It’s what many might call a coincidence. However, I know better.
One evening as I walked back to my hotel room after a meeting at the Blue Ridge Mountain Conference in May, I struck up a conversation with another writer.
“What do you write?” I asked. It was the first question usually asked at writers’ conferences.
She had just had a historical fiction novel accepted for publication by a small press in Florida.
“Tell me more.”
She seemed pleased with the process with this publisher and when I returned home from the conference, I kept thinking about that conversation. I also kept thinking about a novel I had written―one I had felt some urgency to finish, and typed the last words of the last chapter on a June afternoon two years ago. My dad had a stroke hours later, went into a sharp decline, and died that July. In the months that followed grief at times seemed almost to overwhelm me. It felt as if I would never write another book, that creatively the well had run dry. But I could edit and rewrite, so I worked on that novel manuscript.
Then, because of inspiration from other writers, I had a new idea for a nonfiction book, so I put the novel aside.
After the Blue Ridge conference, I submitted the nonfiction manuscript for consideration and as I’ve already written HERE, was offered a contract two months ago for Faith in the Fashion District.
Because of that conversation with the historical fiction author at the conference, I also submitted the fiction manuscript to the press my fellow writer had mentioned.
After a couple of months of waiting, a week ago, they offered me a contract.
Now, I have two books releasing in 2018. Two contracts in sixty days. Crazy. At least for me.
I am grateful, because I know plenty of writers who have worked just as hard and who are good at what they do, but are still waiting. I am humbled by what seems this almost incomprehensible grace God has extended to me.
God has also brought to mind those verses in Psalm 126:5-6, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
That year after my dad’s death was one of weeping, but somehow, God has brought joy from it, and hopefully more joy to come.
Writing can be like running a very long race in which you cannot see the finish line. Sometimes I’ve wondered if there even was a finish line. Now, I am so thankful I didn’t give in to discouragement that often hounded me.
If God has led you to writing or something else, be encouraged. I’m here to tell you, that even out of times of sorrow, God is spinning His good plans.