Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Step Back and Reflect

March has been a month of change and reflection. Winter moves into spring, the sun comes out, and the buds begin to show on our trees. We might have a light snow, but it goes away as quickly as it came. The birds sing louder, and wildlife emerges from the hollows and burrows. It's a beautiful time of year. I've learned much in my year and a half since publishing my first book, but what I've learned most is that it's okay to live up only to my own expectations.

Problems can arise from this because I expect a great deal of myself. What I haven't allowed enough time for in the past is reflection on my books. I have not set aside a book to let it "breathe" and awaken while I'm busy typing away at other stories. I don't come back to it with new ideas and a new outlook. I became arrogant thinking that if it hadn't happened to me yet, it wasn't going to. I was wrong.

Interestingly enough, I feel free knowing that I've given myself permission to follow this time-honored tradition. Why should I be any different or better than the experienced, best-selling authors out there. I'm still a newbie, so why did I imagine for one moment that I wouldn't someday experience the delays, doubts, and hard word that they have? I was foolish, but no longer (at least I hope no longer).

Time for reflection, whether it be one week, one month, or one year, can often be the difference between a mediocre book and a great book. Sometimes a manuscript can be like fine wine. One must allow it to age and then breathe before it's palatable. A wine that does not age or breathe properly is not giving you the best of what it has to offer. 

Sometimes reflection requires rewriting every page. 

Yes, it is a time for reflection. It is also a time for hard work, and it is hard work calling to me now. These books don't write themselves.

Warmest wishes for a beautiful spring!

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