Going with your gut II

I did some writer-ish soul-searching last weekend.

I have a tendency to box myself in. It’s easy to do when you’re trying to be mom, wife, teacher, writer, blogger, etc. on a limited amount of time. I set up schedules for myself to write, to edit, to blog, and I try to stick to them so I don’t go crazy. (My husband and I have differing opinions on how successful this effort is.)

Sometime, like when I’m plotting a book, this kind of organization is great. By the time I start writing something, I know where I want the plot to go, how the characters will grow and change, and what overall themes I want to emphasize.

But sometimes, I have to break down the boxes and do a serious reorganization.

The first original piece of fiction I finished was the short romance novel, Tracing Shadows. Currently, in my writing plan, I’m supposed to be editing that piece, and shelving A Hidden Fire. I’m not supposed to start writing the follow-up to Fire until Shadows is done. (Once again, since I’m publishing independantly—and pretty much budget-less—I’m using a complex network of pre-readers, beta readers, and brutally honest friends who are paid solely in limoncello, apricot jam, and home-made tamales.) I had a schedule!

I had a plan.

Sadly, my brain is not cooperating. My brain is having a hard time concentrating on Shadows because it’s so occupied in the Elemental Mysteries universe. I’ve given it a stern talking-to, but it listens about as well as my eight month old beagle. I’d like to say that I could turn my focus on and off, but that’s just not how things are working. So I have come to the difficult decision (for a number of reasons) to table Tracing Shadows right now and focus on editing and publishing A Hidden Fire and start writing its follow-up.

Please do not misunderstand me. For those of you who are looking forward to Tracing Shadows, it has not been abandoned! In fact, I’m still hoping to finish it this year, but it will not be my first book independently published. That book will be A Hidden Fire, which quite frankly, is a better piece of writing. I think Tracing Shadows will be good, but I also think I need to take the pressure off to finish it, so I can come back with new eyes and make it the best book it can be.

If I’m going to publish out of the box, I guess that means I need to give myself permission to break out of my own personal boxes as well. I hope this isn’t too disappointing for readers. If you want to vent in the comments, I’ll completely understand. And, even if you’re ticked off at me …

Thanks for reading,


Posted in A Hidden Fire, Original Fiction, Writing.


  1. It’s frustrating, isn’t it, how these creative urges won’t be boxed – no matter how much one outlines and plans and schedules them all out! Good for you for listening to your gut, though; I think passion for a project is one of the keys to writing something successfully, and I have no doubt that once you’ve given Tracing Shadows a little space, you’ll be able to return to it with a fresh eye and renewed enthusiasm. Good luck!

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