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Hello! I’m not usually one to write out personal update posts like this, but seeing that it’s now May (?!) and there’s not been a new chapter of String of Stardust in all of 2022…well, I think it’s fair to give some kind of in-depth update.
Firstly, and most importantly: Beloved is not canceled, or anything of the sort; it’s not even technically on hiatus, although perhaps that’s a ridiculous thing to say at this point. In spite of updates to the website as a whole becoming ever sparser, I’ve still been slowly plowing away at new chapters, and have made a decent amount of art. (On that note: if you’d like to keep up with my activities elsewhere, I’m [@shoujorose] on Twitter, and [@shoujorose/@hkrsztt] on Tumblr [the former blog being for reblogs, the latter for rambling and such]). I also have a small personal website where you can see my non-Beloved art among some other things, at [shoujorose.com] (that also coincidentally needs an update, whoops…).
Keeping a consistent schedule is something I’ve always struggled with—I also had a hiatus of similar length about this time last year, although then I had the excuse of wrapping up volume 1 of String of Stardust, which isn’t the case now. This year has admittedly had its fair share of nonsense, though…at the end of February I got a concussion, and my progress with life in general was kind of derailed as a consequence. Luckily the physical symptoms have subsided, but my emotional state still fluctuates a bit more wildly than it did just beforehand, and recently I’ve returned to work, which has been…rather physically demanding for me, to say the least. In other words: working on anything writing related has been a struggle, and updating this website in particular has seemed a needlessly daunting task. Thus, the uncomfortably long (for me, at least) gaps between updates.
The good news: my progress on String of Stardust has been rather pitiful, but progress has been made nonetheless. Chapters 42 and 43 largely just need to be made website ready, and chapters 44 and 45 need some minimal editing; I’m currently working on chapter 46. I’ve been rather conflicted on how I should release them, though…on one hand, I know a consistent schedule makes readers the most happy, and helps in building a readerbase. On the other: see the beginning of the last paragraph. When I did have a schedule, I released once or twice a month—which simultaneously feels too slow (12 or 13 chapters a year [I like going by the moon phases…]), or too fast (I can’t always complete a chapter in a month). Logically, I know I should probably just get my ass in gear and have a more consistent writing schedule. Realistically, however, Executive Dysfunction is a beast who I rarely fell in battle. I don’t like the idea of quite possibly setting myself up for failure.
I’ve also, lastly, considered extending this hiatus throughout most of 2022, so I can continue to build up a healthy backlog for String of Stardust, and then release it on a consistent schedule. The issue with that is, I admittedly feel extremely behind as it is—in the time I’ve written not even ten chapters, almost every writer I know who released books within months of the physical release of String of Stardust (or even much later!) have already released their sequels, or have otherwise released at least one other book. It’s exceedingly foolish to let my anxiety about my speed slow myself down further, I know; although unfortunately, that’s exactly what's happened. At this rate, Beloved as a whole will take at least 15 years or more to complete. If I finish before I’m 40, that’ll be lucky. This isn’t even a joke. On one hand, I don’t mind the commitment—Beloved is over a decade old as it is, what’s another one or two?—but it does feel like I’m being rapidly left behind. While I think building a large backlog and hopefully cultivating a more consistent writing schedule may be most beneficial in the long run, this thought that I need to figure out how on Earth I can catch up with my peers is only derailing my progress further.
So, on these notes: if anyone has any thoughts on what you would prefer in regards to Beloved’s release schedule (no schedule, a schedule that’ll [likely] be semi-inconsistent, or a consistent schedule starting up some time many months from now), please feel free to let me know either through [the guestbook], or at my email [email@example.com]. I’d love to hear more thoughts on this, to make a more informed decision.
And with that, we get to why I’ve felt the need to write this post at all: from the bottom of my heart, I want to give a sincere thank you to everyone kind enough to follow me, to read my work, and the wonderfully kind comments you have left me. Admittedly, I don’t really know how one is meant to respond to guestbook messages (do most people respond at all?), so I don’t—but that's why I want to clarify that I do indeed read each and every one, and I appreciate it so much. As mentioned, my mental state has been a bit of a wild ping-pong ball, whacked this way and that—but the kind comments help me retain some sense of groundedness, especially as of late. I've no idea how on Earth I got 3 comments in the span of a week, but…it’s kind of marvelous. It's why I feel compelled to write such a detailed update; perhaps this will be of use and interest to some people after all. I always just assume no one reads my work, nobody cares; and the crueler part of my brain tells me that people merely leave a comment, then forget all—but I’m trying not to believe it. I want to have faith in the kindness shown my way.
Sorry this is awfully long, but that’s all for now. In the near future, I plan to update all my recent art here; beyond that…I’m not sure. I’m hesitant to work too much on Beloved until my real life is a bit more in order (although currently, it’s just resulted in both being neglected…). I will likely wait at least a week or two, and see if I get any feedback in regards to my scheduling woes; then hopefully, I can either return with new content, or a more definitive answer for when String of Stardust will return.
Once more, I want to sincerely thank everyone who’s supported Beloved thus far, and I hope to continue making it even better in the future. And with that, I hope you have a lovely day, or night—whatever time this letter happens to find you.