I’m doing my best to be head down and butt up with my writing this year. I know from experience that if I can get a good run at it, I can do a rough draft for a novel in about three months – fitting it around the household schedule. I’m the at home parent, but these days with one adult child and one teenager, that’s a pretty manageable set of chores, mostly.
So, I’ve been giving it some push to finish book two of my Rage of Lions series. Events have conspired to complicate matters though. First, my director friend asked if I have any script ideas. This is, in fact, a good thing, but there’s a gap between having an idea for a movie and having a script for a movie called the writing process. When I pitched him one of my ideas he liked it and sent it to some producers he knows in the US. If they like it then it could be all systems go on the script – except I haven’t written it yet. I kind of need a draft ready in case they say yes.
And writing a script is a whole different beast from writing a novel. So, going from one to the other requires me to shift gears somewhat and if you’ve ever been driving along the freeway (or other high speed road) and accidently tried to shift from fifth to first instead of fourth, you know that some gear changes can be as pleasant as crashing into a safety net made of electrified high-tension wires. The script is defying me.
This alone would be bad enough, but that’s only part of the problem. My draft for book two is currently at 104,000 and a bit words. That’s longer than book one, which sounds good, but I’ve just realised that what I’m actually doing is writing book two and book three at the same time, trying to squash too many storylines into one manuscript. I need to go back and split the current draft in two and then complete each section as its own book.
None of these issues are insurmountable, they just require time and effort. The frustration comes from things like illness, where my body contracts a resistant infection that puts me in hospital and makes coherent thought unpleasant. I’m just coming out of it now, having lost three weeks of productivity. Aaargh!!
But what’s great is that, at the end of a passage of time where I was peeing blood and unable to sit up for prolonged periods without strong painkillers, is that now at the end, I’m angrier about lost time than I am about pain and suffering. I got to be sick in a first world country with affordable, quality medical care. I was cared for by a loving wife and family. The worst problem I need to face is too much good work and not enough time. If I can’t see myself as blessed then I’m not trying.
So, if you’re struggling where you’re at in life, may God bless you in the midst of your trials. I pray you find the grace that will make you stronger than every force the world brings against you.
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” Phil 4:11b
The man who said those words wasn’t just blowing smoke. He knew what suffering and pain were. I would not presume to compare myself to Paul the Apostle, but I am finding that I am gaining a new sense of the contentment he wrote about, a grace that turns my eyes to my blessings, away from my present problems. I hope to grow in this more and more and if I have to get sick to learn the lesson, it’s a fair deal, of that I’m sure!