about writing and life and God

You can do it!

on July 8, 2013

I’ve printed it out – all 348 pages. It makes a satisfying lump of typescript but I’m resisting the urge to look at it. It has to sit and cool, like a cake, before I return to it.

This is it!

This is it!

It’s a good feeling. Just to have finished a complete first draft of a novel is an achievement. It reminds you that you can get to the finishing post! As someone who has several unfinished drafts of novels tucked away, as someone who has tried several times to lose weight and given up, as someone who has been familiar with giving up in the past in so many situations, to have actually completed something as substantial as a whole novel is a major encouragement.

And we need encouragement. Life throws enough challenges our way.

And yet, it is wisdom to know when to give up. I used to be the kind of person who would plod doggedly through any book I had started to read rather than give up. I’ve read an awful lot of tosh as a result! I used to think gritting your teeth and being able to endure anything – including various forms of abuse – was a virtue, and have therefore stayed too long in unhealthy relationships with the resulting emotional scars to show for it.

It’s knowing when it’s right to plod on and when to move on with as much grace as possible that’s the hard thing. Talking with my friends, we agree that looking back often shows up pretty clearly the occasions when we probably should have cut our losses and moved on sooner than we did. But there have also been times when we are glad we stayed the course and came away, finally, with dignity and our integrity intact.

One small success can make a huge difference when life is tough and you feel you’re about to be submerged! The tiny proof that you can do something right – or at least see it through – gives a real shot of new strength for whatever the long haul is that you’re currently in.

For me, that wodge of typescript is visible, tangible encouragement. And I’m grateful.

Oh and for all my writer friends out there, let me say it loud and clear: if I can do it, you can too!



2 responses to “You can do it!

  1. Helen Murray says:

    That’s good to hear! Thank you….

  2. Fran says:

    Well done. It’s such an achievement.

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