Part of me doesn’t want to write this post— because like sands through the hourglass, so are the days to my revision deadline. Four weeks gone. Thirteen weeks to go.
Why did I take time to look that up? I need to keep my head down, social media locked away, and shelter in place until it’s done. Wait! That’s what I’m doing.
Then why doesn’t writing six hours a day feel like enough? Because you don’t write seven days a week, only six— taking Saturday’s off to catch up on the basic responsibilities of being human, like food shopping and housecleaning, and giving yourself time to relax, by reading books or watching a movie, or spending a little quality time with the guy who happens to be your husband. Okay. So why doesn’t writing six hours a day six days a week feel like enough? Because it’s not six, it’s only five because Sunday’s are devoted to writing this post.
No one will arrest me if this post isn’t written, published on my website, or delivered to the subscribers of my newsletter on Thursday morning. But if I don’t follow through on my commitment to writing these weekly Notes from the Toolbox, I’ll miss an opportunity to grow as a writer.
My original intention behind these Notes from the Toolbox was to explore the importance of patience and persistence in a writer’s journey, and how that ever-changing process empowers personal growth and ultimately deepens our writing. I don’t know if any of that is coming through on your end, dear friends, readers, and voyeurs, but it is what I believe because it is my experience. I’m a healthier, happier person, and a better writer today than I was eighteen years ago. And I hope by sharing my journey, others will be encouraged to follow through on a journey of their own. This was and still remains my ultimate goal for these posts, but it’s not the only reason I write them. They’re written because they’re the best way for me to remind myself that patience and persistence pays off.
But a funny thing happened as I typed and deleted one word after another over the last seven months. I no longer plan ahead. This decision wasn’t one I pondered; it was impulsive. You know this is true because you witnessed it when I wrote about A+ Day Dreamers. The plan was to write about one thing, but I ended up writing about wishes and dreams and my son.
Writing leads to extraordinary places, and the place I’m in right now is one of trust. Or maybe the better word is faith. Because like Maureen O’Hara tells Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.” And I’m totally operating from the well of faith these days. Each Sunday, when I open this document, I don’t have a clue about what I want to share with you until I start writing. And the most extraordinary of extraordinary things about that is the not knowing no longer scares me off.
Excuse me a moment while I bang the drum, toot the horn and ring the chimes of Victory!
Not knowing is exactly where I began with the first draft of the novel. Okay, technically, it began with a short story, but I didn’t have the slightest idea of where it was going to go. All I did was follow my heroine, and it worked. I wrote a novel. Okay, it was boring. But that led me to write another draft and another, and each time I did the story improved. Yay! Only it still isn’t enough, which is why I am in desperate need of digging into draft thirteen, which brings me back to exactly why I didn’t want to write this post. Remember, the sands through the hourglass?
The deadline is real. I signed a contract. If I don’t meet it, I’ll have wasted time and money.
But thanks to this post, I’m no longer scared.
Excuse me, again, while I bang the drum, toot the horn and ring the chimes of Victory!
For the first time in my life, I truly believe failure isn’t possible because if I can spin a weekly post out of the unknown, then I can revise a novel by writing five days a week. I don’t know how, but knowing isn’t the key to creativity, is it?
Creativity begins with faith, and somehow, I’ve found a way to write from inside Faith’s Well.