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I started writing this post, and just like my “Why Don’t You Just” series, I got so lost in it that it ended up being way too long. So stick around for the next few weeks to learn why my lifelong amateur writing career culminated in a life-changing breakthrough last week about learning to love myself and the projects I take on with God. This has helped me in the process of writing “A Saviour’s Path,” and solidifying why I really believe in these books, and why I think you or someone you know will believe in them too.
If you’re reading these out of order, I encourage you to read the other posts, as well!
There’s always that fear when I don’t get those high praises that I’m not good enough to join the ranks of esteemed and revered authors. It’s possible. This is my first concerted attempt to really get something published, and even though I’ve been writing unfinished novels since I knew how to write, A Saviour’s Path is still technically a first. I’ve always been praised for my writing in school and by my writing circles and mentors when I was younger, but now that I’m older looking back, I find it so hard not to see my younger self as a better writer than I am now. Even though I didn’t finish anything, those are the stories I love to read over and over. They are simpler, and I think my descriptions and language are off the charts. Sometimes I feel that way about my current writing, but it’s rare, especially when it doesn’t get recognized by any of my betas. That’s really discouraging, because I’ll write something and think it’s beautiful, and then be hit with a bucket of ice water when I don’t get the response I was hoping for.
But there are differences between when I was writing back then and when I was writing now. Number one: I had one writing partner who LOVED my work and was always encouraging me and wanting me to write more, and I got mostly positive reviews from her. She told me it made her laugh and cry and she had the same attraction to my characters that I did. I also loved reviewing her work, and we did worldbuilding exercises together, and our characters wrote letters to each other, and we lived in each other’s worlds. In a sense, I was writing just for her, and it really boosted my confidence and encouraged me to keep going. These were “The Kings of Despartus” and “The Language of the Arts,” stories I worked on in 7th grade. Take a look at them, I think they’re really good and they are 95% the same as when I first wrote them as a kid. Then came “Rubble,” which I wrote in twelfth grade, and once again, she was the one who loved and understood my work. I wrote a lot of the Rubble chapters as assignments in my Language Arts class, and my teacher also loved my work, so that was easy too. Art is easy when you’re surrounded by fans, isn’t it?
Another difference when I was writing as a kid was that I would have times when I would just sit down and write. That’s how I wrote over 100,000 words of “The Language of the Arts” on my iPad in sixth grade. Most nights I would sit in my room and just write 1,500 words, without going back to edit or worry about anything more than the pull of the story. Later, when I felt up to it, I would go back and edit, but my main goal was just to write. That has to be the book I came the closest to finishing, but then the IPAD CRASHED and I lost 2/3 of my work, and was gun shy about writing much for a long time. I’m really scared about this 398,000 word series on my OneDrive that I’ve been working on for a little over a year now that takes so much of my computer’s processing power. If something happens to it, I’m not sure what I’ll do.
Of course, even when I was a kid I had dreams of being a famous writer, of finishing my books one day and being discovered and being one of those teen authors whom everyone is so astounded by. But then I started writing for more than one or two adoring fans, and going much, much darker and experimenting with different styles and elements, and things got hairy. Even though I was still proud of what I wrote, I think it was beyond my target audience, and it was a blow to my confidence. I tried giving my childhood writing friends “Waxflowers” and the reviews were not stellar. Soon after, I started writing “A Saviour’s Path,” and getting beta readers off the internet that I mostly haven’t even met, yet (love you ALL!) and getting some of my adulthood friends to try and read it. Again, mixed results, but the whole process, as well as reflecting on where I’ve come, where I am now, and talking to people that have experienced some of the things I write about, has really brought me to the conclusion that if I love my writing, that’s the only thing that matters. If God loves it, then I’ve done my job well, and He’ll take it from there. If I’m sitting here writing away for ONE person who might have a changed life because of it, that will be enough. Even if that person is me.
Because writing this book is changing me. I’m exploring some of my own traumas in my past, even though not all of them will be in the book. I’m exploring the traumas of others and learning to be more compassionate and empathetic toward the people who’ve hurt me. I really look forward to having more conversations with people like Marc and Michelle, who’s love and perseverance simply amazes me and inspires me to be more open in my own life. Even if they never read the book, the conversations that we opened up were so positive for all three of us, even if no one ever reads the blog posts I’m going to make about them. I hope to reach out to others to have more conversations like these. Even now that I’m taking up every ounce of my courage and letting people I know in on the secret that I’m writing a book, and they ask me what it’s about, and I say it’s about generational trauma, those brief chats where they share a bit of their story really encourages me. Even if they NEVER read it. Just like I could probably have a pretty decent chat with Rowling about Harry Potter, even though I’ve never read it, and I’m not sure I ever will. That connection is still there.
Thanks for Stopping by!
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13