The Easiest–and Hardest–Chapters to Write

I’ve been staring at the last two chapters of my latest book project, and I know what I need to write. But I have stage fright. I know exactly what needs to go there, and after months of labor, it’s exciting to know that I am that close to finishing the rough draft. And yet, I’m hesitating.

It’s the same feeling I’m getting this morning as I get ready to tell a Children’s Story at our church. Butterflies. Nervous stomach. Anticipation. I’ve been up front countless times with sermons, special music, testimonies, but it never gets easier. You feel it in your gut and you want to be focused, to do your best, to have the right words at the right time.

Back to the book. This is the 25th book I’ve published, and I’ve written more than that. And I am very familiar with this feeling. I KNOW what goes in those last two chapters, but I don’t know how to make them great. And that’s the rub. Expectation. You want to do your best, and you don’t always feel like you can deliver. And so there’s stage fright.

But when all is said and done, you have to deliver. Whether it is perfect (it will never be), whether it is exactly the way you wanted it (not likely), the book’s not done until you write those words–THE END. And so you have to live with the reality that the best you can do is the best you can do.

The other caveat in all of this has to do with stage fright. That’s adrenaline. Know what that’s good for? Energy. I’ve learned over the years to funnel that energy–that stage fright–into more excitement in my presentation. It hurts until I open my mouth and start telling my story.

And that’s what you have to do. Bite the bullet and live with stage fright. Suck up the adrenaline/fear and spit it out as energy/excitement. Have confidence in your abilities, which grows with your proven track record.

Trust me. I’ve been there. I am there.