A Lesson Learned

I thought I was going to finish this book.

Ever since I published Lydia Green there’s been a new sort of pressure on me. The month of its publication my book sales quadrupled. I was, of course, over the moon about this. I must have done something right.

But then I had to write again. I HAD to, I felt. My readership was only growing, I HAD to write another book, it HAD to be as good as Lydia Green! What had I done right in Lydia Green? I HAD to do it again.

Do you see my mistake dear Reader?

No self-respecting story wants to be forced out or compared to another book, even if it is by the same author.

Nevertheless, I pushed through. The words came very slowly. Slower than I had ever written them before. I crossed the 50,000-word mark before Christmas. I took a break. I tried to start writing again. I thought I was nearing the end of the first draft and that I would soon be celebrating it. But I realized my mistake.

I was trying to make it too much like Lydia Green, but I couldn’t reclaim the past. The story had never stirred me to any emotion other than frustration. I had no true passion for the vision of what it was to be. I was writing for the sake of publishing, not for writing.

I don’t know why this didn’t happen when I was writing Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen, after all that was right after I had published my first book, Honey Butter, and you would think that would be a similar shock. But I think Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen was just so DIFFERENT from Honey Butter that I couldn’t compare it in even the smallest way. It was twice as long and it was essentially the opposite genre.

So I’m going to learn from my mistakes.  I’m going to start over. I’m going to write a completely different story in a different genre. I’m going to try hard not to put pressure on myself. Not to force it.

I don’t know what it’s going to be about, I don’t know what it’s going to look like or when I’m going to start it.

But I do know that it’s going to be better. It’s going to be real. And I am going to write it because I have something beautiful to say.

And those 50,000 words now cast away? I don’t believe they are wasted. I’ve learned an important lesson from them, and therefore they have moved me forward in my life and my career more than anything else could have done. After all, isn’t that the point of a story? To impact people? To teach them a Truth? This story has certainly done that for me, and I am stronger and better because of it.

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

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