Posts Tagged ‘finished’

PostHeaderIcon Writing Heavenly Father’s Day, Part 6–The Last Chapter

Near the end of July 2009, I had come close to drafting the first nine chapters of Heavenly Father’s Day. But suddenly it was like someone had let all the air out of my balloon. There was a big gapping hole in Chapter 7. On top of that, I had decided my current Chapters 11 and 12 were really only one chapter. So now I was one chapter short, and I had no clue how to fill that void. I had material gathered for Chapters 10 and 11, but somehow I just couldn’t get excited about putting it all together into a draft. It wasn’t exactly writer’s block; it was more like a detour.

The first couple weeks in August, I hardly worked on the book at all. On the one hand, I felt guilty about not making progress. On the other hand, I had almost no desire to write. I didn’t feel inspired and excited the way I had when writing up to this point. And there were other things going on in my life that seemed to be very important to my overall effort–including an online, hands-on, time-intensive class on internet marketing called The Thirty Day Challenge that started on August 1. (More about that later!)

I had a brief flash of concern that I was going to be one of those people they were always talking about in the e-book articles I read. I was worried, for about 10 seconds, that I would never finish this book. After all, I was certainly not going to have it done in 72 hours. The e-book gurus all warned that if you didn’t get it done quickly, it might never get done.

But I kept telling myself this wasn’t that kind of book. This wasn’t something I could just throw together quickly to get it out the door, even if it wasn’t perfect. No. Heavenly Father’s Day was to be a reflection of what the Spirit wanted me to tell people. Maybe it didn’t have to be absolutely perfect, but a slap-dash job wouldn’t do, either.

I could force myself to make progress by working on side issues, like researching exact movie quotes. But I couldn’t sit down and write some un-inspired drivel, just because I felt like I had to write something. I kept telling myself that I was on God’s time, so I was just going to have to wait until more inspiration came my way.

As I looked up the scripture for my next preaching assignment (August 9), I was hoping this sermon would apply to the book, just like the last one had done. But as I read the passage, it just didn’t seem like it was going to lead me to an entire chapter’s-worth of material. I kept waiting.

Thursday morning before I was schedule to speak, I woke up telling myself I really needed to get that sermon outlined today. But first, I had a hair appointment. I also had a message on my cell phone from my step-mother. When I called her (on the way to the hairdresser’s) I told her how I was struggling with the last chapter.

She told me about a book she had been reading called The Shack. She said maybe I was supposed to read it and that maybe it would help me. I hung up the phone with a renewed sense of optimism. Maybe this new book was what I had been waiting for. It was like my balloon had been re-inflated. But I would have to wait a few days before I could get my hands on a copy.

Meanwhile, the next morning I woke up ready to write my sermon. The assigned scripture was about how God works in the mundane details of life. I started thinking about how God talks to us in mundane ways about mundane situations. About how our spiritual development most often occurs in our most mundane experiences.

The thoughts started flowing and I started taking notes while I was getting dressed. By the time I was ready for breakfast, I realized that this was not only my sermon, it was the last chapter. The wait was over.

The writing part would be smooth sailing from here. Pretty soon I would be telling people the manuscript was finished. But I still had no clue how I was going to get published. And what had I learned in that Thirty Day Challenge?

Next: Starting a Blog

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