An Update About Ashes

You might remember that I told you I was trying to get Ashes (the sequel to Weakness) ready to be published Christmas Day. Well…you’ve probably figured out by now that it’s not ready, even though today is Christmas. Sorry about that!

This is the busiest time of year for me at my day job, so I was up to my ears in non-writing-related stress, but even so, I think it might still have been possible for me to hunker down and make my self-imposed Christmas deadline if I’d really wanted to.

But, I realized, I didn’t really want to, and here’s why:

I noticed that I was starting to focus more on getting the work done rather than doing the work well.

This meant that I found myself saying, “Eh, it’s okay,” to problems in my manuscript that, if I were honest with myself, needed more attention. I found myself thinking, “This could benefit from a nice rewrite or an overhaul, and I could make it even better, but…that will take a lot of time.” I found myself thinking, “I just want to get this done, and then I can relax,” instead of thinking, “I want to do this right, and I am willing to take breaks to make sure that I do.”

So I made the choice to stop working on it for a while so I could rest, because I wanted to come back and do it right.

Last year I read a trilogy and really, really liked it. The author’s writing was superb and every sentence was exquisite. The story was epic and the characters addictive. While reading those books I threw away everything else in my schedule because the plot was so compelling and I cared so much about the characters. They were great writing and great books…until the end.

The whole third book was building to a breathtakingly epic climax – and I expected nothing less after the masterful endings of the first two books and the great crescendo of the third – but when I reached the end it just felt sloppy, like it was thrown together half-heartedly. The difference between a hearty sit-down breakfast and a granola bar shoved in your mouth on your way out the door.

After I read the book all I could think about was how it just didn’t make sense for an author this good to end such perfect books so poorly. And I don’t know the real reason. But I speculated that perhaps the author had a deadline for a publisher, and as that deadline approached, the author felt the need to scramble and throw things together in ways they didn’t quite belong just because it had to be done, and done terribly was better than not done at all.

I told myself, “I’m so glad I’m an indie author. I will never have to publish something I’m not proud of just for the sake of an arbitrary deadline.”

So, while I was hoping to release Ashes today, and while I probably could have done it, I decided not to, because I want to take my time and make sure that it’s ready before I let you read it.

I don’t regret this choice at all – I just regret not telling you about it sooner. I’m sorry about that. I’ve had a lot going on at my day job and in my life in general and I just haven’t been able to sit down and tell you my decision until now.

I hope that you’re not disappointed. I’ll be sure to let you know when Ashes is ready to be published – for real, this time!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas! I hope your holidays are filled with hope and joy and the rest that comes from knowing God works all things out in love.

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