Don’t Give Up

Photo: Sandra P. Aldrich

Sandra P. Aldrich

By the time you read this, I will have finished Book 18. You will read in one evening what took me months to write. You will hurry past sentences I rewrote a dozen times. When you finish, you may think: I could have written that.

Have you ever had times like that? If so, welcome to the writing world. And if you haven’t, please don’t tell me.

Sure, sometimes my words come easily, but other times I feel as though I’m pulling my own wisdom teeth. That’s when I bring out my personal jump-start reminders:

  • Since God has called me, He has equipped me. 1 Corinthians 1:7 says, “Therefore, you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed” (NIV). In other words, stop whining and start writing.
  • Invite God into your work. Yes, He has equipped us, but He still waits to be invited. Starting each project, even each page, with prayer releases His power.
  • Don’t get it right—get it written. Correct the work after you produce the words. The worst part of any job is dreading it.
  • Writing is more often about re-writing. I seldom get the words right the first or even the third time. Read your paragraphs aloud. Rewrite.
  • Grammar counts. From being an editor, I know articles are rejected because of poor grammar. One novice, refusing to learn the basics, argued editors should not be concerned with those details. “Oh, they are,” I said. “Concerned enough to choose another article.”
  • Don’t fear starting small. My first article was a 500-word filler the editor paid $30 for. Relatives dismissed it, but I knew my journey had begun.
  • Life gets in the way. If you wait for the perfect time, you’ll never write. Producing one page a day results in a new book each year.
  • Use your past in your writing. No one’s journey is easy. I was born in Harlan County, Kentucky, and wonder what my life would have been if I had grown up there. Instead, my family moved north.

How badly do you want to write? What is keeping you from it? Tough circumstances? Other people? Your own whining? If you are compelled to write, you can’t give up. I’m evidence dreams do come true. But it starts with a set jaw and—“I will write!”

Comments

  1. CJ Hines says

    Sandra–thank you for this post–it’s something I needed to be reminded of and lets me know I’m not the only one who struggles. But I love what you said about inviting God into your writing–that’s something I forget to do, but now I want to make sure I begin every writing session with an invitation to Him!

  2. Phillippa says

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, Sandra. I have always had a problem finding the perfect time. Now, I’ll just write!

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