Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Difficult First Step

In addition to regular reading from my "One Year Bible", I've been reading Grace Notes by Alexandra Stoddard. The June 12th reading from Grace Notes really hit home with me.


Excerpt from "Grace Notes"

" Ah, but in such matters, it is only the first step that is difficult." Madame du Deffand

Perfectionists have the hardest time with beginings because they are waiting for the perfect moment, which never comes. Hours, days, weeks, and years slip by. Realize that the best time is when you take that first step. Take courage.

The first step has already been taken because you have gathered information and materials. Kandinsky didn't like to face a blank canvas so he put a little dot on the top and then relaxed and began to paint. Where are you going to put your symbolic dot today and take that first step.


I have a written manuscript for a Christian Bible study for women. I started this book and wrote most of it four years ago. Granted it took several months to do the bulk of the writing. I printed review copies and circulated them among women I respect. Then I reworked the entire book. Last year I removed one chapter and added a new one. I lack very little to have a completed, polished book. Last summer I even began a proposal to submit to First Edition Manuscript Service. I completed all but one portion of the proposal. But "life" kept getting in the way. It seems as though everytime I get close to completing this work - other less important, but more urgent things steal my time. But wanting to submit a "perfect", saleable book also weighs on my mind.

My reading from "Grace Notes" is an encouragement to just call my book "finished." Yesterday I worked on the last portion of the proposal. Today mundane things (like broken gray water tanks, checkbooks that needed balancing so I could pay the monthly bills, and a one night stay at one of my favorite desert campgrounds) kept me away from that completion.

But I need to look at that Grace Note page everyday until I get my book proposal submitted. Alexandra Stoddard's theme definitely hit home to me. If I wait for a perfect product, I'll never reach my goal. I need to take the next step - submission for publication. But if God really wants this book published (and I have faith that this is the case) - my job is to write the book and submit it - His job is to send a publisher so other people can read it.

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