02 January 2009

Great Doubt, Great Faith, Great Effort

The final plot phone consultation of '08 illustrated to me how thirsty we writers are for support and someone to believe in us. 

A writer with an incredible gift for dialog and in collaboration with an accomplished illustrator is creating a graphic surfer girl novel for middle grade. The plot rocks, the protagonist feisty, the setting unique, the father-daughter issues universal, the theme significant. The problem? Somehow along the way the writer lost energy for the story. 

The longer we chatted and the more praise I expressed, the more enthusiastic he became about his project. By the end -- it took us two, two-hour sessions to work our way all the way through the story, he was pumped and ready to devote the time and attention needed for the next and, dare I say it, final draft before beginning the submission process.

As thrilled and honored as I was to work with him on this worthy project, when I hung up from our call, I was also a little sad. I wondered about all the writers out there who may not be able to afford a service like I provide and are without someone to encourage and support them. I despair over the gifts out there half-started and never to be finished. A dream that never has a chance to manifest because of self-doubt, little faith and thus, the inability to put forth the effort needed to finish.

It's all a journey. And, the writer's journey is as filled with conflict, tension, and suspense, crises, and obstacles as any compelling story. It's our path to take and up to us to find what we need to make it to our own climax.

Any tips and tricks to offer other writers about how to restore faith when doubt stills all your writing efforts? 

(The phrase: Great doubt. Great Faith. Great Effort. -- comes from The Little Zen Companion and are the Three Qualities Necessary for Training.)