I am struck again by what head games you can play with yourself as a novelist. I went into some detail on the results of having my first novel critiqued. I got all the feedback I needed, all I had to do was set to work on the final re-write before submission. The big plan was to get that started during the month of July.
Only it's July 27th and I haven't started. And the clock just keeps ticking away.
Now the published authors will say I have the luxury of not being under contractual deadlines since I'm not published. Which is true as far as it goes.
But to me, my own personal deadlines are far more intense and stressful. Now maybe I'll say differently should I become published one day and live on the other side of the fence. But I hold myself deeply accountable for my novel progress. I have to. There are many demands on our time each and every day and we must hold ourselves accountable for completing the work set before us.
And I do believe God has called me to write. Everything that has happened in my life from childhood on up confirms this to me.
But that doesn't mean it's easy.
Part of the reason I haven't gotten started is because I hang back in doubt, asking myself questions. Like "Do I have the energy for yet another rewrite?" "Do I have enough blood stored up to pour out on the page yet again?" And of course the question that always kills me: "What if it doesn't turn out perfect?"
ARGH! I've blogged about that numerous times but the idea of perfection is still a roadblock in my life and I need to kick it to the side.
But there are other things that have kept me from my writing this month. God has really been working in me and making some changes. All for the better, but changes nonetheless. I joined a new church this year and felt very strongly God telling me, "Fine but when you go, go to serve, not to be a church couch potato."
And in the last month and a half, that service has come in the form of teaching the youth discipleship class on Wednesday nights. I was petrified at first, but God has lifted that burden and I really love it. We've got a great group of kids there and I'm excited for them and for their futures.
But service comes with a price. It takes no small amount of time to prepare lessons, and time was one of my great struggles even before I took on this class. But God has also clearly told me that I am to continue to write - as well as to serve in church. Not either/or. Both.
And I suppose that's why, even though an underlying part of me stresses over the fact that my rewrite is not finished, for the most part, I am ease about the status of my novel. I believe the Lord will enable me to finish it. When, where, and how He wants it done. He won't let it languish and He will give me the strength and creativity I need to get it done.
And I doubt He worries whether it is perfect or not, since we can't be perfected until we're reunited with Him. I just need to remember one thing with regard to my writing and all of my life.
Submit. Submit. Submit myself to Him.