Writing and Finishing: Be like a child.

It took a child dunking her bread in the sacrificial grape “wine” at church this morning to remind me.

About patience and my own rhythm. 

As I watched from my liturgist perch, one family came forward to stand at the communion rail to partake of today’s offering. In our church this is cut squares of white bread, and a thimble-sized cup of grape juice. 

I watched as one small girl took her bread and her little cup of juice and stood alongside the rail. She dipped her bread into the juice and took a tiny bite, and chewed it leisurely. Pretty soon she dipped her bread again in the juice and chewed that—again, leisurely. She was in no hurry. As she chewed she stood there lost in thought. 

Adults and other families came and went while she finished her meal. When her bread was gone she tipped her cup and made sure she’d gotten every last drop out of it before placing the cup in the receptacle holes for the used cups. Her Dad stood next to her, waiting until she’d finished and then they returned to their seats. 

The first thing I appreciated about this scenario was that no one—and I mean No One—attempted to hurry this child, or interfere in any manner with the way she chose to consume her communion. That would have totally honked me off. 

But the second thing—the way she continued in her method, unaffected by the steady flow of traffic to the rail around her impressed me to the max, and I couldn’t help but question: Why do we forget how to remain unaffected when working on our own projects, be it writing, painting, designing flower gardens or redecorating our TV room? 

Many have written and sold books on “How To Write Fiction” or “How NOT To Write” or “5 Easy Steps to Publishing Success!,” or blogs espousing how you, too, can make 6 figures in freelancing! 

Their intentions are mostly good, I am sure, but too much of “them” gets in your head and does much damage, especially if you get so bound up by their advice that you cannot cut yourself free to be and do—what you want to. 

If you spend too much time reading and absorbing all this flak, you, unlike that oblivious small child enjoying her communion, won’t be “taking your particular seat” anywhere nearly as calm and satisfied as she was today. 

We know our own rhythms and expectations; what we want. What works for us, is going to be very different from what someone else does. 

And that is okay. 

Like taking communion, as far as I’m concerned, there is no right way. 

All that matters is how you feel about how it’s progressing. For you. You’ll know when you aren’t happy with the way it’s moving, and then you’ll do something about that, or you’ll quit. (I don’t recommend this.) 

Forget everyone else. Try to be like the child at the communion rail. 

Follow your own rhythm–because you do have one.

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6 thoughts on “Writing and Finishing: Be like a child.

  1. Excellent advice, Becky. I’m betting that all, or most, of us writers can relate to your blog. There is a danger of reading so much advice that one cannot decide which way to go. Advice is ok if it’s not always taken literally. At least, that is my way of thinking.

    • And I am with your way of thinking. I think I started into a “pattern” in the beginning many years ago, and now I know it is time to break free of that patterned habit. I’ve made some progress, but I’m thinking of trying something pretty drastic soon—just to see if I can make the leap. I have always been strong administratively, though. It’s how I earned my paychecks, and I was dang good at it and people knew they could come to me for information, location of files, blah, blah, blah, but somehow The Administrate-a-holic needs to understand “she must step down more often.”

    • Hello “Reflections”—I keep wanting to respond to you more–and you already have figured out I get cornered by trying to read and learn it all too much—during short spells. I’m really working to break that. I had an artist turn up in a writing class I lead in our city. She is thinking of writing more on two novels she’s started. Quote: “I don’t read blogs, newsletters or look at the Internet much at all. I am an artist. When I’m working on my stuff–it’s just me.” Having heard that, I would have to offer, however—the book/writing business is very different today and the demands on us require knowledge from many, many levels. If you can help me figure out how to find that “right level,” I’ll bake delicious things for you often! 😀

    • To be honest, Joyce, I thought heavily on what you and I have been exchanging. And then this one came when I sat down to write, and I hope it explained things better.

      Peace–and real friendship.

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