Don’t Waste Any More Time. Finish That Book Today.
Today, I’m focusing on Steve Cummins, a member of the Writing Gym.
He has just completed the VIP Program where writers finish their novels, and I’m excited to share some of his amazing celebrations.
Steve is working on a character-driven medieval fantasy novel. The book touches on themes of sexual inequality and racial inequality, both of which are very relevant today.
Now 48, Steve began his journey with this book when he was 22. He couldn’t sit long enough to write, and the novel sat neglected for a good decade before he picked it up again in his 30s.
He got halfway through, and then set it aside for 5 more years.
Until he and I started talking.
Steve is obviously passionate about his novel. So why did it take him so long to finish?
Time and fear.
Steve was frustrated with his writing experience. He spent hours trying to reacquaint himself with the characters and what they were doing in a particular section, resulting in only getting 45 minutes of writing done.
Setting aside time to write is hard, folks. You have a lot more free time in your 20s, and then you start to make bigger commitments as you move into your late 20s and 30s. By the time we get to a certain age, we have a lot of commitments.
Despite all his commitments, Steve found the time to write—which is a huge celebration. I want to commend him on that.
How did he find the time?
Steve’s personal life was so busy, and the friends he talked to about his novel would say, ”Please, you’re never going to finish.” His parents knew he had dreams of being an author, but they probably thought, “Okay, we’re going to die without seeing that happen.”
So, he just had to commit. In terms of finding the time to write, Steve told himself, “I’m going to write in the mornings,” especially because his brain is clear in the mornings.
What Steve found was that if he didn’t get an hour every morning like he wanted, he found 45 minutes in the evening to continue working. He gave himself a weekly goal, and if he missed a day, he carried that hour over to the next day.
What Steve utilized was the power of decision.
We are going to have moments where things are happening- recessions, natural disasters, and other events out of our control. I mean, we’re in a pandemic. It is a unique time.
Taking the power to decide to write and standing with that power is so important.
I asked Steve, “What are some of your experiences in the celebrations you have, things that you were able to see that you hadn’t ever thought of before?”
He said there is a theme with the mindset, both relinquishing control and taking control. There are circumstances where your best-laid plans won’t go the way you want, because life gets in the way.
Instead of letting circumstances defeat him, Steve tries to recognize the parts that can’t be controlled and remember that it’s okay.
“Instead, I focus on how I am I going to respond and what I’m going to do? I think about it, and then I move on and focus on what I’m going to do in the present.”
“It’s about getting rid of the resentment for the things that happened outside of my control, and focusing on what I can control for my next steps.” Such an amazing philosophy.
Through joining the Writing Gym, Steve rediscovered the fun of writing, and also realized his dream of writing a book was not something he gave up on 15 years ago, but a dream he could actually fulfill.
What else did Steve get out of the Writing Gym? He got a community and the personalized help he needed to fully commit to writing his novel.
Writing is a solitary endeavor, but as an extrovert, Steve had a hard time on his writing journey alone. Through the Writing Gym Facebook page, he was able to see all the different celebrations on the page and feel a sense of camaraderie with his fellow writers.
Our Writing Gym coaches, Gretchen and Jill, allowed Steve to share his thoughts and ideas with other writers, and get personalized comments on his writing while also creating room to build his creativity.
Steve loves the Writing Gym, and would recommend joining as a solution to any writers out there who feel stuck.
Why is the Writing Gym so helpful?
- It creates commitment to make the time to write, instead of using the excuse of “I don’t have enough time.”
- The neuroscience behind the writing process helps writers remove fear from their writing and embrace creativity
- Weekly writing sessions focus on building creativity, and receiving personalized help on whatever writers are working on.
- There is a sense of community
All these reasons help Writing Gym members speed up the writing process to get you to publishable- fast.
Steve has grown so much as a writer during his time in the Writing Gym, and I can’t wait to continue working with him and help realize his dreams of becoming a published author.
Don’t put your writing dreams on hold. Let’s work together to get to publishable. If you’re interested, let’s chat. I’m happy to help.
Until next time, happy writing.