Friday, March 23, 2012

On Write Support: In like a Lion

Ah, March. In like a lion, and hopefully out like a lamb. This month columnist Donna Alward keeps us up to date on a month in the life of an author...

March came in like a lion all right - crazy weather, finishing up projects, and sitting myself down and facing what amounts to both my biggest hope and conversely my biggest fear.

With all my Harlequin and Samhain projects put to bed I had no more excuses. It was time to sit down and tackle that BIG project I've been dying to write. In order to keep myself accountable, this project was discussed both with my agent and editor, and delivery dates of future books were built around it, so there were no more excuses. I took a look at what I already had and knuckled down, because I have a limited time to get this done.

Not that life has stopped in the meantime, mind you. We had March Break here, spent the week dogsitting (which was fine but I'm sorry, the Caribbean would have been nicer). We had several dentist and doctor appointments while we had a flexible schedule. We had 2 birthdays this month too, and extra curricular activities.

And as I was struggling through the new story, I found out that I'm a double finalist in the Colorado Award of Excellence. Stuff like that is a major boost when the writing is hard.

I treated myself to a few books once my RITA reads were done - namely finishing up the Hunger Games trilogy which was excellent. And lately, the weather has been unbelievable. Summer weather in March - my kids wore shorts to school yesterday! It's been incredibly energizing, and the last few weeks have meant double the daily walks. I also finally seemed to get my crap together and shed a few bad habits that were stalling further weight loss (in fact a few pounds had sneaked back on, but they are on their way out!). 

All good things.

But still, the writing was dragging. And finally I admitted that I was having a serious attack of The Crows. Thoughts of "I suck" and "I was crazy to try this" were becoming a huge part of my mental dialogue.

Luckily I saw a few blog posts that really spoke to me - I blogged about it yesterday on my personal blog . And I realized that I need to embrace failure . If not failure, at least the possibility of failure. I need to accept that it's okay. And that is not to say that I'm not going to try to make this the best book I possibly can. But putting so much pressure on myself to understand it all right now is crippling. I need to just let it go and write the book. Look at it as a whole and then refine it, and then let it go. And accept that if this isn't THE ONE that it's okay. I will get better.

As my pal Barb Wallace said in her Moody Muses post, I can't compare my journey to anyone else's. It is mine and mine alone.  And once I reminded myself of that, the words started flowing again.

So this month the doc's advice is simple and something we all know deep down - I have to be kind to myself. I have to take risks. And in the end it'll all work out exactly the way it's supposed to.

Have a good month, everyone. See you in April.

Donna's latest release is a reprint of MARRIAGE AT CIRCLE M in THERE AND NOW, a 2-in-1 with Linda Lael Miller. It goes on sale March 27. You can find out about what's next for her at

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on finaling, Donna! And good luck with the "big" project!