about writing and life and God

How to stick with it

on August 29, 2012

Falling in love is easy.

Staying in love is much harder.


As a writer I’ve fallen in love loads of times. Every ‘brilliant idea’ for a new story, new book: each one pings into my head trailing clouds of glory – not glory for me to bask in, but simply the innate glory of new, creative, waiting to be explored. It’s irresistible.

My big problem is that I’m not monogamous. I’m into serial loves. In other words, one book at a time. But it does mean that when I’ve committed, as best as my faithless heart is able, to the book of the moment, I can be sidetracked into dalliances with a new plot, new characters, new ideas…

What I need is a solid injection of stickability – at least for as long as it takes to finish the first draft, and then the major revision, till I’ve got something fit for sending out or e-publishing.

I’ve had a downer on the latest book. You may have noticed. I had an attack of ‘I can’t do this’ and started thinking I should maybe stick to non-fiction. Then my friend Marion ( posted ‘One toe in…’ yesterday and got me thinking about starting things and not finishing. Today’s tweet from Jeff Goins ‘Is it okay to quit?’ (@JeffGoins) sent me avidly to×5/perseverance to find the answer: no, it’s not!

Sometimes we are genuinely banging our heads against brick walls, barking up the wrong trees, dragging ourselves up the ladder only to find we’d parked it against the wrong wall. Then it’s time to regroup.

But sometimes it’s necessary that we stay the course, at least a bit longer. See what happens. Maybe give ourselves a do-able target: like Chris on his run, another mile? For me, I think I’d like to try and finish the first draft of my novel. It may turn out to be rubbish, a waste of time and paper, but I want to try.

And I’d like to thank those writers and friends who have functioned like the folk who hand out bottles of water to marathon runners along the course. We need encouragement. God bless the encouragers of this world. You know who you are!



One response to “How to stick with it

  1. charmedbylove says:

    quitting is a pity, unless abuse or disrespect. its better to put in effort than never at all 🙂

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