding things back to my previously full plate. One to-do at a time, one day at a time. During survival mode, my only priorities were “keep Cricket alive, keep self alive, keep pets alive.” Once I have had time again, as well as environmental stability…
It’s been a while, but I do still love you. Please don’t forget that!
Well, I’ve been surprised at the order in which I’ve re-added tasks to my plate. Initially, there were the obvious requirements, such as:
Learn how to manage Cricket’s new normal.
We have a host of medications and treatments to do when she is showing signs of respiratory difficulty.
Pollen and air quality are also big considerations, so I have to keep her home from daycare on days when her lungs might suffer. Let me tell you, these wildfires ain’t been good! We were in the worst of it both times the smoke spread into the US.
Heal my own body.
My adrenal gland was toast after the hospital. Once Cricket was safe and solid, it took me a full seven days to stop feeling like I would collapse into sleep at any moment.
Since the pink eye resolved, I’ve also been adjusting to the new vision in my eyes. (Please, no more daycare-delivered illnesses, okay?)
Because this is the job that pays me and because I am contractually obligated to deliver two more books to Tor Teen, I added writing back to my plate as soon as I was physically able.
I had intended to turn in a large chunk of the last Witchlands book before the UK tour, so I needed to return to that—and I did! It was all I worked on for a week, and I got it turned in.
After that, I turned my attention to Luminaries 3. Which has gone shockingly well, and I’m enjoying it immensely.
Catch up on publisher emails and administrative things owed to them.
This sort of stuff piles up and has to be done. Sigh.
Now here’s where I’ve been surprised at the order of how I’ve re-added tasks to my plate. I thought this newsletter would show up right away…but as you’ll see, that’s a big fat nope.
Resume reader outreach.
I was actually eager to do this soon after I resumed writing. Which surprised me! I thought this would be a late add…
But nope. I sent out some fan emails for my Worlds of Susan Dennard list with sneak peeks and news and I resumed chatting on the DenNerds Discord server. I have found it so creatively energizing!
I can only assume this is because I write for other people. I have no interest in writing a book if others won’t read it, so feeling the excitement of my readers for future works…Well, I’m sure you can see why that motivates me in my writing! And then, when I’m excited about the writing, I want to share it. So it’s a beautiful feedback loop!
Resume my social media posting.
I am not too active on social media, and I do pay an extremely awesome reader to make IG reels for me (with my guidance and input, of course!). He is fantastic at what he does, and so all I have to do is install IG onto my phone once a week, post what he makes, and then delete the app again after.
While I am energized by readers…I’m drained by social media. So this has been a great setup for me. But only so long as I post for readers, then bail before the algorithm can start manipulating my brain chemistry.
Avoid the feeds! Do not scroll!
After social media, I eased back into my running. Which has felt amazing.
Running makes my mental health better, and it forces me to take at least 30 minutes during which I have nothing to do but let my mind wander.
I see a direct correlation between my running and my writing happiness + drafting success.
Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!
But now…do you see what’s not on this list? Do you see what I haven’t yet added back?
Obviously you know the answer is maintaining this newsletter. I am, of course, dipping my toe in right now. But it has been a real surprise to me that this was such a late re-addition to my plate.
And I’ve been thinking a lot about that. What does it mean? Why have I dragged my feet for so long when I love discussing industry and craft?
I suspect there are multiple answers. One answer is undoubtedly that I hate the Substack algorithm. It requires me to post at least three times a week to see any growth. Which worked for me for a while…
But then life hits, and it’s not sustainable. So I’m done with it. If growth and subscriber conversion suffer, then so be it. I want to write this newsletter because I love it…but more importantly, when I love it. Which means, sometimes I’ll have a lot of time and write tons of content. Or other times, life will implode and I won't update for a while.
I know all of you will support me in that because most of you have supported me for many years now. Plus, nothing will change overall. Just the timing might expand and condense according to life, instead of according to an algorithm.
So, in the spirit of that, I’ll be back when I have more to share! I’m actually really excited about the next post! It’s all about “modeling” your life like an ecosystem so you can see what impacts your creativity.
💚 - Sooz
No, I won’t post as often, but I do hope you’ll still consider being a subscriber or upgrading to paid. 💚
P.S. Did you see that I shared the pre-order campaign for The Hunting Moon? You can get an enamel pin to match the pin that came with book one!
This offer is, as per usual, open to residents of the US and Canada only (excluding Quebec). HOWEVER, like before, all of you international readers can order the book from Schuler Books & Media and the pin will come automatically with your item!
Now hurry up and preorder—then submit our receipt here before supplies run out!
Pre-order from Schuler Books & Media (request a signed, personalized copy at checkout!)
Thanks for supporting me and my books, friends! 😘
Misfits & Daydreamers is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.