Our Dying Stories…

I know a lot of “writers” who can’t finish a book…or even a short story.  They’re in love with writing, they enjoy it, and they are frustrated by it.  They just can’t come up with a good ending…or a good middle…or a good beginning.

Writing is an art.  Each writer will have their own voice or style.  Sometimes I get critiqued for writing this blog with an “Incorrect” style…In other words, writing this like I’m talking to you.  I try to shrug off those comments, because this is my style.  When writing a book, I don’t write like this, and I most certainly don’t write in first person.

But back to the main topic.  Why are the “writers” having such trouble?  Why can’t they (or you) finish a story?

I found I couldn’t either.  I’d type and type and type…and then after six, seven, eight chapters, I’d fizzle out.   What could I write next?  I just didn’t feel like writing any more.  Who wants to do something when it feels like a chore?

The first time I tried to write a book, I was nine.  No lie, I was nine (or was I eight?) and I had no idea how to write, and my grammar?  Hah!  It was a book called “Flowers” and I have a very justifiable reason why it fizzled out.  I lost the notebook I kept it in.

The second book I tried to write was when I was ten.  Three of my friends and I decided to write a historical fiction.  We couldn’t agree on what should happen, and since it was on my family’s computer, I totally rewrote it.

What did I write about?  The Lee family before the Civil war.  And then I found out it was totally unhistorical, so I gave up.

Giving up is a big problem in all of our lives.  Writers often have a brilliant idea.  They sit down at their computers laughing and saying, “Splendid!” But when the tough part comes, they realize that the book would need a lot of editing.  What’s the best idea?  Ditch it.  Throw it in the trash.  Or, maybe just let it sit.  I’ll get back to it fresh with ideas.

The problem I’ve found with letting it sit is that your fresh ideas don’t line up with your old ideas.  You have totally different views on where you want to take the book, so you might as well ditch it and start a new one.

So, what is the actual answer to people who write me and ask for help with their writing?  There is none.  There isn’t some simple fix to help your dying stories.  You are the only person who can save your writing career, and you are the only person who can ruin it.

A lot of people get scared off by growing pains.  We’ve all felt them in some area of our lives.  They’re unpleasant.  No one enjoys sitting at the computer feeling like your brain is fried.  Someone once told me that when you feel the pain, that’s when it really counts.  When you feel that your story is a failure, and you need to step up the pace, that’s when continuing really counts.

A lot of famous books weren’t so good on the first try.  Their authors had to write…and rewrite…and rewrite.  Want to know why the books are so good?  Because the people didn’t give up.  They persevered.

A lot of “writers” enjoy the title of writer.  They love the fun part of writing, but once it gets hard, they quit.  A lot of “musicians” enjoy playing, or listening to music, but once they have to sacrifice things for what they want to do, they give up.

How then do I get my writing to work?  What is my secret?

Alone, everything I write would be a failure.

No lie.  I’m not kidding here.  I have no talent, I’m not even a good writer.  But there’s Someone who writes through me.

A few weeks ago, I was staring at what I had written asking myself why it was such a flat story.  Why wasn’t it flowing?  Then I realized I had missed and forgotten the most important part of my writing.

I had forgotten to pray.

Without prayer and the fear of God, we can’t write anything but the foolishness.  You need to rely on our Heavenly Father, and evaluate if you really are called to be a writer.  If you are, you will have a hard and rocky journey ahead of you.  Writing is not all sunshine and rainbows.  In fact, there are a lot of tornadoes down the writing path.

The only Person who can get us through the writing path is God.  He’s there to take you, to carry you, and to lead you.  Trust in His strength, for when we are weak, we are strong.