a novelist's dabblings

A Novel Idea

On the day that I drew from my glass bottle the fear of writing, it came to me. I must set myself a goal of publishing a book. The very thought scared me more than I can say. It’s always been one of my life goals – an item on my lifelong bucket list – to get a book published, but I always figured it would happen much later on down the road. When I have time. When I have more experience. When I “know what I’m doing.” But when will that time come? I know in my heart that if I don’t set a goal, verbalize it, and take actions to accomplish it, it will never happen. I’ll just forever go through life with a pie-in-the-sky wish of publishing a book “someday,” and it will never happen.

But God didn’t make me a writer for nothing. I honestly believe that if He gives us giftings and loves for certain areas, then He intends us to use them for Him. And me shrinking back in fear doesn’t honor the gift and the Giver – it doesn’t demonstrate my faith in Him that He can take my pitiful little scribblings and make them into something so much bigger.

Do I know everything? No. Am I the best, most articulate writer out there? Not hardly. Do I have much to learn? Oh so much. But when one feels like they have something to say, and they were born to tell stories, then how could one possibly stay silent?

So therefore, friends, I’m embarking on a journey. A journey, which if I stop to consider for too long, seems absolutely foolish. But here I go, regardless! And there’s a plan. A five-year plan. To publish a book in five years – by the time I’m 30. I’m going to tackle this novel that has been slowly growing over the past seven years, and I’m going to make her grow and flourish till she’s ready to fly. I’m going to surround myself with a panel of sounders who will truthfully and honestly tell me what’s wrong with it and what’s good with it and how it can be improved. I’m going to attend workshops, write every day, revise, develop, craft with my pen and keyboard, and I’ll just see what God wants to do with this little story.

And I’m telling you, friends & family, because to make a goal is one thing. To make it happen, one needs to tell others so they can keep you accountable, encourage you, kick you in the booty sometimes, and remind you when days get rough of why you set out on this journey in the first place.

As my writing book tells me, I need an audience to make my writing complete. And these two quotes I must remember:

“Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it. It is easy and interesting. It is a privilege. There is nothing hard about it but your anxious vanity and fear of failure.”

“Don’t always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. ‘I will not Reason & Compare,’ said Blake; ‘my business is to Create.’ Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable.”

So here I go. Making myself a goal which seems rather impossible … not ready to believe yet that I can do it. But Jesus is bigger than my fears, and I will trust Him. As I go, would you pray for me? Pray that I would remember that these words are not my own … they are a gift given to me, and I’ve been called to turn around and give them away again. And with His strength, anything He calls us to do is not only possible, but He’ll help us accomplish it.

May His name forever be praised.

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