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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Novel Stalemate Continues

Having too many choices isn't always a good thing.

I work in a pediatric environment and sometimes kids will linger for EONS over which sticker to choose--you know--"Do I want the princess, Sponge Bob, The Incredibles, or the one with the horses and puppies?" And I'm sitting there thinking, take the horses and puppies and get on with it! *-)

But for them, it's a very important decision and they want to get it just right.

And so it is for me in deciding what novel to work on next. I want to get it just right. I'll be spending every spare waking moment with that project for the next however many years so I must choose with care.

It is useless for me to ask myself which project I'm most passionate about, because I am passionate about them all.

It is useless for me to ask which requires the least research because they are all labor intensive in that area.

I have been really twisting myself in knots trying to figure out what the next project will be. It may sound dumb to someone else, but as a middle-aged person, I'm thinking, "Gee whiz. How many years do I have left to write? There are so many stories I want to get on paper!" And I feel like I will just burst if I don't accomplish them all. And knowing how slow a writer I am adds to the consternation.

But I certainly never will write them all if I stay stuck in this limbo and don't choose. I hate indecisiveness. UGH! I have prayed about it but don't seem to be getting any clear direction. And the indecision is making me miserable.

I wonder if that's why 1 Samuel 30:6 popped out at me this weekend:

"Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." (emphasis added)

Obviously writing books can't be compared to the horror of being attacked and taken captive. But it is very telling in this one verse why David was considered a man after God's own heart. They were all grieved, David included, over the capture of their families. The difference was that the others tied themselves up in knots but David turned to God for strength.

I need to calm the clamor in my heart. God knows how desperately I want to write all these things. He also knows which one should be my next area of focus. But if I don't chill out, I'll never hear His direction.

So that is my assignment to myself for this week. Chill. Pray. Relax. See what happens.

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