Thursday, January 12, 2012

Off with Your Hand!

There comes a time in every writer's career where they have to sever the hand to save the arm. For me, that time is now. Sometimes that severing involves you stopping halfway through and beginning again. Sometimes it's a matter of scrapping the entire project even though you had high hopes for it. In my case, it meant tabling it, hoping that one day it might have another opportunity (one way or another) to flourish.

I won't go into great detail with the premise, but I will say the timing of the release was extremely time sensitive. I had a required "due-date" to have the book written, edited, and published. That date was doable, but not without sacrificing tremendous time and effort I don't have to spare at the moment. Some might argue that I shouldn't bite the bullet and give it all I've got for the next few months if I truly believed in the book, but I have to disagree. And here's why...

I have a life outside that one story. Just in writing, I have a sequel to finish and a separate series to begin. There's a stand-alone I'm working on for someone else. My kiddos are in ballet and have school functions, and I have a husband who actually enjoys my company. One of my very best friends is getting married in June, and I have the privilege of being matron of honor. Then there's marketing, planning, writing, and blogging all while not being a complete shut-in.

So, yeah. I could force it to work. I could throw a bunch of crappy words onto paper and call it a book. But what a disservice to myself. How could I be proud of something I put half my heart into? Let's not forget the project itself. If anyone loves their stories at all, they want them to shine. Writers want their writing to be worthy of the story because they feel so strongly about it. Or rather, they should.


So, while it makes me sad to lay this down, maybe to never reemerge, it also encourages me that I've grown enough in my writing to know when to persevere and when not to. It isn't defeat to say not now, because not now doesn't mean not ever. You deserve to put 100% of yourself and your heart into your work. Not only that, I wholeheartedly believe my friend Chi's philosophy. She says, "I believe stories are given to us, and it's up to us to find the words to do them justice."

So be an all or nothing person!


Happy writing :D

3 comments:

Mindy Ruiz said...

Awesome Post!!! "Not now" NEVER means "Not Ever". Hugs and strength flying to you now my brave friend!!! MWAH!!! (needed a few more !!! opportunities, cuz you're that AWESOME!!!) ;)

Wicked Stepmother said...

Good insights as always! I have had a shelved project for going on a year and a half, it just isn't that projects time. And when it is, I will know it and it will have my heart! :)

Hope Collier said...

Thank you, ladies! And here are a few more !!! to emphasize my gratitude ;)

There's a right time to everything. The *hard* part is learning when exactly that is. The *important* part is never giving up just because you're taking a pause. Happy writing, girls!

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