This month’s Inscribe writing prompt asks the following:
- Do you struggle with unfinished projects?
- How do you stay on task until your project is completed?
- As you think of this topic, how is God prompting you to finish the unfinished?
|This is about how old I was when I started (ugh).|
Jan 30, 2012 “As for the novel, I'm in the home stretch, and started it about eight years ago, so it's definitely time to wrap it up.”
November 30, 2013 “I've recently pulled out my unfinished novel and begun to write the pivotal, climactic scene.” “As I push toward completion of my novel's first draft…”
May 30, 2014 “my focus this year has been on the novel I started ten years ago… While I had hoped to complete the novel by the end of June, it looks like I'll have to extend my deadline to the end of the year.”
October 30, 2014 “I was hoping that this would be the year I'd finish it so I could move on to the next stage of getting it ready for publication, but a couple of major things have happened to make that improbable.”Sept 30, 2016 “As far as my writing goals go, I’m still hoping to finish my novel this year.”
Yes, I am still "working" on it.
Now for link two in the chain of questions: how do you stay on task?
Clearly I don’t!
|Totally a fight to do the right thing.|
In January 2014 I wrote: “I knew where things were going to end up; I just didn't know how I was going to get there. So I wrapped [the novel] in blankets and focused on other projects, including picture books, short stories and personal experience pieces. From time to time I'd hit on an idea, pull back the covers...try out some thoughts, and put it to bed again.”
In May of that year I confessed: “I don’t work from a detailed outline and tend to go with the flow, an approach that has both its challenges and its joys.”
But enough! How is God now prompting me to finish the unfinished?
I’ve been reading David A.R. White’s book Between Heaven and Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream. In it, he devotes an entire section as to why some never succeed. In short: they give up when it is harder than they thought it would be; they are indecisive, lack confidence, or are unwilling to adapt; or, they are experiencing spiritual warfare. White (of God's Not Dead 2 fame) points out that hard times reveal who you are, and can also serve to improve or train you.
What do these thoughts from the book have to do with me finishing the unfinished? For starters, they prompt me to identify what may be holding me back:
- Writing a novel is hard work. I'm not sure it's harder than I thought it would be, but it's certainly taking longer than I thought it would;
- I've shown a lack of decisiveness in my ability to clear out the physical clutter that gets in the way of creative juices;
- I've shown a lack of decisiveness in my ability to commit to a structured writing schedule;
- I've failed to protect my writing time by taking phone calls and getting side-tracked by frivolous online activities.
Please visit Susan at www.susan-barclay.blogspot.ca