Reflecting on writing!

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”                                           

                                                                                  Zig Ziglar

This quote really got to me. It so well represents the process involved as I write my second book.

The confidence and belief in what I have undertaken to do is what gets me out of bed and behind the computer, tapping away at those little keys. This is character.

Convinced of the worth of my project, I set goals and commitment to those goals bring forth the words which slowly develop into a story worth telling.

Story lines sometimes become hazy. Research material abounds and could become tedious, especially when the eyes grow weary and the brain is clouded by fatigue. Discipline brings forth the perseverance required to see this project to the end.

I started to write my second book after the publication of the first book, From Lion to Lamb. It was about fifty percent completed by September 2014, approximately seventy -five percent completed by December 2014 and just about ninety percent completed in January 2015.

The problem is that it is still just about ninety percent completed in May 2015.

The book is written as a devotional. Each story is highlighted by scripture taken from the Holy Bible (KJV). The scripture is explained using analogies from Trinidad and Tobago’s culture, country, things and people.

Each story requires research. That research is twofold:

  • to explore the various meanings postulated about the scripture by different scholars and hence to arrive at  a common ground or to present different views;
  • and to obtain more information on the various aspects of Trinidad and Tobago being used for illustration. The research also generates new ideas.

At first the stories were simply written. The emphasis was on the cultural aspect but with ample spiritual background.

Even these simple stories required effort and sometimes took quite a toll on my energy levels.

However as the project proceeded, the spiritual aspect began to dominate. The devotionals became more intense and left me even more fatigued, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

By spiritual aspect, I refer to development of the meaning of each passage, its relevance in a historical context and to the cultural aspect as well as possible cross-referencing.

Needless to say this project has become inspired. It requires intense concentration. Each word is carefully considered so as to convey as true a meaning as possible.

I have made the effort to devote at least fifteen minutes a day on this project.I have failed on many days.

The majority of time for the last few months has been spent on research. I am having difficulty finding the last few story lines to blend spiritual with cultural.

I have thought about naming the book, “Walking in Sunlight”. I may consider changing that because I have a new concept for its cover.

One day I went on an easy hike to a place called Mermaid Pool in Northern Trinidad. My brother’s girlfriend and I were fooling around, doing funny poses as my younger brother took pictures.

I sat on a rock, surrounded by gushing water, and decided to do the classic pose of “The Thinker”.

If you recall “The Thinker” is a sculpture usually placed on a stone pedestal. The figure sits on a rock with his chin on one hand as if in deep thought (the image at the start of the post).

One school of thought is that it is  representative of Dante as he pondered his poem. Alternatively it is said to represent philosophy.

So there I was chin in hand, fully clothed might I add, surrounded by crystal clear water, in a pristine setting, with rays of sunlight streaming down in a grid like pattern through the overhead covering of the forest; the thought for my cover was born.

DSCN0819

The title is still up for grabs. By the way, I have written one of the stories based on that visit to the Mermaid Pool and perhaps I will share it in part with you before publication.

One of the early stories was already shared in this post.

So having read an enlightening post on keeping a journal about the process of writing a book, I have started.

I need to gain some new insights to complete this one. I had initially set out to be finished by January 2015. The process has come to a virtual halt.

Today I will make a determined effort to refuel my tank, rev up my engines and step on that accelerator, without compromising quality or substance.

What do you do when the path to your destination is cluttered with obstacles?

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