We are officially in the second month of the year! This will be a short progress update as I’ve been doing more planning than I have been writing.

First off… no. I’m not burnt out. I went back and took a look at some of the things I had planned in volume four and decided to revise some of it so that the events flowed into each other a bit better.

The rest of my time has been spent going through and editing volume three to get it to a place where I’m happy with it. The second draft of the book had some repetitiveness in it and I wanted to reduce that and make the situations feel a little more unique. It was bugging me ever since I revised the volume the first time around so rather than jump into volume four, I decided to put a little more care into volume three. There’s still the final draft to go through so things may change again.

Ah, the life of a writer.

I’ve also been dealing with a lot of frustration as of late. I’m just going to be blunt here for the sake of transparency but I have been heavily considering moving to a more reliable artist for the book series.

I understand artists take commission requests from numerous people and I’m not the only one requesting art but when an artist disappears for weeks on end and causes a piece of art to be cut from a volume because they missed the deadline (which is why Daniel McDevitt wasn’t in Vol. 2), it’s frustrating.

It’s even more frustrating when I pay the artist for a commission and three and a half weeks later, all I still have is the sketch. I wouldn’t mind it if the artist would simply communicate with me and let me know that they’re going to be late or if they ran into an issue. Just say SOMETHING and don’t leave me sitting here in the dark. This is, actually, the third time throughout the course of working on A.R. Dragonfly that this has happened and you can imagine that I’m just frustrated with it.

Communication is THE key to a working relationship and if someone cannot communicate, it makes things EXTREMELY difficult to deal with. Especially since I have set deadlines and I fear those deadlines will be missed unless I take action now.

At first, I felt that writing books would be for fun but I’m trying to turn this into a business. The first step of making it a business is to treat your books as a business and a product. Sure, I haven’t had excellence in the realm of sales but my books have sold. I can’t exactly call my boss and tell him ‘I Quit” because my books will support me but everyone starts somewhere.

I’m trying to take this seriously and if I look at it from a business perspective, this is a case where a business decision needs to be made and as the ‘owner’ of this business, I am the one who has to make it.

I really hate having to make that decision. My artist has done exceptional work and it would also mean the style of art may change for the series as well. My OCD loves consistency and, honestly, that consistency is what is bothering me the most about this decision. Weird, huh?

So the hunt for a new anime-style artist has begun. If someone is reading this and is someone or knows someone who would like to lend their talents, feel free to contact me.

While I do not like announcing release dates, I have settled on releasing books in both June and December… two books per year, 6 months apart. I’ve already lost 1 month on Vol. 3 due to the art.

But this is a blog that is clearly titled “Progress Update” so I wanted to vent and be transparent in this update because, after all, whether I look at this as a business or as a hobby, the underlying motive and goal remains the same: to create something that people enjoy reading. To what little fans I do have, I want to be open and honest with them because I feel trust is something huge and ever as important as being entertained by a story.

Hopefully, I’ll have some better news come March but just know that when the next update rolls around, volume four’s writing will be well underway!

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