It is a Compulsion that I CANNOT Quench…

…this thing called writing.

It just won’t go away no matter how much I try.

Yet this same compulsion causes me so much agony.

Because I see no results.

My works languish like a worn out farm tractor sitting in a field.

Relegated to word documents that sit on my computer.  Filed away on some hard drive never to be seen.

I pray, “God direct me.  Use me.  Use this gift.”

And I feel no answer.

It frustrates me.

I’m not getting any younger.

I feel called to something more, something great even, but it never comes.

Or it’s too slow in coming.

“God’s timing.”

Yep, got it.  Doesn’t help me much though.

My YA paranormal is going nowhere.  Discouraging.

I’ve basically given up on the thing.

“Who am I?”

Not Tim Tebow.  Jenny McCarthy.  Bill Clinton.  Sarah Palin.  Or anyone else famous who has written a book.

Started a new novel this morning.

Well, not new.  It’s a resurrected idea that I plan to completely re-write.

For I can only write what I know.  What I have learned.  What I think others NEED to know before they learn it the hard way like I did.

And tears are shed…

Still, my heart remains heavy.  No relief.  Just anxiety…

I feel lost right now.  Debating about taking unpaid work (being a columnist again) just to satisfy this yearning deep within…

Debating a lot of things I could do.  Trying to come up with new ideas.

Yet my dream remains the same.

There must be room for me.  Hundreds of books are published every year.  I have a niche…

Somewhere…

For everyone has a story to tell.

I just wish (and pray) I could pinpoint mine.

Update on YA Novels

Over the weekend, my editor of my first YA novel happened to be in town and he mentioned how he’s almost through with it.  He said he can’t wait to get to the end to find out what happens.  He hopes to have it done in the next few weeks.  That’s good for me although it’s hard to remember what happens because I’m onto my next project.

My YA paranormal is now in the second edit and it coming along nicely.  I plan to query both of these at the same time and see what happens.  I’m glad I had my book edited but it has taken much longer than I thought and I don’t know if I will do it again.  I know how having a team to offer feedback is good but I figure once I land an agent, I can begin that process.  It’s hard for me to take criticism, especially from an editor I know so I’m unsure if I will use him again.

I’ve noticed as I continue writing books (this will be my fourth complete work), I think I get better and better.  Of course, no one else thinks this but I really don’t care.  If God has destined me to get published, it will happen.  I just write what I believe is from my heart and from God’s.  I pray I do see my passion come full circle but it won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t.

Pleasantly Surprised….

As I reluctantly began my second edit of my YA novel, I have to admit, I had to quell my excitement.  As I’m reading it, I’m thinking, “This is pretty good.”  As I’m making changes, I’m thinking, “Now, it’s even better.  Maybe this has a shot after all.”

As most writers know, getting a book published is no easy task.  It’s not just write a book and it’s instant fame and fortune.  Nope.  It’s a marketing and sales job, one that perhaps ranks up there with running for public office.  You have to sell your idea and your book and you have less than 2 minutes to do so.  First impressions count even when it’s just on paper.

So, I find myself pleasantly enthralled and engaged in my story even though I know most of it by heart and the changes I make and additions just seem natural.

Writing can be fun and exciting.  Especially if it’s yours.

It’s Not JUST About Getting Published

I’ve been reading a lot lately on the value of books and what makes a book good.  For the longest time, I’ve just been concerned about getting published.  Now, I want to have my best work published that says something of value that will last for generations.  It’s not just about me anymore.

I do care what my children read.  This is why I pick out a majority of their books and read what I want to read to them.  Most is just not garbage.  I don’t want my books to be fluff either.

Reading fluff is better than not reading but there’s more to it than this.  Kids need to learn and think and reflect on characters and situations in order to learn and grow into productive members of society.

Many think Harry Potter and Twilight are fluff.  I disagree.  They are great books.  But I think they get miscategorized into fluff due to their popularity.  I want my books to be wildly popular as well.  I think you can be popular and be profound at the same time.

“Art is a controlled fury of desire to share one’s private revelation of life–to give the best that is in us to the audience that lives by what it feeds upon.”  Frances Clarke Sayers

Great stuff.  I would add it’s a desire placed by God within to share one’s revelation of life.

Now, I just have to figure all this out.  Easy, right?

Does It Matter If I Ever Get Published?

I recently resurrected my women’s fiction novel.  The new query (one of a thousand versions) came to me in a split second moment and I believe it is my strongest yet.  It has led me back to re-working my novel just a bit in order to incorporate ideas from my query.

If you have been following my blog, then you know how incredibly frustrated I have been from this whole publishing industry.  It has gotten me down, caused numerous tears, and left me overall depressed.

Yet, as I listened to my recently downloaded God music on my IPod and this query just came to me, I thought, “Does it even matter if I ever get published if I’m enjoying what I’m doing, spending my time doing what I want to do, and answering my heart’s and God’s calling?”

My recent answer is, “NO, it doesn’t matter.  It would be nice but should be only icing on the cake, not the end-all and the solver of my problems.”

Don’t get me wrong, I intend to fight with everything in my body to have my dreams realized.  But, if it doesn’t happen in my time frame, it won’t be the end of me.  I still have my real life to lead–one of family–that trumps this life I lead in my stories.  And it is this life that matters the most.

Will I Always Self-Doubt?

I had been riding a temporary high as I’ve resurrected a previously-thought dead novel and edited it to something new.  So, I’ve been pretty excited lately.

However, as I edit it and re-read it, I can’t help but think I’ll never get published with any project.  I’m trying to stay true to myself and write what’s in my heart and yet as I peruse blogs and articles on my genre, I am only discouraged.  Either by my obscure character (how tough it is to sell YA or literary women’s fiction) or just the mere fact that getting published by anyone these days would be a shear miracle.

I keep thinking my work is utter crap.  Yet I read recently if you can’t give up writing, then don’t and keep trying.  Well, I’m pretty sure I can’t give it up and I will always harbor hope somewhere within.

I’m just frustrated.  I know the harder you work for something, the more you’ll appreciate it.  I just don’t want to work 20 years on my dream and my life be near the end before I ever see my work in print.  How long is enough, God?  I’ve been plugging away at this dream now for 3 years now and I’d like to see even one sign of success, some kind of confirmation I’m not completely wasting my time here–ya know, maybe land an agent or something.

All I’m asking for here is some help.  Divine intervention would be nice.

I Wish Dogs (and God) Could Speak

I’ m up early with the goal of finishing The Whiskey Rebels since I’ve finished my final edit on my book when I’m bothered by my male mastiff.  I just took him out and I couldn’t tell what he wanted so I shooed him off.  He kept doing this and I thought he just wanted to go sniff around outside.  He was acting absurdly weird the other day and we went out 10 times.  So I ignored him and he pooped in the middle of my floor.  Poor puppy!  Next time, I’ll know.

During this time, I was petting him, wishing he’d speak and tell me, “Hey, Mom!  I gotta poop!”  Then, it would have been easy.  I would have known what he had wanted from me and what he was trying to say.

So I wish God (whom I know does speak and very similarly to my dog–in cues and such) would speak as well.  I just finished my editing book again and am facing querying again, which I am not looking forward to.  I just wish God would lead me to the right agent.  I keep praying this, over and over.  I’m just so frustrated right now with a lot of things with regards to getting my book published that I do want to quit (although I doubt I ever will).  Quitting is definitely easier.  Yet, I have worked so hard on this project, I have to try, even though I have no desire at times.