Where Is Exit Strategy? – #31WriteNow

Book Cover onlyAs I’m sure you are all aware by now Exit Strategy, the follow-up to Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever is several months late. I have decided to address this issue head on with a blog post because I really don’t want my readers who have stuck with me through all my issues to give up on Exit Strategy.

Before I explain what’s going on with me, I just want to say first and foremost, I write because I love it. Before Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever I wrote other things under other names, but never a novel. Unfortunately, fiction writing is not my career. I have a demanding full-time job, a full-time family life, a weekly young women’s mentorship program I co-manage with another woman, and my writing.

I list writing last, not because it is the least important of all these other things I do, but because in my world, it is extremely important (it’s most likely a close second to my family). It’s so important, I have sacrificed things I once loved to do it, such as watching television, sewing, crocheting, singing in a choir, going to movies, etc. The only other thing I haven’t given up is reading, because it’s important to being a good writer. And thank God for my Tivo, otherwise, I wouldn’t get to see any shows I like.

There has been a series of unfortunate events that have occurred since my foolhardy first anticipated release date for Exit Strategy. I won’t go into them again here because they’re documented all over my blog, Facebook, and other social media. Suffice to say, as a newbie novel writer, I flubbed the release date big time. I take full ownership of that. Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever was written during my downtime at work in 2012. When I set the release date for Exit Strategy, I failed to take into consideration that from January to June of 2013, I would be inundated with work. Even so, I managed to write sixteen chapters of what I planned to be twenty plus chapters. Then I had an accident, and it has gone downhill from there. I’m won’t recount all the other things that have happened because I know it’ll only sound like an excuse.

My Plan: In mid–July (when I knew I could get back to finishing Exit Strategy) sit down at my computer each and every day and pound out the last third of this novel. I anticipate writing non-stop for several weeks and getting it done. End of story.

What Really Happened: Most days I sat there, staring at a blank screen with only the words Chapter 17 glaring back at me.

Yes, I have a grand case of writer’s block. I alluded to this several times, the last of which was my blog post on “Ruminations about Book Promotion.” However, I’ve decided now is the time to call a spade a spade. Like any writer worth their salt, I am trying the various remedies writers way more prolific than me have used to overcome writer’s block and recorded in the annals of writerdom. I am writing every day (maybe not Exit Strategy, but writing nonetheless), and varying my projects to see if I’m just blocked on that one story or if all creative writing is affected. While I can write a bit on other stuff, my anxiety won’t allow me to do so for long.

So, it is time to come out and let my readers know, because I don’t want you all to hate me. Every once in a while, I get an email, a post, or something from a reader that makes me feel bad, because believe it or not, I’m not withholding Exit Strategy on purpose. I would benefit more than anyone if I could get it out tomorrow. However, I’ve chosen to wait to provide you the quality you deserve, not a quick fix.

I'm SorryIn the past few months, I’ve sometimes felt like a shady politician trying to figure out various ways to spin things so I wouldn’t have to come out and just say, “I’ve got nothing.” (Where is Olivia Pope when a sister needs her?) I’ve let my readers down, and it hurts—in the words of Keisha Beale—“like a mofo.” Please know that this was never my intention. I want to go on record and apologize and to let you know that as soon as my creative juices are flowing again and my muse isn’t punishing me for some unknown offense, I will finish Exit Strategy. Then I will notify you of a solid release date, and all will be right in the world again.


Author of Intelligent, Mainstream, Multi-cultural, Hot Romance!

37 thoughts on “Where Is Exit Strategy? – #31WriteNow

  1. Aww, poor LV! This sucks and I know you’re doing your best. When the block comes there is NOTHING you can do about it. And yes, hindsight makes everything clearer (like why I never give firm dates on any releases because I know myself tooooo well), you’ll get through this. Don’t be too hard on yourself. That book will be awesome when it gets here. No need to rush it. Good luck!

  2. As an avid reader and a big fan I totally understand!!! I think most authors go through some type of writer’s block and it will come. I know it will be another great read!! 🙂 Tiffany

  3. You have a LIFE, LV, and it comes with all the bells and whistles…and balls and chains. Personally, I would rather get book 2 “sometime in the future”, and know you’re enjoying life, than get it tomorrow knowing stress and self-sacrifice were your cheerleaders. Take a deep breath – WOO-SAH – and go bake something…or get a mani-pedi…or read a book. Stop making deals with yourself to write “X” number of words during a certain time period. When it’s time, the words will come. Until then, enjoy life.

  4. Thank you for your honesty. I would rather have an ebook that holds quality than one that is a patch job. Relax and enjoy your summer. When you are ready to continue you will know, and not a moment sooner. God Bless!!!!!

