Spotlights

Hello friends!

Yesterday I got a new comment on my post! Hooray! It was, admittedly, from my husband, but since I've been hoping/heavily hinting/pushing how important it is to me that he read my work (yes, I think of this as work...fun work, but work nonetheless...) I am so thankful that he stepped up and took notice! Hubby points for Pierce, who puts up with so much of my never-ending chatter at home that I'm amazed he would take the time to read more. Thank you my love! =) You completely made my day.

Today I thought I would touch on the subject of writing a book as it pertains to our aspirations, not just our passion for writing and telling stories. What is that you want to achieve with your writing? Is it simply cathartic, or do you long to see your novel on the shelves? Is it both? For me, I would have to answer "yes" to the latter.

Since I was very young, as far back as I can remember, I have longed for the spotlight. In fact, I used to have these gorgeous window boxes in the bedroom I shared with my sister and I would use them to prop up my Daddy's flashlight from work, thereby creating a tiny spotlight for myself in the darkness of my bedroom. I would sing songs and act out scenes from my favorite movies and, yes, even pretend to accept my Grammy award. I read a book I wrote (a grand total of eight pages) to my second grade class (thanks Mrs. Hurston!) during story time. Later on, when I was 12, I tried modeling. I also tried singing professionally when I was 19. I had terrible stage fright and, as any singer knows, a shaky voice and/or dry throat does not a good sound make. I can do public speaking with no butterflies whatsoever...but if  try to sing...the one thing I love to do almost as much as write...I flip out. Small audiences are no big deal, but big audiences have always been a problem for me. Anywho...my point here is that I love to perform, and I love to create. I have known, as far back as one can possibly "know" anything, that God's purpose for me is to bring glory to Him through creating something wonderful for the world to enjoy. I know now that that "something wonderful" is writing.

Of course I want to be published. Do I write only because I want to make a name for myself as an author? No. But is that one part of my motivation? Yes, and I admit that without shame. I believe that when writers say they do it only for the sake of putting pen to paper, they are fooling themselves. That should be the largest part of why they write...it is the largest part of why I write. I started a journal fourteen years ago because I was dealing with my parent's divorce, my own pre-teen angst, and the confusion I felt over the behaviors of some of the people closest to me. It became my saving grace...it became my outlet for speaking to God...my ability to process what I couldn't deal with on my own. In many ways, that's still what it is for me today.

But....

I want to be a published, well-known author. On the one hand, I receive a great deal of support and care from the Holy Spirit, from people I love, from my mentors (including popular agent and author blogs who teach me more than they will ever know!), and from novels themselves. Through such encouragement, I feel compelled to create more and to write every day. On the other hand, I want to make a career as an author, which means I want to make money by writing novels. I want to be able to make a home for my husband and I while still being able to work, and that is becoming more and more challenging the more I sit at an office desk, beneath flourescent lights, until ten o'clock in the evening.

I believe that the Lord has blessed us with gifts. I believe that our heart's desires are simply extensions or, rather, shadows, of the much greater, wilder, incredible journeys that He wants to take us on. And I believe that when we strive, wholeheartedly, to achieve those desires while listening to the urging of His Spirit, then those desires can, and will, become reality. What we imagine for our own lives pales in comparison to what He wants to give us. It is this thought, more than any other, that drives me forward to pursue the things I believe I want. In that pursuit I hope to find Him. And I hope to open someone else's eyes to His love for His children.

Today I read Rachelle Gardner's blog. She is a literary agent and, if you get chance, you should check her out. She's an excellent source on all the things that new authors need to know. I came across a recent post and, to be honest, it filled me with hope that I can become the author I would like to be, and that my writing will someday mean something for someone other than myself. Here is an excerpt of Rachelle's post:

 I just wanted you to know that I see you. I know you're there. I hear what you're saying, I feel your fears, I love your passion, I understand a lot about what drives you and what terrifies you.



And I admire you. I am so incredibly awed by your bravery. I know it takes courage to do what you're doing. I'm impressed with your persistence, your enthusiasm, your dedication.


I know it takes sacrifice. I know you give up a lot... I know it's a significant chunk of change to go to a conference; it's a significant commitment of time to write books and build platforms (and read blogs).


I just want to thank you for what you're doing. I'm so glad you get up every morning and do what you do. I'm so happy you're up for the challenge. It's because of you that I've been a reader my whole life. It's because of you that I love books. It's because of you that I've had the good fortune to work for the last fourteen years in a career I absolutely love.


You are incredible. Keep up the good work. Keep writing... so I can keep reading. And thank you.

XOXO,
Wendi

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