Writing is rewriting. I don’t know who said it first but it is a much touted phrase by writers of all walks of life.
To be honest, I don’t do a lot of it. I write and read and edit and read again and edit again, but I don’t rewrite very much.
I published my first book “Walk of Shame” on Mother’s Day in 2015. It was the first book I’d written to completion. I had started a lot of books but I never finished them. The events surrounding me at the time were tough. My daughter-in-law was terminally ill, I had just been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and our business wasn’t doing to well. All in all, it was a really crappy time.
But writing kept me sane.
I owe a lot to that first book. I knew it wasn’t perfect. I knew that I wouldn’t win any literary awards with it and I knew I’d probably get slammed in the reviews.
But I published it anyway.
It’s not that I didn’t care. I did. I suffer from severe anxiety, so putting myself out there and publishing a book was a huge step for me.
But I published it anyway.
I have always wanted to be a writer but never believed that I could ever do it. I’ve now written and published 27 books. Am I a New York Times bestseller? No, but I am a writer and I get paid for the art that I produce. This is something that I had never dreamed could ever happen to me in a million years.
So what made me take the first step? My daughter-in-law.
My daughter-in-law had cystic fibrosis. In 2013 she married my son. In 2014 she had a double lung transplant which went unbelievably well and we had hope that she would get at least ten years out of her new lungs. Four months later she died.
The thing about my daughter-in-law was that she knew she had a shortened life expectancy and because of that she made sure to pack her life full of experiences. She had visited over forty countries by the time she died. She was a beautiful woman with a zest for life and an unquenchable enthusiasm and optimism.
She put me to shame.
So, I took a leaf out of her book. I finished my first novel and I published it. I took the step and I have never looked back.
Now, 27 books later, I look back on that first series and I am so thankful for them, but I’m also sad for them. I am not ashamed of them by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know they could be better. I was still learning my craft and I made mistakes with them. It’s like looking back on your high school photographs. You thought you were all that back then but now when you see them, you cringe.
That’s a little how I feel.
I want to honour my journey as a writer and I want to honour those first books and what they taught me. In order to do that, I decided to pull them from sale so I could do a rewrite. The stories will be the same, but they are going to get a facelift. I want to correct the mistakes and make them better. These books deserve my best and now that I have learned some valuable lessons, I want to go back and revise them. Don’t we all wish we could go back and maybe rethink some of those fashion choices we made?
So this is me hopping into my time machine and going back in time to fix those books and then bring them back with me to the future all shiny and new (I don’t think that analogy even works, but what the hey).
Lots of Love,