You just have to accept that it takes a phenomenal amount of perseverance. —J. K. Rowling

draft_2c

*Feel Resistance

Back in 2015, I projected I’d have the second book in my Chronicles of Aden Weaver series, out by Christmas, 2016.

By mid-September of this year, I began to worry. ‘The Sasori Empire’ would not be ready for Christmas. I knew I hadn’t sweated over the story enough, yet. It hadn’t caused me to lose a few pounds in sheer, gruelling, nose-to-the-grindstone, all-hours-of-the-day-and-night hardship, yet.

The story still had a long way to go.

‘The Sasori Empire’ needed to continue to battle through the torture chamber of editing at my kitchen table, and to undergo at least one or two more journeys through “the grinder” of critique.

At first, I felt intense resistance to the thought of admitting defeat, if I delayed publication. Essentially, it meant I’d have to admit I was wrong. The ego resists being diminished like the dickens.

*Step Back, Breathe

Looking back, I realize, my head must have gotten a bit swelled over self-publishing my first book, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta.’ After thirty years of writing fiction and ten years creating this series, it’s not so surprising. In my enthusiasm at becoming a published writer, I imagined my pace of production would somehow magically increase. I’d be pumping out the novels at the rate of one a year, like the greats. But, no.

psa-re-book-two

http://amzn.com/B015K1KF0I

 I had to eat a dose of humble pie and admit that the sequel would not be out in time for Christmas. Using the initial artwork supplied by my nephew, Si, I made up a poster to announce the delayed date for publication, on social media.

*The Theory of Randomness

Recently, a friend drew my attention to quotes from The Drunkard’s Walk, a book by Leonard Mlodinow. The wonderful quotes reminded me to look at the bigger picture.

‘There exists a vast gulf of randomness and uncertainty between the creation of a great novel and the presence of huge stacks of that novel at the front of thousands of retail outlets (paraphrased). A lot of what happens to us – success in our careers, in our investments, and in our life decisions both major and minor – is as much the result of random factors as the result of skill, preparedness, and hard work.’

the_drunkards_walk

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2278900

This theory reminded me that there is no need to rush anywhere with my writing and my stories. Hard work alone, will not influence the outcome. I should savour the scenery along the way. It helped me to take the foot off the accelerator.

*Release

Once I decided to let go of this year’s publication date, I felt better. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I knew that in terms of well-being, it was the best thing I could have done. I was ‘back on track’ with my own timing again. Whew.

I settled back into more reasonable writing hours. I began to sleep better. I was “nice mama” again, and able to be pleasant to other shoppers at the supermarket.

It was as simple as giving myself permission to quit pursuing an unrealistic goal. Despite my initial resistance, I embraced a new goal. I can do the work that needs to be done, on my own terms, in my own timing, while enjoying life along the way. Imagine that!

cover artist, Simon Kingi

(Me, with cover artist, SK)

*The “Mission Statement”

One of my writing mentors, Jill Mitchell, is a big fan of “mission statements” for staying on track with our goals.

This is mine:

I always strive to create story in some form. I flow with life as much as possible – therefore, I can change, my goals can change. However, I’m essentially always moving forward with my evolution, learning my craft, becoming a better writer, delivering a better story experience, and as long as I stay true to the creative muse flowing through my fingertips, I’m on track. I am successful.

*Persist!

My goal of putting out the second book in the series will happen, when the time is right. The goal is still there, it’s just farther in the distance. That’s okay.

Leonard Mlodinow posits that random factors act in our lives. ‘That’s why successful people are almost universally members of a certain set – the set of people who don’t give up.’

This adds weight to the wisdom in the idea of persistence.

I persist. What a great mantra – I’m adding that to the list.

When your goal’s a moving target, the best thing you can do is stay the course! 

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Talk to you later.

Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol

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To write simply is as difficult as to be good. – W. Somerset Maugham

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Subscribe to my Newsletter by emailing me with “Newsletter Subscription” in the subject line to: yvettecarol@hotmail.com

 

 

 

sce

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Comments
  1. davidprosser says:

    You’ll get there, and because you’re worth waiting for, we’ll be there waiting.
    xxx Mammoth Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If your publication dates are too stressful don’t have any. As soon as you announce it’s out people can spread the word anyway 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      You know there’s an idea I hadn’t thought of! 😀

      After the book launch, last year, I was asked, ‘When will number two be out?’ Not knowing what to say, I simply picked a date which seemed a long way off (Xmas ’16 being, at that time, fifteen months in the distance), and that’s what I tried to work to achieve.

      I love the simplicity of what you’ve suggested.

      Next time someone asks, when will the book be ready? I’ll just have to answer, don’t have a clue! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am definitely taking all of the wisdom encapsulated in this post very seriously. I think your 2nd book will be fantastic and if you enjoy the journey, all the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Clare! It’s quite a hard task to give a thing the time it deserves these days, isn’t it, because everywhere the mantra is, ‘hurry, hurry.’ I can’t tell you what a relief it’s been to slow down. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bun Karyudo says:

    I particularly like that second quote about being a member of the set that don’t give up. It gives me hope, somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Funny you should say this. I expected to have a novel published every two years. Which would have had me publishing my 5th novel this year. Ha! But I believe that one must never give up nor should we surrender! Congratulations on keeping the faith, Yvette and never surrendering. Your second book will rock the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Wow, that’s good to know, Joylene….I’m not alone in making this mistake of overestimating my abilities to produce a book. One of my other writer friends just announced on FB today, that she published her first book three years ago, and is now publishing her eighth! Yeah. Needless to say, I felt pretty bad! You’ve been the antidote to that. Whew. Thanks for the encouragement.
      And, in the hope it will give you as much sustenance as it’s give me, I’ll share one of my fave quotes by Chuck Wendig: Give your work the time that it needs. I know the trend is more faster better now, but seriously: your work takes the time that it takes, and the best work is rarely work that floods the market.
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. yvettecarol says:

    Exactamundo.
    Easy to do, too.
    I got so tempted to try and rush this book out by Christmas. Lucky for me, I had some good friends and writing buddies who turned the nose of my boat around before I could race headlong for the finish.
    I reminded myself of Wendig’s wise words.
    I also remembered another quote, except I forget who by, encouraging authors not to rush through the creation of book, but ‘to savour the process.’ 🙂

    Like

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