Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here.
I normally post on craft-related topics here at Seekerville, but today I'm focusing on a different aspect of the writing life. I hope you will indulge me as I do a bit of personal introspection.
As many of you know, Love Inspired is closing their historical line effective this June. And while I am sad about this for a number of reasons, I’ve also come to look at it as an opportunity of sorts. By that I mean it has given me a writing time out, a chance to slow down and evaluate where I am in my writing career and try to figure out where I really want to go from here.
I’ve been pondering this for the past six months or so and have reached some rather surprising conclusions. The ideas I have for new stories, the ones that excite me the most, are all contemporaries – a genre I never thought I’d want to dive fully into this way. And I’m not just talking one book, but three separate multi-book series that I just can’t wait to bring to life.
While I’m having my agent shop these to traditional publishers, however, I also realized that I want to test the indie waters as well. So, as a first step to that end, I pulled out one of my earlier releases that I have reacquired the rights to. Something More was my second published book and was released by Dorchester, a secular publisher, in 2001. Dorchester no longer exists and this book was never released digitally so unless you stumble on it in a used book store you can’t find it any longer. And since I really do love this story I thought it deserved a new life.
Before I could put it up, however, I knew it would need some revision. After all, that book was written over 17 years ago and I have hopefully learned a thing or two since then.
But a strange thing happened when I started reading the original manuscript. I began to see something of the writer I was at the beginning of my career. Yes, I am finding minor problem areas in both plot and craft that I need to revise, but I am also finding glimmers of the exuberant joy and freedom I found in the writing of my early work, before I let the deadlines and expectations of my publishing house editors turn writing into a job. Which is not to say I haven’t enjoyed writing my subsequent work. I have truly loved every book I’ve written and there are many, many more I’m itching to write.
But I look back on that joyful, fearless (story-wise at least) writer I was at the beginning and wonder where she went. I’m hopeful that, as I dig deeper into the revisions I’m doing on this book and take the time to develop new stories I don’t yet have contracts for, that I will find her again.
So what about you? Have you ever faced a fork in the road that had you re-evaluating the course you were on? Were you able to reinvent yourself to meet the new challenges?