This time last year, I was basically a week out from the launch of my first book, Remember Us. I believe I had even started the outlining and planning for what would eventually become my current work in progress. And at that time, my plan was to be publishing that book within the next year.
I finished the first draft with lots of time to be able to do that, and I had my cover artist booked. But, it didn’t feel right. There was a tug in my gut about the timing, and there was something not quite resonating with me about it. I pushed through, started work on my revisions, made a plan for editing. Shook it off.
But the nagging, as any good intuition, wouldn’t go away. And one of the things I’ve really learned in the last year or so is how important it is to listen to that small voice. Because if I don’t listen, then eventually the voice stops speaking…or I become numb to it, however you want to think of it.
Everything came to a screeching halt. I cancelled my cover artist, just in time, because he was just about to start work. I realized that I wanted to do some BIG work on the novel, to go in-depth on the revisions. I felt like I could make the book better. It was fine, but I was feeling like it could be great, and if that was the case, then I needed to do that.
Oh, the life of a creative.
I am learning that there’s no one way to do this. I’m learning that it’s okay to veer off course, to question, to wonder. I’m learning that just because something worked before doesn’t it mean it will work now. That I can change my mind, change my goals, embrace my own routine and methods. I’m re-learning that I need to listen to my intuition, to slow when it tells me, not to force things.
I don’t when this book’s time will be…I’m still aiming for 2016, but I know enough now that if I publish it before it’s ready, it won’t find the right readers. It won’t be the story it has to be. And that’s more important than when it’s published. Sooner isn’t better. When it’s ready is better.
Remind me of this next summer when I’m trying to launch a book in the fall—summer is just not my creative jam.