The choice I should have made a long time ago

So where were we?

Oh, yes. Last we spoke, I had returned from a month-long break from blogging and social media to focus more time in worship, and I said God had revealed a new vision for my writing life.

For those who question the sanity of anyone who says God reveals things to them, please know I once shared your line of thinking. I also once questioned the sanity of anyone who loved coffee. That was before caramel macchiatos came into my life.

We all have our maturing to do.

In my last post, I promised to share with you this new vision God laid out for me. I am a woman of my word, so put on your listening ears.

First, a little backstory

Once upon a not-so-long-ago time, my middle school English teacher brought to my attention the fact I had a proclivity for writing my peers did not. She encouraged me and challenged me. She got my literature teacher in on the action too.

I was 11. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Not just any kind of writer, though – a novelist. This is key to the rest of my story, so hang onto that. Novelist.

Writing in all forms attracts me, but fiction is my first love. I include stories on the screen as well as on the page in the fiction category.

Fiction is where my heart beats.

My first experiments with writing in middle school were all fiction, starting with a kids book about a murder on a pig farm (don’t ask) and progressing to a Grapes of Wrath-esque saga of a family after the fall of America. I was pubescent, so you will forgive my melodrama, I’m sure.

In high school, I wrote novellas in longhand that my mom typed up for me – all fiction. For the first time, I made someone cry over the pain of one of my characters.

In college, one of my short stories garnered top prize in a fiction contest, earning me a scholarship. As a senior, I opted for an independent study focused on writing a compilation of interrelated short stories, all fiction, of course.

Once I graduated, however, I slowly began to bury my dream. Deeper and deeper every year. Because encouragement is much harder to come by when you have no teachers cheering you on, no mom to type up your stories and share your pieces with all her friends despite your objections.

You’re on your own.

And scared.

Without the necessary support, I began to regard the pursuit of fiction writing as foolish. It didn’t pay. It was too difficult to get published. I would never be good enough. It was a waste of time in a life of bills to pay.

At one point in my adult life, going into bookstores caused me pain. So I avoided them. I didn’t want to risk being around the works of successful authors and hear the faint wails of my dream imprisoned in its deep, dark dungeon.

In my month-long hiatus, God brought all of this to my mind. I read books such as Allen Arnold’s The Story of With and Bruce Wilkinson’s The Dream Giver, both books about pursuing God-given dreams, and the NECESSITY of doing so – not for my fame, but for His.

The vision

Through these channels, along with Scripture, prayer and counsel, God revealed the vision He had of my writing.

I am an author.

I am not a blogger, at least not in the standard sense.

I am not a freelancer, though I will keep a couple of gigs.

I am someone who loves and needs to tell stories to inspire others.

For many years, I chased the dollar instead of the dream.

Other forms of writing – communications, freelancing, PR, media relations, web content, blogging, etc. – all paid and paid me decently.

But they are a lesser version of my dream.

I had tried – hard – to find my way in blogging and freelancing, only to feel frustrated and empty. I felt like I was beating my head against a wall more often than not.

And God said, “That’s because you’re beating your head against a wall, child.”

We all have our maturing to do.

So from now on….

Now I will spend much of my writing time focused on crafting novels. Yes, I am working on a new manuscript and am about one-third through writing the first draft. It’s set in … a bookstore. #fullcircle

This means things will change drastically for this little blog of mine. Occasionally I will blog an update on how things are progressing, but otherwise, I am pulling back from all blogging pursuits.

The best way to stay up-to-date with me and never miss a thing is by subscribing to my monthly e-mail or on Facebook.

Always, always I would love to hear your story!! Please feel free to send me a note anytime. I personally respond to each one.

Be blessed,

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Where pain and thankfulness meet

Periodically thankfulness is resurrected, dusted off and hashtagged. At Thanksgiving, we traditionally share our list of thanks at a table full of food, elbow-to-elbow with family. On social media, we sometimes take up “challenges” from friends to post a week’s worth of things we are thankful for.

These are great.

Yet…

My thankfulness seems hollow. Continue reading “Where pain and thankfulness meet”