Letting a Book Happen
We’re doing things a little differently around our house these days. Over the holidays, Rich repainted our bedroom to obliterate the color that I’d selected a few years ago. I believe its name was “Wrong Green.”
Don’t paint your bedroom Wrong Green. You’ll be sorry.
We’ve relocated my writing space from the desk in our kitchen, the pulsing heart of our home, into a corner of our bedroom, a sanctuary. I spend at least an hour each day alone behind the closed door, and I write.
Writing is an act of obedience. And I’ve been stalling.
It’s been just about three years now since God sat me down and reminded me that this thing I have for words is a gift from Him, provided for His glory. A year ago, in a premature burst of confidence, I sketched out a proposal for a hokey, gimmicky book. I took it with me to my favorite writers conference where it was received, with, um, restraint. This response was a gift, though I didn’t see it at the time.
No. Then it just led to paralysis. I chatted with God: “You told me to write this book, didn’t You?”
“Yes, but have you heard Me say anything about publishing it, yet?”
He had me there. I stewed, simmering up a more authentic outline for the work. I joined an online critique group, where I received advice so conflicting I retreated into paralysis.
Finally, I felt the nudging again, understood this new course. It was time.
So during the first week of January, after my husband had lovingly renewed a quiet space for me to write, I took vacation. Along with enjoying my family and relaxing after the holidays, I had a secret agenda, shared only with God and Rich: I would establish the habit of a writing hour. I would return to the book.
I began by reweaving the words I’d written before.
Midway through that week, I noticed this post by a friend on Facebook.
The same day, I found this post from my friend Sandra.
Once I turned to obedience, the encouragement flowed from every direction.
JoAnn’s post was a gift. Sandra’s post was a gift. My husband created a beautiful, quiet place, then let me exclude him from it for a time, every day. One day I asked him to watch this amazing video that my friend Laura created.
Afterwards, I said, “I wanted you to watch it because that could have been me, talking.”
He gave me a “you think I didn’t get that?” look.
And I realized, right then, that he understands the writing the way a husband understands the monthly call of the moon on a woman’s body.
Other writers, people who are farther up this trail than I am, have left cairns along the way to mark the turns. Laura’s video? It’s a signpost for me–and a waystation.
Today, the direction of my story isn’t the one I expected, outlined, planned on, so I’m waiting to see what’s next.
But while I wait, I let the writing happen.
Will you pray that I will listen faithfully, and follow the steps where they lead?
And would you also consider liking my Facebook page? It encourages me to see your face there. I’ve added a button in the sidebar here to make it easy for you to find, if you’re so moved.
7 So the craftsman encourages the smelter,
And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil,
Saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
And he fastens it with nails,
So that it will not totter.
8 “But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Isaiah 41:7-10 (NASB)