This Writer’s Journey

I’ve been in cave mood this week, perched on a chair in my office running every scene of my book through a new editing program. Hope to finish today. Then one final reading and I’ll be going into the publishing phase. It’s exciting when the book reaches the final stages of publication. Then I wait anxiously for the sample paperback to ensure it is correctly formatted. The next step is the best…when I say publish it now!

I love the entire process of writing to publication. Unfortunately, a lot of writers have no idea what goes into making a book publishable. I don’t want to ruin my reputation by just writing and hitting publish without making sure the book has been properly edited. Writing is hard work, patience, and perseverance. It is being dedicated to a goal and having a passion to fulfill that goal.

Along the journey, since 2001, I admit I’ve faltered. So easy to fall into a trap of believing there are no more stories left to tell, to feel lost, broken, and useless as a writer. At times it is difficult to decipher between God’s voice and Satan’s voice. And, sometimes, we just need a hiatus. A resting period, because life requires so much from us, there is nothing left for storytelling.

This is the year God called me to return to write for Him. To share His goodness and how he takes brokenness and changes it to joy. In this soon to be published book, I named a little girl, Joy. The significance will become evident as you read Katy and Ben’s story.

Now back to cave mode.

I Am a Writer

I’m a writer, but sometimes there are no words. Times when I sit here in the morning and wonder what God wants me to say. Because the words aren’t mine. Without Him, there are no words.

Writing sessions can be this way. Painful. Meaningless dribble onto the page. Write and delete. No gain. I sometimes wonder how some authors release book after book continuously. Theoretically I could produce three books per year. The numbers show the possibility. If I stick to writing at least 5 days a week, 1,000 words per day, a book could be written every 13 weeks. My plan, not God’s. My gift from God.

Writing, and life in general, is not in my control. If I try to take God’s place, I fail. And so prayer is vital. I seek His guidance. I ask for Him to give me the words which will bring Him glory, not me. I pray I get out of the way so I don’t become a stumbling block.

Somehow God provides the words. My fingers move on the keyboard, but the words are not mine. I praise Him for everything. For breath, for life, for the gift of each day, and for words.

When there are no words, He provides. I am a writer.

Aging Gracefully as a Writer

I pray for God to lead me when I write, whether it be a blog post, a Facebook post, or a book scene. I’m nothing without Him. He called me to be a writer long ago. Even though I’ve said no and turned my back on doing His will many times, He is still faithful. My senior years provide uninterrupted time to devote to writing, and writing makes me happy. Through writing for Him, I am blessed.

Yesterday I was grateful when my characters took the lead, surprising me with whose point of view I’d write in! I wasn’t sure how the scene would play out or end. The scene seemed to write itself. I’ve learned long ago, to let God lead my characters through my writing. After all He is the Author of Creation!

Having lived through more than half of last century and over twenty years in this one, I’ve learned lessons along the way. God teaches me through daily life because I’m willing and eager to grow and become the person He wants me to be. Why now when I am considered old?

Younger people might see me as having already lived my life, as one who is resting each day, rocking and waiting to join Jesus. I do rest each day, and I do rock. I’ve always loved to rock. I rocked my babies, my grandbabies, and now I rock to meditate and to read. Those times, though, do not dominate my daily routine, but are vital to do my best. With my eyes open, the Holy Spirit shows me opportunities missed and those I didn’t. And I learn from these moments. I learn I’m still a work in progress, and God’s given purpose for me has not yet been completed. It’s all part of aging gracefully.

Inside the Writer’s Mind

My writing routine involves getting my chores completed first thing every morning and leaving the remainder of the day to schedule hobbies and quiet time with God. I used to do my devotions first thing in the morning, but I’ve learned my mind is better suited to afternoons when I can rest with a clear mind while in communion with Him.

This morning after prayer, I vacuumed, mopped the kitchen floor, tended the cat litter, fed the cat and myself, washed a load of laundry and now I’m able to sit and work on blog time. I will be Skyping with my writing friend this morning before I open my manuscript and focus on a scene I’ve been thinking about this weekend.

Some people think seniors sit and watch television all day long. Some might. My mother and grandmother did. But today’s seniors are different. We were raised in a time where we worked outside the home and raised a family. We are used to multitasking. Though I admit I am not as good at multitasking as I used to be. Honestly, not as good at a lot of things as I used to be. I’ve learned it is all right to slow down. I’m not under deadlines any longer. There is no reason to rush through anything.

It’s comfortable here where I can read slower and truly absorb each word and think about how it applies to my life. I can look out my office window and daydream the scene I’m writing as it plays out in my imagination. I can appreciate the sunshine, rain, snow, wildlife and changing seasons. I write from a more relaxed frame of mind these days.

There are ups and downs to every part of life. Looking back I see how God was with me through everything. The times I thought were the worst of times were not. The times I thought were the best of times were not. They were learning experiences in the journey of life. I do see how God turned my bad decisions into good. And that’s what I write about in my books.

Leaving you with the finished picture I’ve been sharing in stages and wishing you a peaceful week ahead, no matter your age.

Cut! Take 2!

I have a writing program which reminds me of a movie set where the director gets to call “Cut! Take 2!” I’m not sure, but I believe the “cuts” aren’t deleted until the movie is ready for public viewing. Often, we will see “out takes” of blunders made while filming.

My writing program allows me to do the same thing. When I opened the book I began a few years ago, I needed to remove scenes and reorder some. Last night this part of the work began.

Here’s how my book is structured in the program. There is a column on the right showing each chapter folder and inside each folder are all the named scenes. I also have them coded by color to let me know which point of view the scene is written in.

I added a new folder at the end of all the chapters which says Old Scenes. Then I’m able to move each scene into this folder leaving the chapter folders in their place. Now I’m ready to begin writing new scenes! Later, I will be able to move the “old scenes” back into different places when appropriate. I love not having lost anything during my revision process.

Life doesn’t allow these kinds of massive cuts. Once something is said or done, it is permanent and cannot be deleted or erased. Not by us. But God…

God is the master creator and planner! He is the ultimate author of life! He allows for the sins of our past to be erased through the Jesus Christ. Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that these things happened, the people who were hurt, the damages done, but it gives us a new “take.” Through confessing our sins, asking for forgiveness, accepting Jesus as our Savior, and believing, we begin the process of being changed.

This is what I thought about last night as I worked on my book.