Tag Archives: keep writing

“Just Keep Pulling The Cord!”

A preacher was making his visitation rounds on his trusty old bicycle one day when he came across a boy who was trying to sell a lawnmower. “How much do you want for it?” the preacher asked.

“I want enough to buy a bicycle,” the boy said.

The preacher, who just happened to need a lawnmower, thought for a minute and then said, “I’ve been looking for a mower, so lets trade. I’ll give you this bike for your mower.”

“Great!” The boy grinned from ear to ear.

The preacher got off his bike and walked over to the mower. He pulled the cord a few times, but the engine refused to start. “This thing seems hard to start. Is there a trick to get it to fire up?”

“My dad says you have to cuss at it.”

“I’m a preacher! I’ve been saved so long I don’t even remember how to cuss.”

A twinkle danced in the young boy’s eyes. “Just keep pulling the cord, and it will come back to ya.”

There are days that I wonder if I remember how to write. And the only thing I can do is “keep pulling the cord”, believing that it will come back to me, (writing, that is…not cussing…that’s a different post).

If you are struggling with blank screen syndrome, let me encourage you to write one paragraph at a time. Don’t think in novel-length chunks. Make your goal more manageable. When you’re driving in thick fog, you very seldom speed up. The wise thing to do is slow down, handle the immediate chunk of road in front of you. Eventually you’ll get to your destination, even if it’s later than you originally planned.

You CAN finish that novel. But you won’t do it by reading about writing. And since the novel won’t write itself, you’ll need to bang out the words with your own fingers…sentence by sentence. In other words, you’ll need to just keep pulling the cord.

How do you keep writing when the writing comes slow?



Filed under Christian Fiction, editing, reading, Writing

The Fog

Some call it “being in a funk”, but the more I’ve thought about it, I think it feels more like driving in a fog. I’m still doing things as a writer, but as I bang out the words to this post I simply can’t see very far down the road. I stare ahead, trying to stay alert so I don’t miss anything. This is how I feel right now as I’m pushing ahead on my writing journey. I’m in a fog.

I’m still brainstorming some ideas for my next book, and I’m trying to get up the emotional energy to send out proposals on my last one. In fact, my last book is one that I am very excited about…if I can just get it in the hands of readers. And while I enjoyed the many blessings of the writer’s convention I attended in September, a discouraging fog has settled in around me.

No…I’m not ready to quit. I am just being real with you: if you want to be a writer, expect to have to fight your way through the fog every so often. The way you deal with the fog may be different than how another writers tackles it. Some drink enormous amounts of coffee (I’ll leave the drink of choice as coffee since I’m talking about Christian Fiction), others go on retreats and attempt to ignite their creativity, some master solitaire, and others go shopping. And some of us blog. Whatever works.

There are many things I don’t know about this fog–like how long it will last–but there are a few things that I DO know:

  • God is bigger than the fog & that will never change.
  • I’m his child, so He never loses sight of me…not even in the thickest fog.
  • I’m blessed to have a wife and family that believes in me unconditionally.
  • I’m still moving forward…even if I can’t see very far down the road.

Have you ever been in the fog as a writer? How did you handle it? What did you learn?


Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, family, Writing