Feb 5, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Finish It!

One of my top ten all time favorite movies is Chariots of Fire. If you've never seen it, it's worth your rental money. A mix of sport, history, religion, love, inspiration and hot guys in tight shorts - what's not to love.

While talking to a couple of my critique partners recently, I was reminded of a great scene from the movie.

For those of you without video access, one of the main characters, Eric Liddell, gives a speech comparing getting through life to running a race:
You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. 

Of course this quote is much more powerful when delivered with a Scottish accent :)

I have two critique partners (waving hello to them) who are fantastic writers. But they are struggling to finish their work. They both can give genuine reasons why they haven't - jobs, family, kids, illness...and of course, all of those reasons are valid. I struggle sometimes too.

For these two writers, though, I think it's more than that. I think they haven't been able to finish because they don't believe - they don't believe they are good enough or they don't believe they can.

I tell them all the time - a certain magic happens when you finish something. Suddenly you are a person who can. And how you think about yourself and your tasks, whether it's writing or anything else you are striving for in life, becomes different.

But to embrace that magic, you have to finish.

"So where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within."

To my very excellent critique partners (and all of you out there struggling to finish something) - close your eyes and believe. You are worthy.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a perfectly timed post. And something that I've been thinking about myself, as I'm at the end of my book, and have been since forever.

    Yes, I've been busy, but I've been also struggling with perfection, and the fear of letting it go, and what if it's all wrong, and can I take it back, etc, etc.

    But I've finally come to the conclusion that I'm sick of it - as in I need to get it off the computer and put it out there and say, it's done.

    I sympathize with your friends, but here's to getting it done. Cheers.


Curiosity Seekers

Copyright © Melinda O'Neill Design by Dzignine