Mary Keliikoa

Mystery & Suspense Author

Signs at a Crossroad and Whispers of the Heart

The last couple of months have been interesting for me. I’ve been standing at some crossroads in my life. Right after I came back from Italy in May, I hit a writing wall. I’d been getting a few rejections (okay, more than a few), and I was plotting and writing Book 2 of my Kelly Pruett series. But I suddenly didn’t know where to go. I was waking up every day and wondering if I should just give up on Book 1, and do something else. I was doubting myself, and uncertain of whether I had what it takes to succeed. It challenged me every day. I was in a dark place.

In early June, I woke up wanting to attend a writer’s conference, in L.A. no less. People who truly know me, know this is not something I would normally do. My husband couldn’t go, and I would be flying off on my own, taking a taxi to my destination, and rooming with an acquaintance who I’d only met once. When I inquired about attending, the conference was completely booked. But suddenly there was one cancelation. I took that as an affirmative sign I was supposed to be in L.A., and I went for it.

It was a great weekend full of learning and networking. I ran into an agent that had reviewed my novel earlier in the year. When I told her I was editing the book based on some other agent feedback, she said she’d be happy to look at it again. It was the spark I needed to push on.

And pushing on I have been. Like a mad woman. I’ve doubled down on writing, and have been reworking Book 1 night and day. I’ve restructured, tightened, worked on cause and effect, trying to get the mystery just right, the clues in the correct spots, keeping the pace moving, and the action going. That’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while. It’s taken all I have emotionally to rip into this book. Every day I have faced my lack of self-confidence that I can pull it off. Every day I have stared down the imposter syndrome that I know what I’m doing. But I show up anyway. Despite the doubt, the thoughts that it’s hopeless, or that I won’t ever get it done. Because I am a writer. And when I stood at the crossroad in late May, I decided not to make any decisions. I decided to wait for the whisper of what to do next. And it did. In the form of that conference.

We all stand at crossroads in our lives. Each day, we must all decide to show up, or not. Show up in our lives, in our relationships, in our dreams. Wondering which direction to go. Sometimes just being willing to go with the inspirational thought or see the one sign makes us move and start progressing down the direction we are to proceed. I’m not sure there is a right or wrong way to move. It’s just a matter of what your heart whispers. And being willing to listen.

So, I’m writing every day and am happy to report that after taking that sign, I have just finished that major overhaul of my novel. And I did it, one step at a time.

In the end, the characters I write about in my books get up each day, solve the crimes, and face their fears. They don’t have any other choice. And neither do I.

What are the crossroads you face?

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1 Comment

  1. A courageous and inspiring post, Mary. Thank you. You also showed up to help other writers, including me, as a mentee helping mentees. Your advice on my query and first pages was appreciated and on target. I am looking forward to celebrating and reading your published novel.

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