Doubt, Envy, and Indecision: A trifecta for failure

When doubt weighs heavy on your shoulders, remember that God is always there to lend a helping hand. We don't have to carry the burden alone..png

I was asked to write an inspirational post. When I started writing, something different from my original plan came out. Don’t let the title fool you. This is an inspirational post meant to encourage and uplift all the authors whether they’re already a national bestseller or still hiding behind the curtain uncertain if they’ll ever have the courage to publish the words that just won’t stop pouring themselves out from their souls. (I like long sentences. Makes it murder when editing, but it’s part of who I am. I refuse to apologize.)

So, let’s dive right in…shall we?

Doubt. Something we all feel but rarely express because we’re afraid we’re the only one. Spoiler alert: YOU’RE NOT ALONE! I have read about and spoke to authors from every level of the writing industry. The one thing we all have in common: we doubt. We doubt ourselves and whether our work is good enough to even be called a book. Doubt is the devil’s tool to keep you from doing God’s work. As Christian authors, we have a duty to God. Because of that, the devil is going to fight you every step of the way. In case no one has told you before, the harder the devil fights you, the more you know you are doing what God has asked of you. He wouldn’t fight you so hard if your work wasn’t going to make a difference in someone’s life. It’s okay to doubt…just don’t let it own you…don’t let it keep you from writing.

Envy. I don’t know about everyone else, but so many times I crack open a book and I’m flooded with envy. I think, “Man, I wish I could write like that. I wish I was that good.” Here’s the thing, we don’t need to be just like someone else. Being an author means finding your own voice. It took me a while to realize this, and I’m still learning that it’s okay to just be me. You should always continue to improve your writing. I’m not saying every word you write will be pure gold. I’m saying you have a unique voice. Your experiences and the battles you’ve faced in life have given you a perspective that no one else has…use it.

Indecision. This one goes hand-in-hand with doubt. Here’s where the ‘I don’t know what to do’ comes into play. There are times when indecision is okay, and there are times when it’s put there just to hinder you. I pulled an ‘I don’t know what to do’ for nearly a year before I kicked it into gear because I finally realized that doing nothing is exactly what the devil wanted from me. Make a plan…make a list of what you want and how you plan to get there. God is there to help, but you have to do your part too. There are times when I feel like Gideon times a hundred because I ask so many times, “Are you sure this is what God wants you to do? Are you making the right choice? Is this God’s plan or my plan?” See how doubt and indecision go together.

The goal of this post…don’t quit…don’t give up…don’t stop writing. I feel as though I’ve put this on repeat for myself. Remember this: you can’t please everyone. It’s impossible. I’m certain you never started writing because you wanted to make everyone happy. If you can, find a small group of author friends that you can lean on when things get tough. That’s something I still need to do.

God will not call you to do His work and then leave you..png

 

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Mindful Musings: Author Choices

It’s rather fun to think about the choices we face as authors…it’s also rather intimidating. Unless I’m the only one who stares at the list of manuscripts in my ‘to be finished’ folder, scratching my head and wondering, “What do I publish next?” If I’m the only one who does that, please don’t tell me. It comforts me to think that I’m not the only one. I’m rather odd in most other ways anyway. (Yes, I know this. No, I’m not ashamed of it. I prefer it that way, actually.)

Inner workings of my mind aside, I have several manuscripts in the ‘finished’ file. They still need to be edited, and covers made, and yada-yada-yada…all that other stuff we do as authors. But, the story itself is done. Now begins the process of choosing what to publish. I’m halfway through the process of publishing The Trials series. Book 2 released this week. Book 3 will release later in the year.

Here’s the dilemma…

Do I publish Book 3 and Book 4 before I begin releasing another series? Or do I alternate between series because the next series I had planned to release….HOLD UP! SPOILER ALERT! Not really, no juicy details…just this. The final two books in both series bring the characters of both series together. You get me, or did I lose you? Option 3: release something totally new that has nothing to do with anything that I’ve written before.

I can't decide which book to release next!.png

There are so many choices I’m tripping myself up. But I have to decide soon if I want to keep the schedule I made for myself.

So, what was the point of this post? Curiosity…and seeing the choices laid out in words helps me to make a decision. I’ve already been praying over the choices. So far, the answer is……a buzzing sound every time I try to make a choice. I love all the books. Some manuscripts are off the table entirely because I’m writing them with the intention of pitching to agents. I love self-publishing, don’t get me wrong, and I have no fear of self-publishing every book I ever write. But there’s no reason I can’t attempt traditional publishing.

trials set

Here’s a look at books 1 and 2 in The Trials series. Book 3 is done and ready to go. Book 4…*insert whisper here* I’ve only written chapter 1.

Other important information: Both series consist of 4 books, but each book stands alone. No cliffhangers. They are only noted as a series because they follow the same family through the set of books.

Now that I’ve made you scratch your head and wonder about any number of things…probably including my sanity…I want to hear from all of you – authors and readers alike. What do you like to see from a series?

1: Do you prefer every book in the series be released before another book – especially if it is another series – gets released?

2: Do you mind alternating releases if you know the final two books are going to bring everyone together for one final showdown?

3: Or do you say…JUST PUBLISH A BOOK ALREADY! SHEESH!!!

Welcome to 2019! The place where choices are plentiful and my author brain is in overdrive!