The three most difficult parts in writing a book are the beginning, the middle, and the ending, with the beginning and ending being nigh unto impossible. This is my fifth blog post documenting this journey. In the previous few posts I shared the motivating experiences leading up to my decision to write a book. However, the day came when I actually had to sit down and begin.
I never realized how daunting a blank computer screen can look. Everything is so stark and white. It is somewhat similar to peering out a window during a blizzard and seeing nothing but a lone tree struggling against a harsh wind. You can’t even place the horizon, and you quickly lose your bearings. I understand why writers often draw their inspiration from nature. You need color, texture, dimension and motion. You need the feeling of solid ground underneath you, and the gentle whisper of a refreshing breeze. To put it simply, you need the inspiration and movement of life in your writing, or it can quickly turn drab and meaningless.
So, where does a person begin? Why not write about my own life? That will be easy. I know the subject well. After all, I had lived a wonderfully interesting life full of adventure. Soon my blank screen was brimming with words, lots of words, overflowing words about my wonderful life. My fingers literally flew across the keyboard, and I was just as happy as a lark. It wasn’t long before I had completed fifteen chapters. I’m making great progress, I thought. And then it came…the Still Small Voice. This is not the book I’ve called you to write. It’s not about you. Stop and start over.
I remember feeling stunned and disoriented, not to mention discouraged. I’m reminded of a quote I once heard, “God is still writing your story. Quit trying to steal the pen.” A friend suggested I place my first rough draft on the shelf and perhaps revisit the work at a later date, and that’s where it remains to this day…on the shelf. I started over in search of inspiration, and much to my delight, I found it. I have much to learn on this journey.