Falling Behind

From ArtPrize, 2014

The other day I lost 8,000 words of the novel I’m currently writing. This happened after a full week of speaking engagements and feeling sick and meeting a couple of deadlines. 8,000 words is almost 1/10th of a novel. Some of those 8,000 words were really great, too. It really, really aggravated me.

I mean, I knew I could rewrite those words. I knew what happened in that scene. Still…8,000 words. Ouch!

Then, as it goes, I started going through the highlight reel of all the ways I’ve fallen behind over the last few months. Here I am, days from Spring Break and months from the end of another school year, and I don’t have a completely finished and polished novel. I have nothing to give my agent to sell to a publisher. I’m not getting going on novel #5.

What is wrong with me???

The answer? What’s wrong is that I’m being too hard on myself. At the end of October, I sent A Cup of Dust to Kregel Publications. November and December, I started researching for a novel (which I’m planning to write next year). January, February, and March I’ve been planning, pre-writing, and drafting novel #4. That and I’ve picked up a freelancing job and more responsibilities with Breathe Christian Writers Conference.

That’s not chopped liver. And I’m not saying that so you know…I’m saying it because I need to acknowledge it.

I have this tendency to think I can do everything right this very now…and do it well…without taking a break. That’s just not possible.

I need to give myself some grace. I need to look back and see that, yes, I did accomplish much in my writing and in my family life. And I need to be grateful for all that God has done with my writing this year so far.

I’m not behind. I’m still moving forward.

17 Comments on “Falling Behind

  1. Keep going Susie! No one says you have to publish novels on a strict time schedule (although I’m sure your readers will be eager to get each one!). Great post to remind us to keep moving forward. I have a tendency to want to give up if I get too far “behind,” but that’s not an option…we all have to just keep doing the best we can and stay close to the LORD. He’ll help us get the things done that matter…in His time.

    Hope those 8,000 words fly back onto your computer even better than before!



    • Thank you, Robyn! I’ve rewritten a little over 3,000 of the words. Fortunately my brain is making the rewriting work out pretty well.

      Keep moving forward! I believe in you, my friend!


  2. But how did you lose it? And how are you going to avoid losing the rewrite?


    • It was a combo of my automatic back up program not being turned on, medicine head forgetting to manually save and back up, and the program shutting down. I’m usually obsessively good at backing up my files and emailing the documents to myself for safe keeping. Sinus meds, however, have a way of numbing my brain, turning it into mashed potatoes.

      I’m saving like a crazy person again. 🙂


  3. I’ve always said that the only thing that will get your book written is bum glue and fingers moving, but 8,000 words is a lot to lose. I feel for you. Keep at it, and keep trusting Him.


    • Thank you, Roger! I’m with you on the glue and finger groove. The 8,000 are coming back better than I could have imagined. I feel like God gave me an extra dose of grace to cover my failure to back up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU, Jennifer! Big life changes can make us feel like we’ve fallen behind. But you, my friend, are in a sweet spot with your cutie pies. I really admire you.


  4. Oh, Susue! You really spoke to me today! I’m running on fumes. Like you, I think I can do everything, so I just keep on forging ahead nonstop. Wait a minute! When do we take time to do something special just for the heck of it? I’m so sorry you lost so much of your novel. A word of advice, you may want to invest a little bit of money in Carbonite, a program that stores everything from your computer. If you find something missing, Carbonite can locate it for you. I think it’s about $60 a year, but well worth it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written the best possible review ever and poof! Gone! It’s maddening, and my rewrites are never as good as the original. Stop, take a deep breath, make yourself a special cup of coffee and enjoy our gorgeous West Michigan sunshine for a little while! Hugs & prayers for you, sweetie!


  5. Though this is a devastating setback, I’m quite sure the replacement version of those 8,000 words will be even better. (I speak from experience.) It will also take less time this time to rewrite. (Again, I speak from experience.) you can do it!


  6. Pingback: Queen of the False Start | Susie Finkbeiner

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