How to Fail at Flirting will hit shelves and e-readers in a couple months, and I've turned to working on my second book. More information about it is coming soon, but I just finished a tough round of revisions, a round of editing and breaking apart the book and putting it back together where I wasn't sure it was good anymore. I got in my head, and I questioned if I was good enough to tell the story.
It was fortuitous that as I reached the last few pages, thinking, "yeah, maybe I do have what it takes," that the song that inspired me in the first place started playing. "It's Your Life" by Francesca Battistelli was an unlikely inspiration for me. I don't know anything about the artist and I rarely listen to Christian or country music, but I was driving home night after a long day at work and I heard it. I listened, and I listened again, and I thought about passions and drive, about choices, and sense of self, and this book began to form in my mind.
The line in the song that struck me then and strikes me now is, "Are you who you always said you would be?" When I started writing, I planned to be a writer who penned beautiful words and had great ideas. I hoped to be popular and my books highly praised. I didn't think about *who* I would be as a writer though. I didn't think about how I'd need to be resilient and patient, or how I'd need to hone my skills of quieting that inner critic, even when her voice is the only think I can hear inside my head. So, when I heard the song at the end of my revisions, I had an overwhelming sense of relief. I should have known I could do it and maybe next time, I'll just play this song when I start revisions.
I don't know if this will make sense to anyone else, but I'll be listening to the song a few more times and reminding myself I'm a good writer. What are you reminding yourself?
"It's your life--what you gonna do? // The world is watching you // Every day the choices you make // Say what you are and who your heart beats for."
Denise reads romance novels, writes research papers, can be found humming "Baby Shark" long after her toddler has gone to bed, and loves ruining her character's lives but then giving them happily ever afters. She is a member of Romance Writers of America® and a 2019 Golden Heart® Finalist, and her debut novel HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING will be out fall 2020 from Berkley.