Lately I’ve been hearing a message repeated throughout my day. I first heard it a while back at church. Then on the radio, then in a random conversation and so on. It’s the message of sowing and reaping.
If you’re not familiar with the standard Christian bible, the King James Version (i.e. there are many different Christian bibles) the message of sowing and reaping, in its most basic form, is the teaching that whatever you put your efforts into (whatever you work at) that is what will generate results in your life. Depending on the source some say there are as many as 66 verses in the bible about sowing and reaping so it seems an important topic.
For example, if you cut wood eight hours a day for a week then at the end of that week you will have a massive pile of cut wood. Whatever you sow (put effort towards) you shall reap (get results).
I wondered every time I heard the concept about sowing and reaping how I would apply that to writing novels. I now how to apply it. I just didn’t know how to tell you about it. Then I had a conversation with a fellow writer who is writing their second book and struggling to get any traction. They knew I had written four books in a year and had five more I was working on for 2018. They wanted to know how I could write so many books. Here’s how a portion of the conversation went.
Me - How many book ideas do you have?
Them - Eight.
Me – Ok, so the problem is not lack of ideas.
Me – How often do you write?
Them – I write when the feeling hits me.
Writing when the muse or mood strikes is tantamount to failure. Think about it this way. If you had/have a 9-5 job and only went to that job when the mood struck you how big do you think your paycheck would be at the end of the month. How many hours you work (sow) has a direct effect on how big your paycheck is (reap).
Writing a novel is no different than any other job. If you write for a few hours a couple times a week, when the mood strikes, by the end of the month you might have finished 10-15,000 words or enough for 2-3 chapters. At that rate it will take a minimum of one year to get a rough draft. Add another year to turn the rough draft into a finished product.
So how many books you finish (reap) is directly proportional to how many hours you write (sow). You don’t sow you won’t reap.
To be a writer, you MUST do one thing more than anything else and that is write. Sounds simplistic but you would be amazed at how many ‘writers’ don’t write every day.
But I don’t know what to write? Write anything, a novel, a short story, a journal, a blog, it really doesn’t matter at first. All you want to do is sow (write) the reaping will come later and trust me it will come.
Look, you may not believe in God you may not believe in the bible but the principle holds true in the material world as well. If you don’t work (sow) you don’t eat (reap). Its built into every core of the universe in which we live.
So sit down and start writing.
DW is an author and an artist. He has been creating paintings and photographs for over 40 years. He lives in Eastern Kansas with his daughter, a large epileptic dog, two cats, and a barnyard of chickens and ducks.