Today, I’m going to talk about something difficult. Giving up. Not giving up on writing all together mind you. But giving up on a story, or a character.

Last year, I started seven projects. Three of those, I competed. Those three completed projects, I outlined, researched, interviewed experts, wrote, edited. And they’re going on the shelf — the shelf of projects that will likely never see the light of day.

That’s right. I wrote over 150,000 words for those projects, and I’m putting them on the shelf.

Why? Because I don’t love them. I don’t even like them.

Are the stories okay? Probably.

Are the characters fine? Yeah.

So why am I giving up on them? Because I don’t feel connected to them. I don’t feel like they’re stories that currently need to be told. They’re fodder, filler. They helped me grow in some areas that I need to, namely romance. But would I want to stamp my name on these and put them out in the world for all to see? Nope.

There might be a time I’ll change my mind, in six months, a year, five years. But for now, I’m giving up. And that’s okay.

I’ve realized that I’m happier, and better off writing fantasy and horror. The other projects don’t have a single speculative word in them. And that’s just not me, not right now anyway.

If you ever feel like you’re being dragged down by your story, if you feel like you aren’t doing it justice — put it away. Write something else. Read something else. When you’re ready, that story will still be there. And maybe that will be the right time to make it perfect. But if today isn’t that day, there are many other stories you can write.