Nothing But Love

lotbookcover-1So, I spent a bit of time yesterday re-reading my very first project, Love & Other Things, in advance of the release of the follow-up, Nothing But Love, within the next month or so.

This project was thirty-eight thousand hard fought words. The beginning of it all, that started without a name. Originally, this story was quite different, but I think that in the end, I pegged down what was right for these characters, and those other stories, other scenes, belong to other characters, who will eventually make themselves known.

Anyway, as I read, I found it hard to not pick my own work apart, based on the things I’ve learned, and the way my voice has developed in the six projects I’ve done since this one. I wanted to obsess over under-developed plots, bad phrasing, unnecessary inner-dialogue, etc. I wanted to re-write the book.

Because I’m crazy.

It kind of felt like going off to bougie-college, then coming back home, and suddenly nothing at home is good enough anymore. Because you’re a terrible, snooty person.

I was doing that to my own book! And… for what? Why?! I don’t have a perfect project out there, period. I don’t know that I’ll ever have a perfect project, so why was I being so hyper-critical of this one? My first one? I don’t have an answer for that, not really. So… I stopped. I didn’t stop reading it, I stopped being a bitch to myself about it, and just enjoyed the story as written, because (If I do say so myself) there’s plenty there to enjoy.

NBLcoverInstead of dwelling on the mistakes I made there, I can focus on correcting those mistakes and presenting a conclusion worthy of my characters with Nothing But Love.

I’ve only been writing for public consumption for a year, (Less, actually) but I’ve already learned so much.  Not just about writing, but about publishing and the politics of that, making genuine connections with other writers, editing and working with editors, and really, I’ve learned a lot about myself. So, every “mistake” I made with Love & Other Things had a lesson behind it, that I’m grateful to have learned. I know that I still have a long way to go.  A year from now, I’m sure that I’ll probably look at my current work and feel the urge to pick it apart based on the things that I’ll know by then.  And just like now, I’ll tamp that back down, and focus instead on how if I hadn’t gone for it, hadn’t taken the risk, I wouldn’t be anywhere.

In any case, Love & Other Things went through another round of editing, and is on sale now for $0.99 in preparation for the followup (and conclusion) of Tara, Kristin, and Val’s story.

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Carolyn Jackson
Carolyn Jackson
7 years ago

I just might do the same thing. Read the original in preparation for the conclusion. Yes Mrs.Jones, your work has progressed nicely and I can’t wait for your next story. Just keeping it real.
An avid reader and fan.

7 years ago

I enjoyed that book. It is good that you can see where your weaknesses were at that time. It means you’ve improved on your craft.

It’s good to know when to let go. I edited my first book for 5 years before I eventually sent it out on submission and then edited it again once I got the rights back because my voice had changed. Have I let go of being a perfectionist? Not quite, but I’ve learned to stop editing past the point of diminishing returns.

Good luck with the next book!

7 years ago

I loved this book. Pat yourself on the back. You did an awesome job!

K. Elizabeth (YUMMommy)

We are our own worst critics. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It shows that we’ve grown and growth is very important, especially in the writing field. I’m looking forward to NBL.

Constance Burris
7 years ago

I loved “Love and Other Things” flaws and all. I can just imagine how great Nothing but Love will be.

Project Paula
7 years ago

I write boring, technical projects as part of my profession and philanthropic endeavors, so I admire (nicer than the word I really want to use; “envy,” lol) the heck out of you and others who live in the realm of bridging creativity and story-telling through fiction! But, even as a boring, part-time, tech. writer – I remember my mentor advising me, that if I didn’t “cringe” at my earlier work, it would be because I haven’t grown. So, don’t beat yourself up! It’s a testament to your progress, and growth (in such little time)!

Despite the imperfections you identified, I enjoyed the story ‘Love & Other Things’ ultimately conveyed! ;o) So, keep up the good work! I am looking forward to what’s next!

7 years ago

I absolutely can not wait for this sequel to come out! I have read everyone of your books and I have to say that u are my favorite author! Keep up the amazing work that u do. May god continue to bless u!

7 years ago

This is the book that moved you to my list of favorite authors. You learn, you grow and you challenge yourself. Do not worry…the blessings flow from your brain to your hands, that is evident. I can’t wait.

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