As we approach the end of the Christmas Season and in the spirit of Noel, a word that is rooted in the Latin natalis, which means “birth,” I felt that this is the proper time to reflect on what I had tried to begin or give birth to this year in my writing life.
This year I embarked on the process of a “birthing” a book. I knew that there were many things I needed to do to be able to write a book, and that it was a process that I did not want to rush.
I wanted to accomplish something, and so I began by (1) identifying the reason why I wanted to undertake this journey.
When I knew that I wanted to write a book for adults (I had written two books for children) because I want to experience the process of writing a book for grown ups, I was then able to (2) set a timetable for myself. There was and is no rush, and the project would be done even as I continued with my work, so the timetable I came up with is summed up in one word: flexible.
This may not be the usual flow when one decides to write a book, but this is the process that came up in my writing life. The next step (3) involved disciplining myself to write daily, which I tried to do through the process of early morning writing. It was great at first, and I wrote daily for several months and ideas for the book I was working on as well as other book projects began to flow effortlessly.
Then the process slowed down, came to a halt, picked up, and stopped again. I had a flexible time frame and since I was writing for myself only, this did not bother me, but I did ask myself what went wrong.
It could be a combination of several things, among them:
- fear of embarking on a project that seemed larger than life
- procrastination rearing its ugly head
- the feeling that there are so many good books being published and that my effort will be an utter waste of time ( upon writing this, I think this is what weighs me down the most)
How to deal with these not so pleasant bedfellows? The only solution I can come up with right now is to try and try again – and I am good at this. I don’t give up easily, but I also don’t fight tooth and nail. I just keep trying and trying and somehow, sometime, the nasty habits give way. No fighting, just allowing the process to work and learning and having fun as I go along.
So as this year comes to an end and as another one begins, I will begin again to do early morning writing as I continue to try writing a book.
Here’s hoping you too will continue the birthing process in your writing life.