As a thirty-one-year-old, it feels good to look back over my life and say that I don't have a lot of regrets. I've made numerous mistakes, but I've learned from (most of) them. I've come to accept the fact that falling is quite ok when you can avoid the thing that tripped you up in the future. Unfortunately, I'm not completely devoid of regrets. There are things I wish I would've done, things I should've said to certain people over the years that still stick out in my mind to this day. Things I shouldn't have said. You live and learn.
I finished the first version of Legacy: G.L.O.W. as a twenty-year-old in an old, dusty dorm room on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Ehringhaus, represent! I was so proud to have finally finished a novel-length work. Leading up to that point, I had started numerous projects and tossed them for different reasons. In fact, a bad breakup almost made me quit the Legacy project. Thank you, Rachel Searles, for talking me off that ledge...
Finishing such a large project takes a lot out of you. You're proud...but extremely tired. I decided after all the editing had been done and I had sent my baby out into the world to be rejected, I would take a little break from writing. Not long, just a couple of months. Probably one of the biggest mistakes I could have made in my writing career. A cute little procrastination baby was born and started to rear its ugly head, not just in my writing, but in every other aspect of my life. I was the kid staying up until the sun came up to start AND finish a twenty-page paper. Pretty insane thinking back on it now. Since then, the breaks between novels have become longer and longer. Problem is, I'm not getting any younger. I'm on the same age train as everyone else and the clock is ticking.
If I could go back in time, there's a few things I might tell my younger, dumber self, but number one would undoubtedly be: "Oh, you finished your first novel? That's great...now what? What's your next move? Are you published? Does the world know who you are? Then you have absolutely no reason to take a break. There's no time for it. Stop stopping!"
Writing, for lack of a better word, is an asshole. You can spend years on something for it to never see the light of day. Writing, however, like any other craft is improved from consistency. When you perform a task day in day out, naturally you're going to get a little better each day. If you're anything like me, a little improvement never hurts. Stop stopping. Keep writing until the world knows your name. And, once they know your name, write until the universe knows who you are.