I want to give you a glimpse into my life as a writer. Two weeks before leaving for Eastern Europe, I received a phone call from Harvest House Publishers. “Good news,” said Terry Glaspey, one of my favorite people in that company. “We want you to write the devotional you proposed recently.”
I managed to stifle my “Wahooo!!!” To me, landing a book contract after six years without is like winning the lottery, only better. It’s not that I haven’t tried. It’s that the publishing industry is a tough one to crack if you choose not to self-publish. I’ve suggested several ideas over the past few years but none have developed into contracts and actual projects. In the meantime, I’ve prayed and wrestled and wondered if my writing career was over.
On numerous occasions, I asked God to confirm whether or not He still wanted me to write or whether my direction had changed. And every time I asked, He sent a direct confirmation on the same day. I’ll always remember the woman who phoned and said, “I don’t know you, but I read your book, Moving from Fear to Freedom. It changed my life. Today I feel compelled to phone you and say, ‘Please keep writing.’”
I burst into tears and told her that I’d been ready to give up that morning, but I’d asked God to send confirmation and to do so that day. She listened, and then she cried. “I heard Him correctly!” The experience bolstered her faith, and it cemented my call to write.
I spent July doing ministry in Europe. My writing time equaled zero, apart from answering emails and writing a couple of blogs while sitting in the back seat of a van driving across Romania, Hungary, Poland, and Germany. I arrived home on July 31 knowing that a book deadline awaited. Several days passed before I caught up on business emails, conquered jet lag, and cleared my brain fog enough to focus on a book. But now the work’s underway.
This WIP (work in progress) is a new devotional. It will be a lovely 4”x6” size with a padded hardcover. It will contain 180 short meditations. By short, I mean 250 words. That’s called “tight writing.” No room for adverbs, adjectives, or prepositional phrases. It’s like preaching an entire sermon in a couple of paragraphs. Try it sometime for interest sake, and see how you fare!
My husband was away this week, leaving me home with no meal preparation, no housework, and no laundry. A writer’s dream come true. And so, I’ve exercised early each morning (writing for many hours a day can do damage to one’s body) and glued myself to the loveseat for the rest of each day. The ceiling fan keeps me relatively cool, and I consume a lot of cold drinks. The best part of my new assignment is that it requires me to spend 12 hours a day in God’s Word, seeking His face as I explore spiritual truths and seek to make them relevant to my readership.
This week, my goal was to write 30 devotionals. So far, I’ve completed 23. Noon tomorrow is my self-imposed deadline. I’m trusting God to enable me to meet that goal so I can shut things down when my mom comes to visit for two weeks. Would you pray me through if the Lord brings me to your mind?
My agent, Steve Laube, posted this link on his blog today. The video depicts five emotional stages of writing a novel. I’m not writing a novel, but the emotional stages are the same. The last stage—editing—is yet to come. As for the first four, they totally describe my life this week. Take a few minutes to watch it—it’s good for a laugh.
Have a great day! Know you are loved.