Every year around Easter my husband, the Major, watches all of those splendid Cold War Biblical movies that had casts of thousands and would be impossible to make today. I tease him about watching them, but I secretly like them too. Except for that one part in the Ten Commandments where Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. First of all I hate this story in the Bible. Go ahead. Tell me it’s wrong to hate, but it’s disturbing to me as I am sure it is to most of you. Why would God give Abraham a son and then ask him to sacrifice him? I know, I know, I’ve heard all the arguments about devotion and obedience, but it seems unnecessarily cruel. But that’s just me. I’m human. I don’t always understand God. Not in the case with Abraham and certainly not when it comes to writing.
These days I feel a little like Abraham, asked by God to sacrifice his son. Just a smidge. Yes, I exaggerate. I’m a writer; it’s what I do. See, writing a book is emotionally a lot like giving birth. It takes months of worry, prayer, hopes, dreams, and preparations before this tiny miracle comes into the world. Then you have to give it over to the world–editors, readers, critics, and reviewers. Let me tell you it’s no easy feat. Even for the über-confident, there are always doubts.
Then you have me with God whispering in my ear to be brave. I thought I knew what it meant. Now I’m wondering if I was wrong.
Did He want me to change all my books to inspirational? Then why did the thought fill me with dread? Every time I caught sight of my writing schedule, I broke out in a cold sweat. Why?
I made it all the way through Ten Reasons Not to Date a Cop before the solid doubts set in. Was this what I was supposed to do? Or was it hard and that alone was filling me with concerns?
Every writer is warned throughout their writing life that the darlings will have to be killed. Those wonderful beautiful words that were strung together so eloquently will have to go. Be ready for it. Was that what this was about? Hanging on to my words?
Stephen King takes it one step further.
Yes, there is a danger in falling in love with one’s own words. But this was about more than that. I had spent a lot of time working on my rating system and getting it together for readers. Was it going to be confusing for readers to have a couple of my books still secular? And that’s not even completely correct. Some I could only take to the ‘sweet’ level–no bedroom scenes. But would that be enough? It wouldn’t be for the readers who wanted a ‘clean read.’ And it seemed a little…unfinished to me. See, I have a thing about ‘wholes,’ things being complete.
What was I supposed to do?
Ugh! I didn’t know! So I prayed about it, talked to Stacey, prayed some more. I walked, ate too many Rice Krispie treats, and prayed more. I even made my announcement of the changes to come. Then it occurred to me: was my uncertainty a sign? Had I misunderstood? Or was I just hoping that I did? Was this my sacrifice? Did God want me to accept his instructions, but not carry them through?
I’m still not 100% certain. I guess that makes me one of millions. There’s not much many are 100% about. So I’m in good company. But all plans of rewrites have been put on hold. I feel the need to go forward, not back. But more Christian/inspirational books? That’s definitely still on. I’m still not 100% certain what these books will be about. There are a lot of factors to be considered, contracts, time, and the ever-changing market.
Amish, historical, contemporary–I have stories in all three that I could write, but for now, I’m working on my contracted Amish books and Chase’s story. I’m still hoping to get that out before the end of the year. What will its rating be? I don’t know yet. It seems a little counter-productive to make it a green apple book when the others in the series are, and will remain, red apples. See? There’s that “whole” thing coming up again. And I’m not sure how–well, I can’t give everything away. Rest assured, I’ll let everyone know the rating when the time comes.
What about you? Have you ever had this happen, where you have been uncertain of what God wants from you? What did you do? I’d love to hear from you! Remember please to keep it positive and spread JOY.
Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amish Brides. *
The winner will be announced Friday September 1, 2017, on the next blog. Comments will be taken until midnight EDT Thursday August 31, 2017.
Thanks for reading!
*If you already have a copy of Amish Brides, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.
I have 2 winners I need to announce today–one from last week and the second from the week before. But…my right hand (you don’t have to tell Stacey I called her that) has been working a lot this week and I have to get with her. Never fear, those winners will be chosen. And even announced. Sometime. Soon. Until then, thanks for reading! :)