"... is what to do with the time that is given to us." Gandalf to Frodo, The Fellowship of the Ring
Today is one of those gray winter days with snow periodically falling. The kind of quiet day that makes you turn inward and reflect. This morning has seen much reflection on various topics, one of which was my writing and where its future lies.
In talking with my soul-sister Mirriam this morning, and asking her about her plans for her writing, I mentioned that I had made 2016 my year to pray, search and make decisions about my future in writing and publishing and added:
"You know those times when okay, you KNOW you were meant to write and put stories out there, yes? But, you look around you at the books you love to read and you know you're just so far short of the goal still and the quality of writing that you want to reach. But, you suspect that you'll be reaching for that goal all your life. And you wonder if there just comes a point where you have to set foot on the publishing road even though you're feeling so far short of the goal... because if you don't set foot on it now, you might not for 20 years...??"
She responded with beautiful encouragement about my writing and also said:
"...while we always have room for improvement, we should celebrate the victories we /have/ accomplished. I look back at old artwork or novels and wish I could completely redo them, but I'd be wasting my life if all I could think was how they weren't good enough, how I'm better now, how I'm not better /enough/ now. Now is all we have, and it's up to us to make the most of it."
Since I was young, stories have flowed from me naturally. They just come. I've believed for several years now that being a writer was one of the paths that God intended for me to walk. But if I never go beyond the writing stage or the revision stage to the publishing stage, I'm not walking that path to the end, am I? I'm stalled in the middle somewhere.
It won't be easy. I have self-confidence issues about my writing, to the point that they are, frankly, crippling. The perfectionist side of me shudders to take the next step, quietly reminding me that in five years, I'll be looking back and cringing at how much better I could have been if I had waited.
But it's necessary because for progress to result, forward motion must be made. So, I'll take this next step on the path. And in five years, when I'm tempted to look back and cringe, I'll firmly remind myself that if I hadn't taken the step in the past, I wouldn't be where I am in the future.