A few days ago, I thought the book I’m now writing would be my last. Why? Because I had reached the middle. Looking back on my writing over the years, I remember how I hit that doubt point with every single book I wrote, except for my first.
With the first, I wasn’t considering if it was good enough or if I was “following” the rules…
So what are those rules anyway? Things established by people who are writers, editors, publishers. Sometimes these rules get too stringent and too literal. A writer can get caught up in trying to be “perfect” while the popular best sellers don’t adhere to these rules at all. We are told it’s because they have already established a name for themselves with readers.
My argument is this. If they established a name for themselves with not following the rules, why don’t we do the same? As I’ve matured, I learned to stop listening to the rule makers of the publishing world. Doing so can cause a writer to lose their voice and become one of the masses.
I don’t want to be one of the masses. I am an individual. That’s how God created me. I want every book to bring hope to a broken world and to honor Him in doing so. If I become a “established a name” author, it won’t be because my work is “perfect.” It will be because what I write is pleasing to God and He deigns it to be so.
Last night I woke with a very clear thought. “She wouldn’t have said that!” I know I should keep a notepad and pen on my nightstand, but there are reasons I don’t. I could have walked to my office and captured the thought, but doing so would wake me enough I’d have trouble falling asleep again. So I lay thinking about the need to remember. And tossed and turned for an hour and a half before sleep took over.
As a writer, I receive insights into what I’m working on in unexpected moments. Like in the shower. A pen and notepad would not help at such a time. Right? Can you imagine trying to write when the pen slips out of your soapy hand, and the water ruins the notepad?
When I had a full-time job, I would receive inspiration while driving to pick up food on my lunch hour. Can’t write and drive at the same time either. Once I worked through an entire new manuscript idea in my head watching it unfold scene by scene as I drove home from a writing conference 600 miles from home. Lose it all by the time I unpacked. My idea was to get a small recording machine to carry with me. Yeah, that didn’t work. Nothing came to me except the thought I should be capturing something important.
Thankfully I did remember the insight from last night. Now I need to make the change before I lose it!
I’ve been watching a lot of You Tube channels on making prayer journals. I have been using one gifted to me, but I don’t always remember to open it and write down my prayers. There are so many different ways to structure one, and I realize there is no right or wrong way, only the way that works for the individual.
I’m still a writer at heart. I enjoy putting words on a blank page. I also enjoy pretty things. Some people choose a digital prayer journal. I prefer having some pretty paper to write on. I’ve decided to try making my own. Years of working outside the home has conditioned me to love organization, so organizing my very own and personal prayer journal appeals to me.
For a couple of years, I’ve been placing the names of the people I’m praying for on my wall. I liked the idea of how it would look and thought it would prompt me to pray more often for them. I still like the way it decorates my wall, but it isn’t leading me to prayer as it too easily falls into wall decor. Also, we all need to pray for ourselves and our lives. I didn’t feel comfortable putting my name on that prayer wall. I suppose I think it looks selfish. Though in reality it isn’t!
I love the “junk journal” my daughter gave me that has become my place to write down moments of joy. I also write things that I read that speak to my heart on the little decorative note tags inside. But this, while beautiful and useful, isn’t what I really am looking for as a prayer journal. I need pages that will turn easily in a binder. I need it to be flexible enough to change and grow as needed.
A good fall project for me to undertake! I might find that stash of scrapbook paper quite handy to pretty up the pages and even make dividers. I will keep you posted and share the results when completed.
If any of you have made your own prayer journals, I’d love to read any comments you might have to share. In the meantime, I lift my cup of tea and wish you all a Friday filled with love. Remember to be kind and spread love and smiles!