I’m not sure I can do this

I'm not sure I can do this

 

Sixty thousand words are camped on my desk. The pages are held together by a large black spring clip. I am out of ink and printer paper. For the first time, I’m not sure I can do this.

I started writing a book about a year ago. It’s nearly finished and I am an inch from tossing it the trash can. I’ve had the first three chapters and all of the chapter summaries professionally edited. I’ve sent a formal book proposal to a handful of agents. I’m neither surprised nor discouraged that I haven’t heard back from any of them. But there is another reason I’m not sure I can do this, though I am determined to stick it out. Quitting goes against my nature.

Philippians 1:25, “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith.” NIV

SMOOTH START

There is an ebb and rhythm to the first several chapters and I enjoy reading and editing them. Nevertheless, there are unlimited ways to combine twenty-six letters and perfection continues to oppose me. So I edit those first few chapters. Obsessively. And I like it.

1 Corinthians 13:10, “But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” ESV

MY RUT

Invariably, I get to chapter eighteen and I am stuck. The next five chapters sort of sag. I’ve seriously considered highlighting the paragraphs and hitting delete. But since they contain truths wrenched painfully out of my soul I want to keep them. I think. The doubt drives me to open the lid to the trash can again. Every single time I get to the same exact place in the book and I cannot make any more progress.

Galatians 5:7, “You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience?” MSG

I SUPPOSE YOU GET STUCK TOO

What story are you writing? Do you have a chapter eighteen in your life? If you are like me, you’ve experienced victory in one area only to continually fail in another? Are you an overachiever in school but cannot manage your weight? Do you excel at certain relationships and fail dismally at others? It is so easy to stay in the comfortable zone where we enjoy a little success rather than wading into the deep water where we are challenged to swim against a swift current.

2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair.” HCSB

EITHER SWIM OR RUN, BUT GET THE PRIZE

I repeatedly get bogged down in chapter eighteen. The pattern is all too familiar. Either something has to give or I am going to give up. The rut is not unlike other areas in my spiritual walk where I experience victory for seventeen straight chapters, then I hit that same rough spot in the road and I’m undone. Can you relate?

1 Corinthians 9:24, “Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.” HCSB

WINNING ATTITUDE

Why should I go on when I keep hitting the same wall? For whatever reason, God called me to write, either for someone to read or as an exercise to prepare me for something else. Honestly, I don’t know what I am doing. I only know I am here again and some days it doesn’t look so good. I can’t seem to finish. Sometimes, I can’t even make progress. But, I simply need to be obedient. So, I am not giving in.

Romans 7:15, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” ESV

As always, you are invited to eavesdrop as I remind myself of wise words I heard from a godly  friend:

  • Do the next right thing
  • Put one foot in front of the other
  • Keep doing what you are called to do until you get orders for the next assignment

Exodus 4:12, “Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” NKJV

I’m so glad you joined me for this crazy ride. I hope you’ll stick with me because you always keep me out of the garbage. When you engage (read, follow, comment and share) , it makes all the effort worth it.

Let’s move on to the next chapter. Are you with me?

 

 

31 thoughts on “I’m not sure I can do this

  1. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never give up. Never, never, never give up”. This book has a purpose and a reason. You will not be defeated by chaper 18! Someone (many someones) are waiting for the blessing it holds. You will be glad you perservered.

  2. Good Morning!!! Skip Chapter 18 and go on to Chapter 19 with your usual confidence and enthusiasm. After all, it is only a number. Sometimes we have to stop and regroup and move on when we are stuck. Call Chapter 18 “Resting” if you must have an 18. Just don’t stop writing.

  3. You say, “It’s nearly finished”, but maybe that’s the issue. Could it be already? Or maybe there should be more behind it? Or…none of the above.

    Can’t wait to read it someday.

  4. I totally relate to your thoughts, Vickie! Kinda like Nehemiah building the wall … Thanks for your transparency which is an encouragement to me–and others. Keep up the God-given, thought provoking writing is my encouragement to you.

  5. One thing I know is that you are called to share your message. I also know you are going to finish this book and you will hear “Well done my good and faithful servant.” GOD IS ABLE.

  6. Hitting walls in the my musical adventures happens frequently. Many times I feel like I should just stop. I had asked the Lord how to spend my time once I could no longer work. Clearly I was told to continue my musical journey. I’ve hit many walls so I have to stop and ask Him which direction I’m to go. I knock on doors but don’t force them. I have to wait on Him to show me the next door that will open for me. I’ve often had to wait months for doors to open when others have been closed. It’s hard to wait as you well know. Some doors are open, maybe for a season but I move forward to enjoy what is at hand.

  7. If you expect me to keep on keeping on, Vickie, don’t you dare quit. Like me, it’s not your style. Never.
    I love you, my sweet friend!

  8. Don’t underestimate the blessing of your writings. It’s surprising that you struggle, given how good the articles are! I have found areas where I am stuck (I don’t write though) I need to learn something. If that is the case, may you be quicker than I. Thank you for keeping on. We benefit.

  9. Yes I think we all have a chapter 18. Keep on writing! I am looking forward to reading your book as so many others are too!

  10. Vicki, tears well up in my eyes as I read of your victories and discouragement. This is why we need to share with one another. We all have a journey and a purpose. So many times we all face discouragement. Thank you for sharing yours because it helped me to know that a godly woman like you can face it as I have so many times in my life. Like you, we all press on because of our love for our Savior and His calling in our lives. Thank you for sharing what your friend advised “do the next right thing, put one foot in front of the other, keep doing what you are called to do until you get the next assignment.” What a sweet and wise friend you have walking this journey with you. And what a sweet and wise friend you are for encouraging all of us.

  11. It felt like you were in my head, only mine is chapter 17. I wonder if I am battling fear; fear of failure and fear of success. Thank you for sharing your heart. We can walk through this together, encouraging the next chapter and knowing the God’s plan is so great and even more exciting when we walk it with others. You’ve got this.

  12. Ah Comfort Zones! How we love them… but we were so not meant for them! I have so much respect for writers who press through… praying you through! You can do this… you already are!

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