Thursday, April 17, 2014

Harmony Evans: Spring Cleaning Writing Expectations

Is it spring in your part of the world? You're lucky! Here in Cleveland, we're still waiting, but ever-hopeful that the weather will turn into something that makes us smile, rather than cringe. In the meantime, I'm starting to get ready for brighter, sunnier and warmer days by giving my home some extra-special attention. I'm washing the baseboards (gasp!), scouring the floor on my hands and knees (ouch!) and actually replacing the filter in my window air conditioning units (finally!).

All this hard work is inspiring me to "spring clean" my expectations around my writing.

YES. I am still committed to writing every day and doing my very best.
YES. I am still committed to my writing career and continuing to move it forward.
YES. I am still committed to my readers and potential readers.

But here's what's expectations around the WHO, WHAT, WHY and WHEN of my writing journey.

WHO: I currently write for Harlequin and I love it, but I am also open to writing for other publishers, and even self-publishing some day. I know that there are many roads to publication, but I didn't really internalize this until recently. The sky is the limit for writers and authors today -- and the opportunities to reach readers are endless -- and that's a good thing! I've "spring cleaned" my tunnel vision and my goals are wider now.

WHAT: I currently write romance, but I'd love to write other genres too. I am just in awe of authors who can do this! I love reading articles about authors who have transitioned into other genres and who still write in their original genre. I've "spring cleaned" my expectation that I always have to write romance.

WHY: When I'm fighting to stay awake at night or I just don't think a scene is working, it's easy to start doubting myself. I've "spring cleaned" my expectation that my writing should always go smoothly, and now I try to consciously write to the joy...and not focus on anything else.

WHEN: I struggle with this one. When will I feel like I'm a success? When will this book ever be finished? Time is something that we never have enough of, and I'm working to "spring clean" my expectation that time is all I need to accomplish my writing goals. Time is important, but I also need strength and stamina and the ability to see past the deadline -- and finish my writing projects.

What about you? Does spring cleaning your home or apartment inspire you to change your thinking about your writing or other career? Comments welcome below!

Until next month -- stay blessed!

Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. She received the 2013 Romance Slam Jam Emma Award for "Debut Author of the Year". In addition, she was a 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards Double-Finalist ("First Series Romance" and "Kimani Romance").  

Her third novel, LOVING LANEY, will be released in June and is the third and final book in the "The Browards of Montana" series.


  1. After reading this, I definitely think some spring cleaning of my writing expectations is in order. Working full-time and having to find the time to write is a hard balance to maintain. I think I've given myself too much leeway to push writing off in favor of the other things in my life. I need to stop thinking of writing as a hobby as much as I have. Another area I need to spring clean is my need for perfection. I sometimes let my desire to write well keep me from writing every day. If I don't feel "inspired," I may not write anything. I was able to overcome this briefly with NaNoWriMo last year, but it's been difficult to recapture that spirit. Thank you for this post, Harmony, and much continued success in your career.

  2. Hi Mz.ZeyZey -- I also struggle with finding balance and being inspired, as well as letting go of being a perfectionist (me being a type-a personality!). Those things don't go away when you are published so it is definitely a process. Very best wishes in your writing journey! Thanks so much for taking time to comment! :)

    -- Harmony