As I shared last week, I’m deep into writing another book project.
Nonfiction this time.
From everything I read, it’s almost impossible to get a nonfiction book published these days. Many publishers are looking for a person who already has a sizable platform, someone famous, which would translate into mega book sales. I am not anyone famous and actually prefer anonymity in many ways.
Yeah, that word impossible haunts me.
So, why would I write this book?
Because I believe God is leading me to do it.
The messages began last April. Nine months prior, I had written “The End” on a novel on which I was working. That evening, I received a phone call my dad had suffered a stroke. Twenty-two days later, he died, and since then, I had only edited what was already written and kept up with posts on my blog. A hard grieving time, it felt as if someone pulled the plug on all the creativity that drove my fiction. I had worked continuously on a fiction project as either a screenplay or novel for almost ten years.
I almost became panicky about it, thinking the work I considered my calling was over.
Then, God began sending dreams and scripture all with a message indicating He was doing something new.
What, I wondered. Did it have anything to do with my writing?
I had absolutely no idea.
I’m keeping the details close for the time being, but in June, I read a humorous nonfiction book from a Christian author I know. As I read, God brought ideas to mind for my own book project―a memoir.
No, no, no, I thought. I have never wanted to write a memoir. First, it’s so difficult to find a publisher for them, and I didn’t want to be that person at writer’s conferences going around saying “I’m writing a book about me.” Most of the folks I meet at conferences are doing just that. Nothing wrong with it and great to have for your kids, but it’s not what I wanted to do.
Additionally, I already have a blog with over 700 posts on it. That’s a whole lot of what I think about a gazillion topics.
However, this new project was a unique perspective from a very narrow period in my life, which made it a little more palatable for me to accept.
I made an appointment with the book’s author to discuss his process while writing the book and found him helpful as well as encouraging when I shared my idea.
Then, I did what I’ve done many times when faced with a situation that seemed impossible, I began―one page at a time.
I worked on it for several months, and then I hit a wall. In order to write this project, I would have to go back through my journals from that period. Even though the struggles noted in those journals are resolved now, still those times were hard to relive. The pain of those difficulties on top of the grief, which I was still experiencing, seemed too much.
I put the project down.
When the ginormous viral bug hit Jerry and me over Christmas, and I was out of commission for weeks, it gave me time to think once more where I was headed with my writing. The end of December is when I set up writing goals for the next year. What were my goals?
God began bringing this project back to mind.
Dread came over me, but at the same time, God brought a dream back to mind that He gave me weeks earlier. I was in my back yard and a red Chevy Nova was chasing me. I knew when I woke that because Chevy Novas are considered muscle cars, God wanted to give me power, but I was running from it. But power over what?
The truth is probably obvious to you as you read this, but it was quite oblique to me. Then at a speaking engagement, I was sharing this dream just off the cuff with another woman who experiences dreams in the same way I do. “Oh,” she said, “It’s your back yard, so God wants to give you power over your past.” I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it.
Of course. Power over my past. Great, but what in my past? I still didn’t associate it with my writing until I began looking at the writing goals for this year. God wanted me to write this project, and He was already saying He wanted to give me power over my past to do it. He would help me face those journals.
So, I’m on the 1,000 word a day trajectory and then there’s all the editing to do. Most nonfiction books are sold off a proposal, but anything to do with a memoir needs to be finished up front.
I walked into my office the other day and picked up a gift I received from my granddaughter at Grandparent’s day in November. She had made a paperweight for me. Guess what the verse is?
“. . . with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
When I received it, I loved the idea of it, but it wasn’t until the past few days it hit me―God had used that sweet girl to send me the message nothing is impossible with Him and that I can write this book. The paperweight is a constant reminder to keep at it.
So, my computer is like another appendage these days. Some folks don’t realize that writers really do work eight, ten, sometimes twelve hours a day. My physical therapist knows it, because my back is such a mess because of the writing I do.
But I am determined. I’m not sharing the details of the project, because someone has said, if we talk too much about our writing, it has a tendency to get away from us, but I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Friends, if I come to mind, would you pray for me regarding this new endeavor?
It will be much appreciated.
If you have an impossible type project facing you, well, we’re in it together. But most importantly, we’re in it with God.