Thursday, 9 June 2011

Looking back...looking forward

                It’s time to get back to the book project I was so excited about in February.  I’d purchased a workbook entitled “Book In A Month—the fool-proof system for writing a novel in 30 days.”  It’s written by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D.  So I sat myself down and organized according to the schedule in the book.  As each day went on, I began to realise that each person could make the “BIAM” system accommodate his/her working style.
                Between the fatigue and life, I didn’t hit the goal of a manuscript completed in 30 days.  But, the book did help me focus, write a general out-line and help me answer some questions as to what I wanted to put into the book.  I even got the first chapter re-written and the 2nd chapter started.
                My understanding of why I’ve not pressed on has to do with having started a new job (albeit part-time), battling first a kidney infection, then an inner ear infection, plus other projects.  But the great thing about the Holy Spirit and the “Calling” is that it whispers my name every day.
                Over the last two weeks many authors have been interviewed on various television programmes.  So although I often feel overwhelmed, intimidated and want to procrastinate, the yearning to write, to communicate just won’t leave me alone. 
                That’s why blogging seems so important to me—because it’s the bridge between meeting a daily goal (about 700 to 800 words per day) and the courage to move onto the bigger stories I have in my head.  Some of those story ideas are actually typed in a sketchy form and in a folder on my computer.
                One of the biggest problems I am fighting right now is that the story I am supposed to be working on is a major re-write.  It took a long time to actually want to re-write it—as I’d done it once already.  But, 16-years later I must admit the story is indeed amateurish, contrived.  It was easier to write because I was fresh out of my three-month School of Writing (Youth With A Missions’ University of the Nations).  Although the theme of the book is “trusting God to make the impossible happen”; I was more focused on getting the characters to the end of the “happy-ever-after” ending than I was about making the plot mature.   The passion there was the writing—not the story. 
                Another reason it has taken me so long to warm up to the re-writing the “Promise Cup”, is because I’ve been pondering what I wanted to theme to be—besides the genre’.  Was the theme too general, did it need to be more specific?  After all, I know that I write about relationships and romance.  But I’ve been sitting and meditating about my characters and realise, I don’t know them.  I’ve known about them—but why would the hero be the one man that the protagonist want to marry?  Why did she fall in love with him?  So, I understand that I have a lot of “pre-story” writing to do. 
                Maybe I need to read through “Book In A Month” again, study it so that I can apply myself to it and get the most out of the workbook.  There is also an on-line group on Yahoo that is meant to be a help.  I posted messages and goals met there in February.  One more tool to utilise and help the process of writing the book. 
                I keep praying, “God, today I want to hear your voice and obey You.”  So often when I don’t write, I feel like God doesn’t speak.  The truth is that because I’m not positioning myself with pen and paper or at the computer keyboard, I am not giving God His opportunity to help me do what He’s put into my heart to do. 
                Many years ago I read a book on finding God’s guidance for life.  The book was written by Bob Mumford.  Take Another Look at Guidance: A Study of How God Guides by Bob Mumford (You can find this book at*listing*title)  One of the things that Mr. Mumford wrote was this idea:  “If you’re praying for the next step and God is silent, go back and ask yourself: ‘What has God already said?  Have I left anything undone?’  If you’ve left something undone, then go back and do what has been left undone.  God will not tell a person the next step until the first step has been completed. 
                I don’t feel guilty about the times I genuinely can’t think because I’m just too tired, or I have an achy head, or am feeling shaky.  What I feel guilty about are all the moments when I’m bored, and sit with my attention wasted on a silly/stupid television programme because I just can’t be bothered to go turn on my computer. 
                Many years ago, I had this epiphany “Taking care of today means preparing for tomorrow.”  I can plan for the future...or have goals.  But truly, it is only the Father that truly knows what the days and years will bring.  Yet, keeping a right attitude, doing what I KNOW to do today will ripple on to affect those coming times. 
                When I bought “Book In A Month”, I was so excited.  Something deep inside my heart thought “Yes!; a system, a plan to get all those wonderful story-lines and characters out of my head and onto the page!”  By not sticking to it, or being more tenacious, I’ve let myself down...and God...and maybe all the people who might find help or hope from a book I’ve written.   So, it’s time to get back to my project.  If you remember, please pray for me. 
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,  “Lady Helene”

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