Harness the Elephant

Being a writer is like riding an elephant. On the one hand, it’s a lot of fun. Our perspective from up there is wonderful. We harness this big animal and it’s incredible to know we could bust through just about any boundary with the beast’s strength.

But then there is this sense of responsibility and guilt that shoulders its way to the front of our conscience. At least it does in my conscience. I’ll call her Prudence.

Prudence says, “Hey. Who do you think you are, riding this elephant?”

“Shut up,” I tell her. “Get to the back of the brain and don’t harsh my vibe.” Apparently, I’m cool and I talk like a Hippy.

But Prudence is a pushy gal. Harder to get rid of than one would think. She exists just to spoil my fun, deflate my ego, knock me down a peg. I hate that… that… (insert a variety of nasty names.)

Writing a scene is fun. But taking the scenes and turning them into full-length books is quite another thing. Sometimes a story flows out from our fingers like magic, but then someone else reads it and we see through their eyes it doesn’t have that certain something. Maybe there is no story arc. Maybe it lacks a solid plotline. Maybe there is no depth to a certain character or no consistent voice to another character. You steered your elephant through the wrong walls and plodded down the wrong road.

Now… how do you harness that beast back up again?

Well, that’s where I am with the next story in the Rosewood Series. I bulldozed my elephant and wrote that book. Then I looked it over. I had other people read it. And I realized I was way, way off the right road. So, I called a do-over. I’ve turned the elephant around and I’m riding it back to the beginning and starting down a new path.

For the reader, this means Flames of Rosewood won’t come out when I thought it would. I thought I’d have it on the shelves by now, but, no. It will probably be May before it lands on pages and eBook formats. I’d apologize, but in the end, I’ll have a better story for my readers to enjoy. Prudence was right… this time. There is no easy way out when it comes to writing a good book. I have to take the path less traveled. Especially as an Indie author. I mustn’t be reckless in what I publish. If I expect people to pay money for my books, I have to give them a book I’m proud of, and a book they’ll be glad they read.

So, yes, I can ride the elephant, but I have to take it down the right path. Be patient, gentle readers. We’ll arrive eventually, and then, off again we’ll go in another direction, imagining scenes and making up characters, high in the saddle with Prudence safely at the back of our conscience… for the time being.

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