Sunday, August 11, 2013


I have to admit, I much prefer things to be easy. I am never going to challenge myself to run a marathon, climb a mountain, or do a triathlon. I find it very hard to push myself out of a rut. I like comfort, it's so. . .comforting.

Except with my writing. With each book I write, I want to become a better author. I want to push myself to create new stories that aren't repeats of the same old book. (This is harder than it sounds, honest.) I hope that each book I write is an improvement. (If the feeling of embarrassment I get when someone tells me they've read some of my first books is any indication, I think I have improved at my craft.)

But sometimes, pushing myself is just really hard. (See above where I do like things to be easy.) This summer I pushed myself to finish writing a shape shifter novel for the Sweet Spot Series, and I'm almost done. It has been a challenge, especially when my characters aren't doing what I want them to do. (Honestly, how long does it take two healthy adults to get into bed? Seriously!) I also started a new book with a character who is way outside of anything I've ever written before.

The hero in my newest work in progress is a former Navy SEAL who lost part of his left leg in Afghanistan and is returning home to help his family. I have spent hours researching SEALs, prosthetic legs, IEDs, medical treatment facilities for wounded soldiers, training for SEALs, physical therapy, and the emotional damage done by losing a limb. (Oh, as part of this research, I've spent a ton of time on the Wounded Warriors Project website, check it out if you have time This hero is perhaps the most challenging character I've ever tried writing. I have no frame of reference for him and I'm struggling to do justice to something I care deeply about, supporting our troops. I'm having to push myself, and myself is not happy about it.

This past Friday, I had a few hours where I could have been writing, working on either book, but I came up with excuse after excuse as to why I couldn't sit my lazy butt down and do it. I cleaned the house, made dinner, answered email, and basically avoided working on my book. (Bad Ari!) That is going to change. I need to put in the time and effort and face this challenge.

With that in mind, this week I am on vacation, but I'm going to find at least an hour a day to work on my book. I may write an hour's worth of crapola, but I'm going to keep plugging away at it, even if it kills me. I probably won't write the next New York Times Bestseller, but if I do justice to our wounded soldiers, I'll consider the challenge met.

So if you email/tweet/facebook me and I don't get back to you, it's because I'm writing. . .no matter how hard it is.  

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