Thursday, January 14, 2016

"All We Have to Decide...."

"... 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.


6 comments:

  1. I 100% relate! I always had fears about sharing my writing, but it became even more apparent to me after I had a couple co-workers who, after hearing me say I write, ask me about what I write. I'm horribly negative and can't say anything but things like: my writing's not any good. When someone says, "I'd love to read your story one day" I'm just thinking, "No you wouldn't." lol.

    Miriam's words are really as beautiful as they are true. I love the last part. I think I need to put it on my wallpaper screen for daily encouragement. :D

    Fear is so crippling. In so many ways. Not only does it keep us from moving ahead but it usually leads to internally tearing us down (as I have experienced, lol). I do believe the opposite of this is really love. Loving ourselves and being willing to enjoy the journey. I'm not fully there yet but I know I'm walking in that direction.

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  2. Yes!! I relate too!! I've always known that, no matter what other name tags I may pin on my sweater throughout the course of my life, the name tag on my heart will always say "Writer" ... but how to live that love and profession to its endpoint? It's a difficult thing to step out and share your creations with the world, but I know you can do it. I can't wait to hear the next steps in your journey!!

    (Love, the girl who has been thinking similar thoughts and might try to write and publish a short story this year ... !!)

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  3. I would read your book. Three times. I'd make Jack buy it, so you have one book sold at least. See! You should publish it, then you will have enough for at least one ice cream cone.

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  4. This I understand. I felt the same way when I published Haphazard. And now I look back and I can see all of the mistakes as I go back and fix it up. But I'm not sorry I published it when I did. It helped me get the start I needed, and I wouldn't be where I am now if I had waited. So even though it is hard, it can be worth it.

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