Growth Pains by Kristen Heitzmann

Well, friends, I am finally revising my very first historical series that has been out of print for some time. I’ll be bringing them out as e-books, with possibly a print-on-demand option. I’m really excited, but let me tell you, when I say revising I mean seriously revising. I’m hoping in a big way that those who read the original print version will barely recognize this iteration.

I know there are those of you who enjoyed, even loved, that series as it came out. But fifteen novels later, I’m so glad they went out of print and I have a chance at a do-over. I freely admit I’m a perfectionist. It’s possible to be that while recognizing nothing you do will ever be perfect. However that drive toward perfection is what makes me grow as a writer–and what makes it painful to see where I started.

I’m enjoying the process of ripping out the “I wrote THAT?” parts and refilling the scenes with more seasoned, better crafted writing. On the Myers Briggs personality scale, I’m entirely P and void in J, which means I would process and perfect ad infinitum if we didn’t depend on my finished product for food on the table and gas in the car. Because somewhere down the road, I’m going to look at this version and say, “I wrote THAT?”

But there is pleasure in having a better way to word something, in recognizing gaps in the plot and details that add richness. There is satisfaction that at this point of my journey, I’m not groping along (as much). In writing, as in life, I rarely wish I could go back. It’s that thrusting toward perfection that drives and inspires me. The knowing that He who began his work in me is completing it, that God will perfect in me not only my skills and talents, but my faith and my future.

I’m giving the work on this series the attention it deserves, because these tales were a gift to me. I honor that gift, and most of all the Giver, by making them the best they can be now. It seems a good way to approach anything. Learn from the past, find joy in the present, and anticipate what comes. And when a chance comes to polish up the past, grab it with both hands and run.

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