This week I'm pleased to host my friend and critique partner, Stacy Monson. In her article, she gives us a glimpse of her writing journey. The hope really shines through, don't you think?
By Stacy Monson
I’ve been writing literally all of my life. My younger brother says he thinks I was born with a pencil in hand. He’s pretty close – once I learned to write, I never stopped. I’ve loved writing papers for school (except for boring topics), letters, emails, blog posts, freelance articles, and most of all novels. I even enjoy filling out forms. Really!
However, even with my love of all things writing, my dream of publication was a secret - until six years ago when I felt the unmistakable call from God to write. It was as clear as if He’d spoken aloud.
I immediately signed up for a writing class, joined several national writing organizations, and started a Minnesota chapter for one of them. I entered and won lots of contests, made tons of new writing friends around the world. I was on my way. Even with the usual ups and downs (win a contest, tank a contest, etc.), I felt empowered, energized. Like a balloon soaring ever upward.
I signed with an agent. I received requests from several publishing house editors to look at some or all of my books. I connected with a local editor who taught me so much about writing and editing. I was flying high, teetering on the brink of realizing my dream.
But then a tiny pin prick developed in my balloon. Instead of continuing toward publication, I started to sink. I separated from my agent. The requests I’d received resulted in “no, thanks.” My mom and mother-in-law both died of Alzheimer’s. I couldn’t write. My balloon continued to sink.
Then, last summer, I signed a contract with a publisher who had started a fiction line. I loved her ministry, the work she’d done in the nonfiction arena, her heart for God. My debut novel was set to come out on June 1, 2014. My balloon soared. I’d made it!
Less than two months before my book was to launch, it was reassigned to release in October, then the publisher closed her fiction line. It was a good move for her, but devastating for me. It seemed God had punctured my balloon permanently. Maybe I’d misheard His call. Or maybe He’d never meant I’d get published, just that I was to write.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Proverbs 13:12
My heart certainly was sick. I spent hours seriously considering if I should stop pursuing publication. I needed to assess priorities, desire, energy. Was this the time to set my dream aside? Or should I patch up my balloon and keep trying?
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
The words are a balm to my battered heart, an answer to my cry of “what now?” It doesn’t promise I’ll ever realize my dream, but it does promise that God is working on my behalf. It doesn’t tell me to write harder, find an agent, or leap on the self-publishing bandwagon. It tells me to hold fast to my God. To stay strong in my waiting as He does His work.
So I’ll continue to write because that’s the gift He’s given me. What He chooses to do with it is up to Him. It’s been a wild ride, and I’m praying it’s not over yet. But while I wait to see what He’ll do next, I’ll stay strong in the faith and keep my heart and mind on Him. My balloon is lifting slowly toward the heavens once again.
What are you waiting for? How are you coping?
Thanks for hanging out with us today, Stacy. Our journeys certainly are roller coaster-y sometimes, aren't they? Keep at it, girl! No matter how it ends up, God is with you... and we here at Writing to Inspire will be praying for you.
Readers, do you have any questions for today's guest, Stacy Monson? Or please answer her question: How are you coping with the ups and downs of your journey?
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