I used to game, a lot. So much, that I would even give up sleep to do it for days at a time. I played an online MMORPG and I was good at it. The social aspect was awesome and the achievements, though hard to reach, really gave me an ego boost from Hades.
A lot like writing.
Actually, really dang similar to writing.
When working on Sail My Oceans I lost a lot of sleep, often spending midnight hours pounding away at the keyboard. It was a long hard road, but once I achieved my goal of getting it published, it gave me an ego boost from Hades. Like in a game, when you've reached the level cap (aka in writer speak you've become published), you find yourself creating a new character or, in the spirit of writing, a new novel.
Except, sometimes starting new is hard. Let me use gaming as an example. I've been playing a free online game called Wrath of the Fallen. I love the graphics, people are friendly, and I love my abilities as a healer. My in-game name is Farah.
Writing is similar in many respects, I think. When we start a new novel, we know the path we have to tread, but we also know how different it is from when you have the finished fancy product. We yearn to reach it, but to get to it, we have to overcome many obstacles...No matter how many times we've done this before. Each novel, like a new character in a game, has to be treated like an individual being. We play with it to see how we can improve upon what we'd once developed. A few stat points adjusted here (fleshing out our characters), a difference in the spells/talents taken (plot points). Maybe we'll skip the quests and power level (skip crit groups and work with another author we've developed a friendship with) or maybe we don't want the help and just want to solo (SOLO SUCKS! Just sayin').
I took a break from the internet for about six months. Back then, I had Uber Farah. She was level 54 (no small feat to achieve considering most people stop at 40), she was well-known, and she was one of the best healers you could find.
When I came back, everyone I knew was gone or had switched to a private server. I decided to take a break from writing and join them. Let me tell you, it's been hard. As a level 17 healer now, I'm struggling to get through. I remember what it was like to be level 54 and it makes life a little more difficult. Look how forlorn and alone I am on this rock!
But you know what makes it all worth it, and easier to bear? The friends you make along your journey. Each new character (novel) you're going to acquire new people, new perspectives, and new memories. If you are a gamer, I urge you to come join us on Wrath of the Fallen. It really is fun and you can't beat free. If you aren't a gamer, but you are a reader, I encourage you to pick up a new novel, share a journey with a new writer, and make a new friend. ~ D. F. Krieger