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This is the last of my New Year Story Plans. It’s been fun to consider story in the context of the New Year, and to put some stories down in print. One of the most difficult things has been keeping the stories simple enough. It’s tempting to plan too much, to try too hard, but I hope I’ve kept my stories clear. As it is, five New Year stories seems like a lot. We shall see.

My final story is the most difficult to write about. Because, I suppose, it will be the most difficult story to live. I purposefully left it to the end, and I’ve been thinking about it all week. I like all the stories I’ve planned so far, but this one goes that little bit extra. It’s the hardest because it’s the closest to my heart.

I want to write a book.

Whew, that was a difficult sentence to type. But there it is. My final story for 2012. This year, I want to write a book.

Donald Miller suggests that there are four elements to a good story.

1. A person

2. Who know what she wants

3. And is willing to overcome the obstacles required

4. To get it.

Number three is where I’m at now. I’m considering this thing that I want, and determining the obstacles that could keep me from getting it. There are a few, and a lot of them are about me. Because writing, I mean writing a book kind of writing, would require a certain level of commitment, diligence, perseverance and persistence that, frankly, I’m not sure I have. At least, these things do not come naturally to me. They sound hard.

But if the writing, the hard, lengthy, creative process was all that was required, I think I’d be good. It’s the marketing, the self-promotion, that I’m not sure about. Because if I write a book, I’d really like a few people to read it, and from the research I’ve done it sounds like a lot of the getting people to read the book would be up to me.

Publishing has changed a lot in the last few years. Now, it seems, it’s about getting a tribe, and having followers, and blog visit statistics, and social media. Ew.

So, here is what I’ve decided to do with this writing a book story. I’m going to write the best book I can. And I’m going to continue to write the best blog I can. And I’m going to pray about it and commit it all to God and ask for his help and guidance. And somewhere down the road, when it seems like there might actually be a book at some point, I’ll figure out how to do the other stuff.

E.L. Doctorow once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I’m looking forward to blogging about all five of my stories this year. If you’d like to read the other posts in this series, here they are:

New Year’s Day 2012: Fingerprints

Day One: Planning a relationship story

Day Two: Planning a healthy story

Day Three: Planning a faith story

Day Four: Planning a happy story

Oh, and Happy New Year!

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