Is there anything possibly worse than not starting the project?
Starting and then not finishing.
Lorena Veldhuijzen’s son created a fantastic adventure complete with colorful characters, funny names, and a moving story of how to fit in with others when you’re different.
This is an excerpt from a chapter in my upcoming book, “Spark: How to write a book with your kids–and why you should” due out Dec. 17, 2018 and on sale for pre-order now for just $0.99.
They worked on the story together, build out the characters with even more detail, and even gave the book a title: “Kungi Kanga.”
Here’s a snippet of audio from our phone call in which she starts talking about the story. Keep in mind, this project was years ago. Yet, she recalls it with detail as if it were yesterday.
OK, so you might have figured out it’s in Dutch. At least you can feel the intonation and ease with which she tells the beginning of how the story was formulated and you might be able to sense the love for her son’s story in her voice. If not, we’ll all have to wait for the translation of the book into English. 🙂
When I asked her where the story was today, the pain and regret were evident in her voice.
The story was in a file on her computer. As we talked about it more, she even went so far as to say that the characters were imprisoned within the plaster walls of her computer and have never been out to see the light of day or transformed into ink on a page of a book.
Lorena Veldhuijzen is an author who has written several books, but the one that possibly pains are the most is the one that is trapped in the prison of the past.
Although there is not yet a happy ending to this story, there could be. The file is still on her computer. She hasn’t deleted it.
In fact, the prison where this story still lives is the worst kind of prison. This kind of prison has no locks and no doors yet it’s difficult to escape.
In this snippet from our call, Lorena talks about how frustrating it is that the book isn’t out. Her son wants it in book form, she wants it in book form, and it’s still in the computer.
The key to setting the story free lies not in the past and not in the future but in the present. The key to bringing her son’s imagination to life lies in the simple but not always easy task of taking action to finish a project started long ago.
Often the longer we wait, the more difficult it is to reinvigorate something from the past but it’s still possible. Easier, as I’m sure you can imagine at this point, is to finish what we begin without delay, without unnecessary doubt, and can take a line from a child’s innocent and pure playbook and ask not why the story should come to life but why not?
In this book, I almost don’t dare tell you what it even harder than beginning the project because I don’t want to to be discouraged and never begin. For the most part, I believe that starting the project releases enthusiasm, confidence, and an accountability from your self and your team to keep going.
Perhaps it’s not necessarily that finishing a project is more difficult than starting a project but in terms of pain, guilt, and regret, not finishing a project is far worse than not starting.