Why I Can’t Finish My Book

A few months ago, I finally said it out loud (and online) that I was working on a book. If all goes well and according to my tight deadlines, I should be finishing up a first draft of the book within the next six weeks.

That means all those medium vanilla Dr Peppers, all those words, all those naps/brainstorming sessions on my office couch, all that work will finally see the fruits of labor and at the end, I’ll have a rough manuscript.

But I have to be honest. I can’t finish it. I’m stuck.

Somehow now, all of the words I write seem silly on the page, and I end up deleting more paragraphs than I write, and I’m frustrated because I’m not hitting my daily writing goals.

The other night, my husband and I were talking about it, and I realized what was keeping me from finishing the book. I asked my husband what would happen if only two people read the book? My mom and him? Or what if maybe 100 people read it and only two people like it? What if I fail? What if this ends and I realize I’m not cut out to be a “writer?”

Because here’s the thing about this book. It’s not a fictional story about vampires or teenagers or magic. It’s about me and my own struggles with fear and faith. It’s my story, and I’m afraid you’re not going to like it. You’re not going to like me.

Because I’m cool when we’re at dinner. I’m nice and I smile, and if you come by my house, you’ll find it squeaky clean and perfectly organized, but this book shatters all that. It’s about being broken and young and scared and crawling back to Christ. Again. And again.

What if you don’t like that story?

So I’m stuck this close to the finish line, thinking maybe I should wait until my story gets a little better, until I have it a little more together.

Maybe you know this feeling, like you’re not good enough to be a songwriter or designer, like you’re not qualified for that medical field, like you’re not cut out for finance, like you’re scared of failing because you’re not enough.

A few weeks ago, I read over the chapters I already have written and considered ditching the project because I’m not the great writer I want to be. I’m not a theologian or a bible major. I don’t have a popular blog or a Pinterest feed. I’m just a girl from East Texas writing a book about faith, and sometimes I think that’s not enough.

Then I remember something: God hasn’t called me to tell a flawless story. He’s called me to be a little faithful, a little braver.

That’s what’s beautiful about God. He shows up on the days when I can’t find the right words. He reminds me that I don’t have to write the perfect book, and you don’t have to have the perfect plan either.

This world is so good at beating us down and telling us that we’re not as creative or smart or beautiful as we should be, and I love that if I look hard enough, God shows up in that and tells me I’m enough.

You’re enough.

In whatever it is you’re working on, you’re enough. If you fight a little harder, if you get a little braver, God makes up for the rest.

So I’m showing up at my keyboard every day. I’m drinking more Dr Pepper and praying over this book. I’m writing faithfully. And where I fall short, God makes up for the rest.

Showing 3 comments
  • JavaWithJae

    If I didn’t know better I’d swear that I had written this blog post, except I’m a guy and my book is on leadership from a Christian vantage point. Thanks for sharing your struggles and the simple yet profound reminder that exercising faith in the God who gifted us is more important than worrying about a theoretical audience.

  • reader

    No matter how low you feel-you will get thru that ! I am one reader who wants to read it. You can do it ! I like broken and shattered stories.
    Are you going to publish parts from it also, to get feedback from people also, while you are writing ?

  • Geert

    A little braver.. yeah, absolutely. Going to remember that. Another great blog. And I hope I have some encouragement for you..
    Who are you writing the book for? Are you writing the book to satisfy milions of other people, or are you writing it for yourself, because you want to write that book?

    Because if you are writing the book, just because you want to write the book (and not to satisfy milions of people) then it won’t matter to you how many people like it. If you’re doing it just because you want to, then it won’t matter how many people like it. If just 2 people like it, then that will be worth just as much as if milion people like it. Remember who you’re doing this for 🙂

    Hope that helps. Even if it’s just a little.

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