When to call it quits.

Hello!  I know it’s been a while, but I thought I’d drop  a few lines to say “hi!”  I wish I had exciting news to share  … something about a new release, but alas, the title of this post is When to call it quits.  To squelch any confusion, no, I’m not giving up writing.  That will never happen.  It’s a permanent part of who I am. I write daily and will continue to do so even if I never publish anything else.  But, a person has to know when to call it quits and by quits, I mean know when a project isn’t working out.  I have been working on something for a year and a half now.  Yes, you read that correctly, a year and a half.  Maybe that’s not all that long to some.  I worked on my first book for almost ten years.  It still sits on my computer. Occasionally, I revisit it, but I think of it as more of a learning tool than something I’ll ever do anything with.  But, it has been a long and struggling year and a half.  No aspect of the book I’ve been writing has come easy and for the most part, I feel I was forcing out words that I would only go back and change later.  It was finished and then it wasn’t.  I changed a huge part of the plot and then decided it would be a series.  Characters changed, their ideas, values,  personalities.  It came to a point that I wanted to do anything else but sit down and write.  That should have been a red flag, but I’m not the kind that gives up easily.  I like to think I’m the type that finishes what I start.  I rarely and I mean rarely abandon a book I’m reading.  No matter how awful it is or how long it takes me, I try to finish it.  If I have a list to complete, I don’t stop until it’s done.  If I start a project, I’m all in until it’s finished.   It’s just the way I am.  Yeah, I know that’s a good quality to have, but I tend to go overboard at times because even small and inconsequential things must get done when really they have no bearing on the enjoyment of my life.  However, a time comes when you realize it’s time to stop.  I’ve decided that time is now.  This was not an easy decision to make, especially since I’ve spent a year and a half and have nothing to show for it, but to continue struggling and stressing isn’t going to turn out a book that I’m happy with.  So, I have saved and backed up everything to do with “When Love Goes South.”  It’s there, ready for me when the story wants to be told.  Unfortunately I just don’t feel that time is now.

When I came to this decision a few weeks ago, my husband said, maybe a change of scenery will be good.  I think he was right.  I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders the moment I started putting everything away.  Funny how that works.  And as for a change of scenery, I decided to literally take him up on that, too.  Last week I visited North Carolina with two friends.  One of them being a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, our initial plans were to tour the places mentioned in his books (you can get an itinerary from his website).  We hit the hot spots of the tour that we wanted to see and then did our own thing, but I must say, I can certainly see why Nicholas Sparks loves the area he lives in and writes about.  The towns are quaint, the people are friendly and there seems to be inspiration lurking around every corner.  Again, it was just what I needed.  I came back fully refreshed and ready to write.

Below you’ll find a some pictures from our trip.  I took so many, it was hard to choose which one’s to share.  There were countless spots in New Bern that had mentions in his books, but unless you’ve read them or seen the movies, it’s hard to really appreciate what we saw.  So, I’ve chosen a few that I thought some might know or just ones I liked or found funny.  Enjoy!

new bern

New Bern, North Carolina. Home of Nicholas Sparks and setting for many of his books. We did the Walk to Remember walk through town that took us to places mentioned in The Notebook, A Bend in the Road, and The Wedding.

 

pepsi

Inside the pharmacy where Caleb Bradham first marketed his Brad’s Drink which later became known as Pepsi-Cola. It’s mentioned in the books The Wedding and A Bend in the Road. Bob, the owner was a super cool guy. He even offered us part time jobs if we moved down there.

sign

Signs outside a restaurant in New Bern. I’m not sure who comes up with the sayings, but I found them hilarious!

sign2

capefear

Causeway mentioned in The Notebook

books booze

You can’t go wrong with Books and Booze 🙂

ferry

Ferry in the closing scene of the movie Safe Haven. This travels between Southport (where Safe Haven was filmed) and Carolina Beach.

matlock

Showing my age here … The fountain and courthouse steps seen in the TV show Matlock.  Wilmington, NC

wilmington

Wilmington’s River Walk as seen from The Cape Fear River

fishy fishy

Fishy Fishy was the general store in Safe Haven. The restaurant where the character, Katie, worked at in the movie sat right next door. Unfortunately my picture of it didn’t come out that well.

rocks

Rocks along Kure Beach

blackmountain

Entrance to Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, NC) as mentioned in The Longest Ride.

 

 

Comments ( 11 )

  1. ReplyHelen Pollard

    That's a courageous decision to make, Dena. I'm so sorry that project didn't work out for you but it sounds like it was time for it to be put aside for now. Hopefully you will now feel refreshed and ready to start on something new. Wishing you every joy and success in whatever you pick next! And it looks like a great trip!

    • Replydenarogers

      Thank you, Helen. It was a very difficult decision, but I feel I made the right one for now. I did have a great time and good bonding experience with friends. We hope to make it a yearly tradition.

  2. Replyaetherhouse

    It sucks to put away a project, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. On the other hand, I hope you had fun in NC! I grew up in Wilmington, so it's like my second home! The river walk is one of the best places to visit. Next time you'll have to do an SC tour and visit me in Charleston :) I'm pretty sure Nick Sparks has set at least one novel here. They've filmed plenty of his movies here!

    • Replydenarogers

      I was not happy about having to put it aside. I kept hoping the struggles I was enduring would be what set it apart or made it special, but in the end I decided it wasn't worth it ... at least not at this time. Someday I will get back to it.

  3. Replyaetherhouse

    Also, that bridge in your fourth pic? That looks like the Cape Fear bridge, and if so, I had to walk across that thing when I was 8 years old. My dad ran out of gas at the top. Adventures! Heh.

    • Replydenarogers

      It's actually the Trent River in New Bern, but interesting story about walking across it. The things we remember :)

      • Replyaetherhouse

        North Carolina must have invested in the same civil engineer for all their towns, haha.

        • Replydenarogers

          I agree, they all like similar and yet unique. We don't have bridges like that in Kentucky ... then again, we don't have the ocean or large bodies of water either :( Weirdly, I like bridges or at least like to take pictures of them, apparently.

  4. Replywccunningham

    That which doesn't kill us... I hope you are feeling rejuvenated. I understand some of the feeling but Im on more of a detour. :)

    • Replydenarogers

      I am rejuvenated. It was a nice relaxing trip. I hadn't read some of the books that were mentioned in our tours, so I started one when I got back and being ale to see the places in person brings a whole new outlook. Not sure how that will ever work out in fictional towns, but I'm enjoying being able to have an exact visual in my head as I'm reading.

  5. Replywriting4mylife2014

    I'm glad you are revitalized. I cannot wait to read more from you. I finally got my 2nd book finished and sent to editing. The pictures are perfect and gives me a reason to go out in the country area of where I live and start thinking about the rest of book 3! Call me sometimes if you still have my number. Of course I have a new phone and I don't have any numbers!! Good luck on whatever you work on... I know it will be good!!

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