Persistence

See all those books?

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Those are books that I have bought and read and highlighted about the craft of writing. There’s another stack that size of more books I have checked out of the library on the same topic. You’d think, after reading all these books, I’d be making progress. But I find that there’s always more to learn. Or re-learn.

It’s also easier to read books on writing than to actually write.

That’s why I couldn’t resist this latest title.

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 When it comes down to it, every book on the stack says the same thing —

BIC

(Butt In Chair).

In other words, I just have to do it —

I have to be consistent and persistent.

I have to get my hiney in the chair routinely and habitually.

Persistence is a key in more than my writing life.

I could use a book entitled,

“A Christian’s Guide to Persistence:

How to Create a Lasting and Productive Spiritual Life”.

When starting a new Bible reading plan in January, I’m all gung-ho and ready to dig in. But by March, I start lagging a bit. When beginning a new Bible study class in September, there’s excitement in the air and lots of anticipation. In May, I’m wondering where all that dedication went.

Persistence is hard, whether it’s in spiritual disciplines or writing.

Or anything else.

But I have the answer.

BIC

“I will not neglect Your Word.” Psalm 119:16

 

On Becoming a Writer

blog bookI love to read.  I love to read books about reading books.  Some of my favorite titles include “How to Read a Book”,”Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books” and “25 Books Every Christian Should Read”.  This odd bent is spilling over into my writing life.  On my “Books to Read” list (you have one, don’t you?) is “How to Write a Sentence”, “Writers on Writing” and “How to Write Great Blog Posts That Engage Readers”.  Just kidding on that last one.  Although you’re probably thinking it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to download that book.  Now.

If I have aspirations of being a real writer someday (whatever that means….I’m really writing this), I need all the help I can get.  Learning more about the craft is fascinating — plus, it keeps me from actually having to do it.

When I was eight years old I was horse crazy.  I wanted a horse in the worst way.  I read books on horses, I subscribed to a horse magazine and I took the horseless horse project in 4-H.  I had horse pictures all over my bedroom and a horse mobile hanging from my light.  I studied the different breeds of horses and knew all about bridles and saddles.  I dreamed of galloping across the fields on my trusty steed.  Then I got a horse.  As it turned out, I liked learning about horses more than actually owning one.

I don’t want to go down that path again.  So, I’m discovering that some days, when I don’t think I have anything to say, I need to pick up the pencil and see what comes anyway.  I don’t need a fully formed idea before I get started.  I just need to get started and the ideas will develop before my eyes.  The process is scary and exciting — a little faith helps.

Today I wrote: “Writing is like the parting of the Red Sea.  I pick up my pen and step into the waters of thoughts and feelings, not knowing exactly what will take place.  In obedience, I start writing and find a path for my words.  The chaos parts and as long as I keep my hand moving across the page, the walls of water allow me to continue.  I just need to keep moving, even though it’s dark and hard to see ahead. Someday I may find myself in the Promised Land, after a few trips around the desert, of course.”

Sometimes thoughts appear on the page that I didn’t even know I was thinking.  Huh.  You should try it.

 “Real writers wake up every morning with something to say, even if the words have yet to come.”  Jeff Goins