“BE ALWAYS THE SAME JOHN THORNTON IN WHATEVER CIRCUMSTANCES, ENDEAVOURING TO DO RIGHT, AND MAKING GREAT BLUNDERS; AND TRYING TO BE BRAVE IN SETTING TO AFRESH” ––Mrs. Thornton, North and South
I am preparing to start the editing process for publication of Inspired by Grace, my first original Regency romance that is not based off Pride and Prejudice. I knew the way I originally wrote it, that the ending was abrupt and that there were some areas of the book that did not flow well. So what did I do? I sent it to my editor, Katrina Beckstrand, and asked her to look for holes. I knew it had them, I was just too close to see how to fix it. She sent back several suggestions and I added 3 chapters and about 20,000 words to the document making the ending much more believable. (And hopefully more memorable as well.) I had to add a bit of angst, but my readers have never accused me of torturing them with unnecessary angst.
As I wrap up the rewrite, and realizing that 2014 has come to an end too, it made me ponder how the last year ended. Several things happened in 2014. I published 2 books as well as republished Mr. Darcy’s Promise making a total of 3 books that we went over with a fine tooth comb. I also am still in the interview process for a new job and I keep rehashing my answers to their questions, wondering if there was a better way to have answered them. I am truly driving myself mad because I am thinking of all the things I should have said and didn’t, as well as the things that might have been better if I kept to myself.
I also just finished listening to North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and I was really moved by something that Mrs. Thornton said to her son. He was about to lose everything he had spent his life earning, and his mother gave him this advice: “Be always the same John Thornton in whatever circumstances, endeavouring to do right and making great blunders; and trying to be brave in setting to afresh”. When I first heard this speech, my breath caught in my throat, my reaction was so great. It touched me and I heard it this way: “Be the same Jeanna Ellsworth in whatever circumstance, endeavoring to do what is right, knowing full well that you will make mistakes, but being brave enough to try again even if it means starting over.”
I remembered a saying that I love. “Those who do not try, will most certainly fail, but those who try, run the great risk of success.” Another one I love is, “If you are making mistakes, it means you are out there doing something.”
As Thomas Edison says, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always try one more time”. He also says, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
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