Do you struggle with unfinished writing projects? A survey by a popular writing blog revealed that 72% of writers answered “yes” to this question http://thewritepractice.com/finish-projects/. I can certainly count myself among them. Several unfinished Works in Progress (WIP) patiently wait in my computer files for me to return to them and revive our once loyal and loving relationship.
I start out with the best of intentions when our relationship is fresh and uncomplicated. I make a solemn promise to stick with my current WIP through thick and thin. In spite of my strong commitment, it doesn’t take long before things go wrong. The WIP begins to display its faults and no longer looks as attractive to me as it did when we were first courting. Once our relationship starts to fall apart, I begin to have doubts about whether this WIP is the right one for me.
Before I know it, our relationship has slid further downhill as my WIP grows stubborn and irritating. I find myself becoming more negative and critical towards it with each passing day. Soon I’m easily tempted to stray whenever other appealing ideas whisper seductively in my ear. It becomes increasingly difficult for me to resist the urge to throw myself into these promising new relationships. After all, if I tie myself down to this WIP, I’ll be passing up the chance to take advantage of all these other wonderful opportunities.
However, by now I’ve started to feel rather guilty about breaking up with my current WIP. Perhaps I should shoulder some of the blame. So what do I need to do to avoid this temptation to stray and stay faithful to my current WIP? Well, perhaps I need an attitude adjustment. Maybe it’s my behaviour that needs to change if we are to be successful in sustaining our relationship. So I decided to do some research to discover what was at the root of my commitment problem and develop some strategies to deal with it.
My research helped me recognize that my tendency to flirt with seductive new ideas was the result rather than the cause of my commitment phobia. Two particularly persistent troublemakers were those evil twins, procrastination and perfectionism. Together they conspired to keep me from remaining faithful to my current WIP. Their bullying behaviour was disruptive and dispiriting. It distracted me from my WIP and deterred me from achieving my goals. Fortunately, two of my oldest and dearest friends, patience and persistence, showed up to rescue me from their clutches and set me back on the “write” path.
In addition, I discovered it would take a lot of dedication, determination, and discipline on my part to maintain and nurture my relationship with my current WIP. However, there’s no need for me to struggle with all of these commitment issues on my own. Fortunately, I know that I can pray to God and ask Him for help and direction. If I listen for His voice and trust in Him, He will guide me along the “write” path so I can fulfill my commitment to the WIP He originally chose for me.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”
So now when those tempting new ideas come calling, I politely take note of them. However, I keep my promise to stay faithful and ensure that my heart and calendar remain open to fulfill my commitment to my current WIP.