Taking Myself Seriously

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by Parker J. Cole

Last month, I made mention I was expecting another child. Today, I want to announce my new child is almost ready for his debut.

Before I introduce this new addition to the family, I want to tell you a little bit about his conception. Unlike the other children I have, this one went through several drafts. The idea for my newest book came to me three years ago when I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time back in 2013. I had outlined every single chapter in the months before November and was ready to get started. I thought for sure I could do this.

Well, that didn’t happen. By end of NaNoWriMo, I had only written 9,000 words for this book and then I lost all compunction to write. If you were to ask me why, I couldn’t even tell you.  Thinking that it was the story itself, I started it up again, writing from a different angle. And then another. And another. Finally, when I stopped by sixth draft of this book, I thought, “Maybe this is not the book the Lord wants me to write. Maybe I’m forcing it.”

But one thing I always do to keep me motivated is buy a cover for my books. It may not be the cover I use when I release it but I buy it to motivate me. My logic is this: “I’ve bought this cover. I have to use it.” So I started the book yet again this year.

I was so tired of writing this book. I just wanted it to be over. I’ve never felt that way about any of my children before. It was a strange thing. It’s not that I hated it – could any decent parent hate their offspring? – but why was it taking so much out of me?

My agent eventually cracked the whip and told me to get this book done. Well, you can’t upset the person who spearheaded your career and help create the brand that is you. So, although she stood over me with the whip (I’m joking of course) another thing that happened that helped me completed this book. It was a person’s faith in me.

One of my co-workers, when I was lamenting this project, said to me, “You’re not taking yourself seriously. If you take yourself seriously, you would do better.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You don’t believe in yourself.”

That stopped me. Now I know last month, I wrote how all my children helped me to believe in myself. Yet, I guess some part of me still held onto to the ‘Wounded Author Syndrome’. You know, the illness that affects all authors when they lack belief in themselves. For whatever reason, we think, “I’m not a good writer.” “No one wants to read this garbage.” “Sold one book in two months. That’ll put food on the table.” Those kinds of thoughts wound us.

Did I have still some self-doubt? Was that what she meant? After all, fully-vested authors believe in themselves. When you do, then instead of putting the blame on one’s ability, you turn that around and use it to become more disciplined and write.

For whatever reason, her words stuck with me. When I got frustrated over a plot point. Or when I started to put the pen down, I remembered her words. Each time, it got me through.

Here’s the funny thing: this newest child is one of my shortest works. Go figure.

When I wrote ‘The End’, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I’d finished it. Three years later, in the same month of its birth, my child is just about ready to see the world. Here’s an MRI photo of him for your viewing pleasure. And remember, there are sometimes in life, you have to take yourself seriously.

The Doctor's Cure

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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