  5. I’m so sorry, babe, that sounds SO stressful…and I wouldn’t wish writer’s block on ANYONE. Life always has to come first. I wish I had a magic wand and could make it all go away from you. Anything I can do to help out, you let me know, ‘kay? Don’t beat yourself up; you’re fab, and we all know it.

  6. Girl, you need to take care of yourself. Book two will come when it is time. Everyone has a life that includes the demanding in’s and out’s of trying to juggle the everday stuff. Just tune in to the Proberty Brothers to take your mind off things. May God bless you. Your true readers will understand. 😉

  7. I`m like a junkie waiting on my next fix…..but I do understand you have a life and and me (we)all of your fans want you to enjoy it. I would rather wait for a good book instead of a Jacked up one that was rushed.
    Thanks for letting your readers know what’s going on with you and don’t feel bad because Sh..happens to us all.

    Please take care, your muse will return!

  8. I know writer’s block and I am suffering from it right now so I get where you are coming from. And like I’ve always told you, take your time, your audience, your fans, YOUR readers will be there for you. A writer’s soul is a complex thing and the more you try to push it into something it doesn’t want to do, the more you suffer for it. It’s painful, it’s soul scorching, it turns your life upside down. I read something today on a facebook group ( Promotional Support Group)that I have chosen to take with me on my own journey to finding my muse again- it had everything to do with self encouragement ( something I lack). What stood out to me was to celebrate the small achievements. So you’re not writing Exit Strategy right now, but you are writing. Celebrate that!

    Long story short, we love you, L.V. and we’ll wait until Exit Strategy is ready- no matter how long that takes 😉

  9. First, let me say, “Chill.” You are putting undue stress on yourself and that’s probably contributing to the block.

    Second, I want a dynamite story, so take your time. And, I think that’s exactly what I’m going to get based on what you’ve released so far.

    Finally, I’ll give you a pass because you deserve it. You have constantly been in contact, through some form or another, with your readers. There are other authors who seem to have turned up their noses after missing their release date.

    As someone who has built a career in the marketing world, I know the easiest way to lose a customer/fan is to treat them like you don’t care. YOU CARE! So, give yourself a break, do something relaxing to clear your mind, and then…flow.

  10. Boy do I ever understand, LV. When this happened to me, I just redirected my energy at writing short pieces to keep the writing muscle limber. And other days, I just cried. But in the end it passed. As I know this will for you also. Hang in there.

    1. Oh Nia, I know you understand where I’m coming from as do most people who do anything creative. Inspiration is not always nigh, but I know my muse will eventually come back. I hope sooner rather than later 😉

  11. Thank you for the update. I know how difficult it is to juggle many different hats, as a hat juggler myself. It is no easy feat to tackle life when it happens but this too shall pass. I know you are giving it your best effort and I will still anxiously await the arrival of the next books whenever they come out. I am a true fan. You had me at “Damn my weave –it’s jacked.” LOL!

  12. Well sorry life has jacked your mojo, now I feel a little bad about all my side eye-ing lol. All that dayum teasing you was doing to us (me), but I will be good and wait nicely. Now I can’t say I won’t send you a side eye every now and then, but it’s out of love lol. Life is just that, real life and don’t always go as planned. Please don’t become shady on us, and shot us a quick fix. Take your time so you can give us something you will be proud of.
    P.S. Side eyes on the way too, dayum teaser 🙂

  13. Oh LV, we understand its Okay, write the story when it comes to you. I’m not a writer but I have read books and noticed when the author was forcing the story instead of letting the story come to them. We are your fans we understand and will be here to read Exit Strategy when you finish in your own time. Thanks for telling us what’s going on.

  14. Take your time and don’t be pressured into a finished date. We want good hot and heavy book like FSOJF!!! If it means we gotta wait then we gotta wait! Hell I could read FSOJF over and over. I love that story.

  15. Hey hon, don’t stress it. It’ll come when it’s supposed to. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Work on something else in the meantime. Also, make sure you haven’t written yourself into a corner. That happens sometimes. Don’t be afraid to cut/delete/kill your darlings. It might be what you need to get started again. Another idea: Listen to music that you think fits the story.

    Best wishes!

    1. Delaney:

      Sage advice from you and others allowed me to actually write a couple of scenes tonight. Some things will need to be cut and rewritten.

      Thanks so much for the encouragement.~ LV

  16. I’m gonna read this book regardless of the release date! So take your time. No pressure because we all wan great books 🙂

  17. Each and everytime you post something to US your FANS makes me realize that it is still “real” people in the world. I’m a die heart fan and I will wait for however long I need to wait and still be that same die heart fan. Your a woman of many different hats and I have mad respect for that and for you. On the strength that you keep US your FANS posted means a lot to me. Thank you for being YOU

  18. LV, while I would love Exit Strategy now, our health, family and general lives must come first and foremost. You are no good to your readers nor yourself unless you are in the right frame of mind and healthy! We support you!

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