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  • Writer's pictureJamie Sims Coakley

Enough Is Enough! Or Is It?

As many of you know I have been plugging away on my debut historical fiction/time travel novel Freehand 2173 for the last three years. The idea came to me during a surreal twenty-four hours I spent at the Freehand Hotel in DTLA in May of 2019 and I have been diligently learning about everything from the rich scientific history of Los Angeles, to the Underground City in Beijing, to quantum physics, not to mention, how to write and sell a novel!

From the beginning, I knew the idea for the story was great, the question has always been, would I be able to rise to the challenge of telling the story in a way that did it justice? Would I be able to overcome my fears, make time for the work, and grow as a writer enough to actually write a great novel? That was/is my goal.

I have been telling stories my whole adult life. First with poetry, then with music, then as a documentary film maker. I have published one non fiction article and I won a little poetry contest when I was in my early twenties, but I didn’t go to college to be a writer. I have never published a fiction piece anywhere and I have no other “credentials” that a capitalist market is interested in. I only have my determination and passion for creation. But is that enough?

Last Friday I finished the fourth draft of my novel and really wanted to tick the “done” box and move on to getting an agent and selling the work. But you know what, I had this nagging feeling, an intuition that the work wasn’t done, that I wasn't finished. You see, every pass I do, I grow as a writer…I get better, I see my weaknesses and I think, “If I take all I have learned on this draft and go through the novel again, it will be so much better!”

If you are an artist of any kind, you know this loop and I am sure I am not the only one who struggles with the question of when is something really done? How do you know? Do you have people in your life you trust to tell you if needs more work? What are the stakes of saying it’s done, or not? What are your goals? Do they impact your decision?

It can be REALLY difficult to finish a piece of art! I believe it was George Lucas who said, “Movies are never finished, they are abandoned,” yet how do we as artists cultivate a strong confidence in our ability to know when to abandon a work?

I have a few ideas on this I would love to share with you. I also would love to hear what you as artists and as humans know when to let go of something you have worked really hard on—how do you decide enough is enough? What’s your process?

So to that end, I would like to ask you to join me next Friday, February 25th from 7:30-8:30 at my “Zoom Chat For Creatives” and chime in—share your experience, strength and hope with us, and maybe learn some tricks to help you decide when enough is enough!

P.S. In case you are wondering, I am taking another pass or two at the novel…I will share with you all how I came to that decision, next Friday!

If you’d like to join me, you’ll need to go to go to EVENTS on my webpage and then RSVP/register for the Zoom. Once you do will get the Zoom log in info as well as a reminder email the day before.

Let’s grow and share and create together!



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