Writers Are Open Books

4060475766I enjoyed a long phone chat with a good friend today that gave me much to think about. A portion of our 90 minute conversation was regarding my writing pursuit of the last 2 years. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, for my own private pleasure. In my thirties I loved seeing my thoughts on the church page of our local small town newspaper twice a month.

Now, in my fifties I am chasing the dream of being a professional writer for more than just satisfaction, but for money. The recent income of our home has been helped by the articles and devotionals I have had published online. But it is not enough, either financially or emotionally. I have more to give and what I offer is worth payment.

This morning my friend asked if my view of the book I am currently working on is different from the first book idea I had two years ago, and gave up on. Do I feel differently this time around? What feels different about it?

I answered in the affirmative, that yes, this felt different. I can “see” it this time, I can imagine what I want to hear about it from others, I can picture who it will help and how it can make a difference in lives. There is a tighter focus and outline this time. I even have ideas about a cover and I have consistently worked on it for a few months now.

So then, my astute friend asks,

“Do you think that you needed to go through the last two years in order to write the book that you now see in your heart?”

“That is a really great question!” I told her.

I have been beating myself up over wasting the last two years NOT writing the book I had in mind. I felt like a failure and have been too embarrassed to even tell anyone about this second book attempt. So many hours here alone in my house NOT writing! There are writers with busy, jam-packed lives who dream of having all the time I have. But these empty days are not by choice and they are not bringing in the finances that we so desperately need. These hours are not delightfully full of creativity and production.

The last two years have been full of research, exploring and gleaning great advice from writer groups, forums and some amazing new writer friends. I have been schooling myself in the process of publishing, writer proposals, blogging and much more. The last two years have been a journey with God that has altered my view of life and those around me. There are dark mood days and “I can conquer the world” days and I am a different woman than I was two years ago.

My gentle phone-friend asked a beautiful question that transformed my view of myself. There is no wasted time for a writer. Yes, of course we can procrastinate better than anyone and we know it. But every minute can be reinvested into our writing. Every moment is material and inspiration and useful.

Thank you Dear Stephanie for asking the question, to which you already knew the answer. Thank you for loving me enough to make this call across the many miles and states that separate us. I know that God was there in our laughter and words, as we updated our life’s news to one another. So this little blog-post on an obscure writing website that no one reads is quietly declaring that I am trying again to write a book. (It feels like everyone around me is pushing them out like crazy and they make it look so darned easy!)

Thank you friend for allowing me to spill my heart and hopes out all over you and then having you hand them back to me all prettied up and turned into a gift.



6 thoughts on “Writers Are Open Books

  1. So true. We just had a discussion in my writers group yesterday about procrastination. We so often beat ourselves up over this when sometimes it’s just the time we need to let the story percolate until it’s ready to bubble up. A writer friend told me how disgusted she was with herself because she’d written nothing on her memoir for a long time. Then she told me about all the new ideas she had for organizing and expanding the story. Her mind/spirit were working on it the whole time. I’ve experienced this myself many times, but now I’m going to look at procrastinating a little differently. Maybe rename it “percolating.”

  2. Great question, indeed. It’s so wonderful to have insightful friends. If we truly believe that God works all things for our good, this includes His timing too. And, of course, this is where faith comes in. And hope for what is not yet seen.

    1. We do need one another I am realizing. Kept thinking I could do it alone and then show the world! I am thankful for you and the other writers who understand and help one another Julie.

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