I attended a writers conference last weekend with two goals. First, I wanted a workshop experience to give me the sign to indicate whether or not I should invest my energy in self-publishing my first book; secondly, I wanted a respected reader’s assessment of my new work.

I came away confused.

The workshop had plenty of praise but a fistful of revision suggestions, many of which were in direct opposition to feedback received in other workshops. I’ve been working on that book for so long that I had to stifle the urge to laugh like a lunatic. But in the end, the barometer is in my stomach. When I think about investing more time in rearranging and editing, I want to throw up.

Okay, so let this be the lesson. No. The answer is no.

On the other hand, the respected reader had encouragement for the new work, the work on which I long to spend my precious few creative minutes when the oil burns past midnight and the muse awakes as my body starts to collapse. My night sprites and my day job are at odds.

Sticking a stake in the heart of my first baby is not easy. I can’t compare with Abraham, but my pain is real and for me, the blood runs red. Yet deciding to put my book “in the drawer,” as they say, has brought an unexpected freedom. I am free to focus on my next book, my second book, my new book.

And that first book may see the light of day, someday.

Just, not yet.