Friday, April 24, 2009

Headed to the Barn

When I met my husband he lived on a farm. But the great part besides that it was in the country and I lived in town--was he owned a horse. On one of my visits, I asked of we could ride Flash. He warned me the horse was more of a pet than something you rode around the fields.

But I grew up owning a Jane West doll. My dream had been to own a horse and gallop through the fields like the cowgirl I should have been. But that didn't happen to a someone who lived on a street filled with houses.

So he gave in.

We rode double and headed out the pasture to the hill beyond. The ride wasn't as smooth as I thought it would be but oh so romantic--holding on to my boyfriend's waist with the breeze blowing though my hair.

And then we turned back home. Flash took off toward the barn like a speeding bullet. I clung for my life as he raced back through the fields.

The phrase "Like a horse to a barn" describes where I'm at with my WIP. I see the ending like Flash saw that barn. And I want to race through to get home.

Not a great idea. I could get thrown like I almost did on him. I could also miss some important scenery along the way if I rush too much.

So I am desperately trying to pace myself.

What do you do when you're in the final stretch and you can see that open barn door?


Beth in NC said...

LOL ... I can visualize this. We have a donkey that literally dragged my husband like a kite behind him when he was headed towards his pasture. Horses and such are very strong!

I probably run towards the "barn" too!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Sounds like Flash was aptly named, Terri! I loved this story!

You know what, I probably do streak forward and let the editing phase slow me down to infuse the lost scenery. But if you can slow yourself down to set it right the first round, the more power to you!

Jody Hedlund said...

What a great analogy, Terri! And funny! I'm in the same predicament right now. I'm trying to make it to the barn, but desperately pulling the reins on the horse! Pacing is a good thing!

Helen Ginger said...

Great story. I could see you hanging on for dear life while Flash zeroed in on the barn and probably some hay.

I'm probably a bit like Flash. I write and write and write. I can see the end and I'm going for it.

Jill Kemerer said... many of us had fantasies of riding a horse when we were younger? (I still do!)

Maybe rushing through at this point is just what you need? How much revising do you do after? That may be the best time for you to flesh in the final scenes.

When I'm rushing, I stop and ask myself: "is what I'm writing the next logical step? Or did I skip a few crucial points to get to the good part? Will readers be confused or rushed at this point?"

Thanks Terri--your blog always brings a smile to my face.

Janna Qualman said...

I think visualizing it (like Beth said, though I know she meant something else) can help. Just pace it in your mind, mapping out the path to get there.

You're still doing fantastic! You really hit it this time, I do believe, dear.

Greg C said...

If I were you, I would put it down for a while and let that feeling to run for the barn subside. Horses do that because horse owners like to treat their horses after riding them. They will feed them after riding them and the horses know that when they get back they get fed so they bolt for the barn once they make that turn.

When I ran more, I would get that burst of energy when I saw the finish line and I would give it one hard push for the finish line. Lots of people hurt themselves when they do that. Just something to think about.

Embee said...

I'll let you know when I get that close to the end!!!

Lin said...

self discipline and pace yourself...but its hard to do

Yolanda said...

I can visualize this as I grew up riding horses and have had to step aside from that when I reached jr high.

I'm not sure what I do other than having learned...WISDOM WAITS. And so I try to rein in "me" and allow God to show me the way.

Love ya!

Jessica said...

Wow, what a great analogy! I love it. And very romantic about you and your hubby. :-)
So, did you ever ride Flash again?

Oh, I'm usually 1000 words a day, no matter what. It's rare that I get over that, even when I'm near the end.

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh boy! This is such an apt analogy.

I have to consciously slow myself down when I get to this point because I want to "race" to the barn door, too.

Cindy said...

I run towards that barn door! Particularly with my last two manuscripts. I just can't help it. And I hate breaking the flow. So I go, go, go, then I have to edit, edit, edit. But I still don't care. Sometimes I get writing so fast, I nearly forget what I wrote. Then I get to go back and read it later and I get caught up all over again. It's fun. Probably doesn't work for most people. Might not work for me forever, but for now...that's the way it is :) Have great weekend!

Jaime said...

I usually have to pace myself or I miss critical threads that need to be tied up. I'll write a few paragraphs, walk away, come back, reread, edit, and then write a few more. I seem to keep the pace better that way and then I don't risk running headlong into the barn door and breaking my neck! :) lol

Pat's Place said...

Wow! I am impressed that you are in the home stretch! Way to go!

giddymomof6 said...

YES! YES! YES! You're at the home stretch! This always happens to me with every book I've written (I'm on my 8th) So i've just learned to embrace it. I mean, i'm rushing through the ending, I got through the middle blues that were so sluggish it wasn't even funny and now I'm zooming. I just zoom and pick up the ending again during the rewrite, once it's all done. LOL! If you can hold back your MS along that homestretch you have a tighter hold on the reins than I ever have! Good luck! Jenni

Saleslady371 said...

What a beautiful story. I am inspired.

Alleluiabelle said...

Oh my gosh Terri. I laughed as I had a picture in my mind of all of this and then all of a sudden...whoosh off you both go in a speeding frenzy.

If I was at the final stretch and saw the open barn door, I would probably go straight for it.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Usually, I take a good writing day for what it's worth and then pause on the next. I'm praying for some mighty winds to bring this "horse" into the barn in the next week. Almost there with you, friend.


Anonymous said...

I love your header photograph. To live there and see that beautiful ocean would be great!

The Surrendered Scribe said...

Awesome visual!

I have a blog award for you over at

I love your writing, and you!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Love the post title. Would also make a compelling short story and/or title for a book. :)

When I see the barn door (which is rare...since I seem to wander far afield and dabble in many neighboring pastures), I just pull back b/c I know I need to graze a little longer before heading in. LOL

Cheryl Wright said...

Terri, an award awaits you at my Perspectives on Life blog.

AnooCre8ion said...

Very funny and very romantic story Terri. You had me smiling all the way to the finish.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

My head is swimming today in the endless possibilities for how to put this "wip" altogether. The proposal is almost finished, along with some tweaking on an intro/exit pieces to bookend the writings. I'm also trying to decide how to lay out the 50 reflections in categories...another words...the order of things.

I'm cautiously excited to be reaching the "end"; that being said, keeping trust at the helm believing God for way much more than I'm allowing my mind to imagine at this point.

Just want to keep you updated on things. Thanks for your prayers.


conarnold said...

Great Post, Terri! I sometimes write like that, but usually I canter slowly along, absorbing all the inspiration I can get along the way.