Beyond the Headlights

As a writer I end one novel and come up with an idea for another. You create a hero, heroine and protagonist in your mind and come up with a few problems these three will have to work through. Then you stop and realize—you have to come up with eighty to one-hundred thousand words for this novel! “No way!” you tell yourself as you sit there, staring at the ‘big picture’. So many words! “I can’t do this!”

Step away from the big picture! Take a deep breath and think about this…you can only see so far at night when you’re driving. Headlights only go so far and then the road ahead is dark. There may be no danger in that darkness—a flat straight road or a few deer may be standing a foot inside that inky blackness. Whatever is ahead of you will eventually come into the light, and you’ll deal with it. So you take the road a few illuminated feet at a time—very manageable.

Writing a novel is like that—one sentence at a time leads to a complete paragraph and if you keep putting words, sentences and paragraphs together you get a page. Write enough pages and voila! You have a novel!

Life is like that road with only a little way ahead lighted. Anything you do is like that—you keep pushing forward and sooner or later you’ve reached ‘the end’ or your destination or whatever. The trick? To look at the big picture but accomplish it a tiny bit at a time.


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