Monday Meditations

Bottomless Solutions

You are not a one story wonder.

Ideas are not the problem, most writers have dozens of ideas. Even if they are not fully formed, you likely have many snippets which could become a book. Often, even non-writers are quick to say, “You know what would make a good book…”

The problem is sitting down and turning that idea into a novel. That requires work. And during the work, you will come up against all sorts of problems.

Problems can hinder a new author from ever turning their Work-in-Progress (WIP) into a manuscript. But even if you have one book finished and on a shelf—it’s easy to dread the upheaval of a new story board. New problems.

It’s a common fear that you only have one book inside and you won’t be able to write a sequel.

Whatever is preventing you from finishing your first or starting a second one, I want to encourage you. You can solve that problem, that block, or fix the plot hole.

First step, let go

We can cling to tightly to our stories. It could be the first chapter we spent ten years perfecting, but doesn’t initiate action. It could be the bit of plot we loved, but makes little sense. In nonfiction, it could be the part of our journey that we want to tell… or the part we don’t.

You might have to combine a few characters, change the timeline, POV, or setting. It could mean walking away from the story (unless you are prone to months and years off of writing when you set it aside.) It could even could mean going back and erasing extensively.

Sometimes we cling to our ideas or thoughts because we’re afraid it’s the best we can come up with. It would be easier to kill those darlings if you realized that even though you run dry, you have access to the infinite God.

You have to release what you are clinging to in order for your hands to open and receive.

Second step, be still

Take your time. It isn’t like a drive-through for a pre-made burger, to reach into a bottomless well of ideas, knowledge, solutions and resources. Sit with a quiet mind and ask for ideas.

I’m confident that a little time with the source will refill whatever dwindles inside.

And when we aren’t talking about a book or novel but upheaval on the storyboard of your life, these two steps still apply.

Do not cling too tightly to your story, and sit still with the endless giver for a solution.

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Hilarey Johnson

    Hilarey Johnson grew up hearing that she would be a good student if she could get her head out of the clouds. Her daydreaming still makes it possible to get lost driving anywhere. She loves characters with a hidden or unknown worth who rise up to claim their identity. She writes redemptive stories from Idaho and travels in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Someday Hilarey hopes to time travel. She is the author of Breaking Bonds, and Dance of the Crane fiction series. She has written books and articles for Guideposts, Brio Magazine, Christian Living Magazine, local news papers such as the Times-News, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and others. She blogs weekly about "Intimacy with God for the Over-Churched" at Hilarey Johnson is the current President of ICW.

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