The Courage To Write Endings and Beginnings: Write for 31 Days don’t like endings, especially when the thing that’s ending has been so good.

The closing lines of a book that’s stirred my soul, the final scene of a movie that has held me captive, the final days of a loved one’s visit, the good-byes at the end of a much-needed phone conversation, the last bite of lemon meringue pie.

I could go on and on.

But in life, I’ve learned that the end of one thing can often become the beginning of another. It’s like that with the challenge to “Write for 31 Days”. It’s been a wonderful growing experience for me, a true lesson in self-discipline. And along the way, I’ve made connections with some fellow writers that I hope to continue. I missed a couple of days here and there, but from the beginning, I gave myself permission to set aside the commitment if other, more important things demanded my time. And, they did.

Writing every day for 31 days, spontaneously and without a real plan, then sharing it with whoever would take the time to read has stretched me as a writer and, more importantly, as a person. At this “ending”, I find that I am more……


The most important thing I’ve learned is to not feel guilty for writing! My feelings of guilt have been self-imposed, but very real none-the-less. When I see other things piling up around me, when I have to say “No” to something good because I want to focus on writing, when the time I spend writing doesn’t produce an income — I feel guilty. But I’m learning to shed that guilt. Helping me with the process is Jeff Goins, author of the book “You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)”. Mr. Goins’ book will be my guide and companion as I write without guilt.

So tomorrow, a new writing challenge begins — National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words toward a novel. That’s almost 1,700 words a day, or three hefty blog posts. Can I do it? I honestly don’t know, but I’m going to try. The past 31 days of daily blogging have been a time of flexing my writing muscles and learning what I’m made of. The ending of it makes an excellent beginning for a bigger challenge.

For those who are interested, here’s a synopsis of the novel I’ll be working on, along with its temporary cover and working title. I’ll be posting here about NaNoWriMo on occasion, but I promise not to bore you with it. Wish me luck!

The Mill

In my literary novel, a Midwestern farming family learns important truths about themselves and about their Amish neighbors as they face the trials that come into the lives of every family, regardless of heritage. Past mistakes influence current decisions and challenge long-held prejudices when the two cultures collide, causing them to either build walls or work together to bring safety and peace to those they love.The Mill cover

Will and Rose Johnson are about to lose the family business, a grain mill once owned by Rose’s family and now run by Will. As their dreams slip away, they find themselves faced with revelations within their family that threaten to break bonds that have held them together through the loss of a beloved brother and the failure of their business.

Will their widowed daughter-in-law’s new suitor, a young man who has left the Amish faith, become the glue that holds the family together, or will his own family secrets bring more heartache into the Johnson family?





  1. knittingtoday

    Sounds intriguing!! I’ll be passing for your journey. I also use Jeff Goins as inspiration but in a different way.

  2. Karen

    Can’t wait for this!

  3. Tara

    Can’t wait to see where your novel takes us!

  4. Levi Thetford

    You will do ell, Ingrid. Have fun!!!

  5. Brenda L. Yoder, MA (@BeyondPicketFen)

    How exciting. You have done so well. I’m excited for your next step in the journey. Trying hard just to finish my 35000 for my book. Its hard, Can’t wait to see and hear!

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