Laura Haley-McNeil

1/29/17, Excuses

Hello, Everyone!

I hope everything is going well for you in this new year of 2017. By the end of January, the new year starts to lose its luster, and we’re firmly entrenched with our lives, our families, our activities, our jobs, etc., our lists are endless. Most of the time, I’m writing 2017 on correspondence and checks so I must be getting used to the idea that we’ve moved into a new year. Actually, I pat myself on the back that I can remember which day of the week it is. How about you?

One thing I’ve always tried to work on is to become braver, stronger, fearless. It doesn’t matter if it’s the beginning of the year or not. Those are continually on my needs improvement list. Of course, to become those things, I have to step out of my comfort zone, find situations that challenge me and face them head on. Easier said than done, I know. Sometimes being fearless comes with age. I’m fast approaching the age when I don’t, or shouldn’t, care what others think of me, but I can’t help it – I care. Who on this earth doesn’t want to be liked? Okay, maybe there are some people, but I’m not one of those.

It isn’t just that I want to be liked as a person. It’s nice when what I’ve created is liked, too. As I’ve written previously, I love to crochet baby afghans. When people look at the afghan and are amazed, it makes me feel good inside. I try to tell them that crocheting is simple, but they don’t believe me. only others who crochet know how simple it is. It just takes a little finesse and viola! a baby afghan appears. It’s a ltitle more complicated than that, plus a time investment, but it’s a very simple craft that I hope brings joy to others.

The other creation that’s important in my life are the books I write. I want people to like my books and when they tell me they do, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world to know that I created something others can enjoy. But getting to that point is a struggle. Not just with the writing but after sending the manuscript to the editors, there are changes to be made and some of those changes are so difficult to make. I slave over writing what I thought was a good book, but now I’m being told it needs to be changed. Sometimes that hurts, and sometimes making those changes is hard because I’m forced to look at the book from a different perspective with which sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t.

Today, I received the manuscript for the 5th book in the Crystal Creek series from the copyeditor. I’ve been waiting for this moment for weeks. My cover designer really outdid herself with the cover, which I can’t wait to share with you. Of course, I want to make sure I’m as excited about the book as I am about the cover, and my editor is just the person who can help me do this. I paid her to look for mistakes, but this is my creation and I hate to think that something I created has flaws. I have to remind myself that these are flaws I can change. The most important thing to me is that what you receive as a reader is a perfect book. At least as close to perfect as I can make it.

So I here I sit with the email from my editor waiting in my inbox for me to open it. Fortunately, I have a day of work to endure so that is my excuse for not opening the email and diving right in. I also wanted to finish the first draft for the 6th book in the Crystal Creek series. I’m very close.

No more excuses. I’m holding my nose and diving in. Once I start typing, I’ll forget the pain. It’s just that first jolt of red marks that I need to get past.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful week filled with happiness and a lot of love and hope that everything you create is perfect and beautiful and makes you feel good inside!