Today is the wonderful day that I get to share my book with the world. It’s exciting and scary, and reminds me of the day when my children first went to school. Emotions, both happy and sad, accompany me. And God blesses me to remember the journey and celebrate His wonderful gift.
People ask me all of the time about my writing process. I’ve been asked to teach writing classes and critique manuscripts. Each time the opportunity is presented I always reply, “I can’t teach others to write books. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.”
As the author of three published books, I’m sure they wonder about my statement. Perhaps it appears that I don’t want to help others or that I do have a secret I’m just not willing to share. I don’t know how my thoughts and feelings turn into a book, but I have decided to share my method.
It’s writing day. I have set aside the whole day to devote to my newest masterpiece. Before I create the next bestseller, I should probably check my email. Oh, I have new message on Facebook. Of course I need to check it. While I’m there I should probably scroll through my newsfeed, look at pictures, and interact with my family and friends for a moment. Then I see a status directed from Twitter, which reminds me to check my account. An hour later, I have successfully networked with all of my media sites.
Now, it’s time to write. I open my word document and stare at the blank screen. It intimidates me. I take a few deep breaths and reach for my coffee cup, only to find it empty. I go in search of a steaming cup of coffee only to realize the laundry is piled up. Well, I can definitely do laundry while I’m writing—it’s called multitasking. I throw the clothes in the washer, go back to my desk, look at the blank screen, and start typing.
Thirty minutes later, I delete everything recorded and decide to go to the bathroom, which reminds me I need to scrub my toilets. How could I possibly write a book when my toilets need to be cleaned? After that chore it completed, my clothes are ready for the dryer. When I sit back down in my chair, I realize it has been awhile since my email was checked. After I have successfully wasted another hour, the blank screen mocks me.
Then the realization that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing emerges, and I feel so incompetent. I don’t know how to write anything to help anyone. But that’s what I want to do—help others. So I try, and try, and then try again.
I pray and ask God to guide me. I want to write books to glorify Him. I listen for the still small voice that encourages me to write from my heart.
Inside of me is a story that no one else can write. It is mine and a gift from God. Our experiences, trials and tribulations, success and ability to defy the odds, are what inspires and encourages other hearts. I write with prayers and an abundance of tears, laughter and smiles. I record my thoughts and feelings, first for me, and then for others. I write many versions of the same book, and dig deep within myself until I feel there is nothing left for me to give.
I ask God to allow my book(s) to help at least one person, and the first person helped is always me. I learn from the process and from opening my heart and mind. Each time God rewards me with a beautiful gift for my efforts.
He is a wonderful paymaster!
Today, I remember the struggle and joy of creating a book. While I don't know the exact formula, I’m so thankful God blesses me to write for Him and His glory.
Below, in bold letters, is my favorite part from “Zippy’s Big Difference”. The power and emotion in these words humble me. It reminds me we all have a purpose and a choice.
For a moment, Zippy wanted those black stripes. He wanted to be normal just like everyone else. But then he also wanted all of the beautiful things that God had planned, just for him.
I hope you will allow Zippy and I to share our story with you. I hope you will invite us into your home and heart. Most of all, I hope you will be inspired and blessed by the difference God put inside of you.