I’m currently writing a book about dog training. It started rather slowly and last winter I didn’t get any further than a rough outline. I was discouraged and so I set it aside for a while. Then, beginning of this year, I picked it up again. I’ve had to change a few things first.
The perfect first draft
You see, I have a problem to sit down and just write. I can’t let go. First drafts are not my favorite part of writing. I struggle with them because, in my eyes, they need to be perfect from the start. I want my drafts to have no spelling mistakes and all the right words. (Maybe a result of the frustrations I’ve had while writing essays in school?)
Let first drafts be first drafts
This year I didn’t give in to my worries about sentence structure or spelling or anything else during my first drafts. I guess what got me motivated was something I’ve read on a writer’s website: First drafts are exactly that: first drafts! So I sat down, let the ideas flow and recorded them on paper.
To outline or not to outline
I’ve ended up with an abundance of thoughts and, first, I was afraid of organizing them but it worked out well. Some writers suggest to start with an outline. I didn’t create one until after I’ve jotted down most of my ideas which worked well for me.
The ideal time to write
I’ve searched the internet to find suggestions for the best time to write. The answers were overwhelming. Since I’m a morning person I thought it would be best for me to follow the advice of writing first thing in the morning. For a while I did but it wasn’t ideal. You see, I like to have my devotions and study in the early hours of the day. I’ve had to come up with a schedule and I knew I couldn’t do both, writing and studying, at the same time. I’m now doing my studies in the morning and my writing I do in the afternoons and that works for me.
Christian or not?
When I first started to work on this book I thought I could write it from a Christian perspective, no problem. I soon realized, though, that a couple of Bible verses here and there or one or two references made to God will not make it a Christian book at all. It was time to get down on my knees and pray. It was time to trust in the LORD and to acknowledge Him in all my ways. Since then the book is going a different direction but also progressing.
It’s amazing how much the Bible has to say about God, about people and about the relationship between us and the animals. God’s Word helps me to get the right kind of idea about taking care of dogs and training them — and sharing with others what I have discovered along the way 😉