Oh, my! How can I put this past weekend into words?! I attended my first Christian Writer’s Conference at East Texas Baptist University. I didn’t have any idea what to expect. Going into this new experience, I went with an attitude of wanting to get all I could possible get from it. I wanted to soak all of it up like a sponge. Let me just say that my sponge is completely full to overflowing with all I learned. I’m still trying to digest the things the workshop presenters gave to us. I feel so humbled to have been there to sit and absorb all I could. I thank all of them profusely.
God brought me on a journey that I didn’t see coming. I had determined to open my mind and heart to what God had for me there, and He blessed abundantly. You know, sometimes we can come to a place we would never have chosen to go on our own, but we can look back and see how God had put the stepping stones in just the right places for us to be at this place. That is as long as we stepped on those stepping stones, even blindly sometimes, we find ourselves in His will but in a place we’d never considered before. It was done in faith, but without seeing the end destination. When I interviewed with Mr. Terry Burns, I was a little nervous, but mostly excited to see what he would say, and open to his ideas. I had prayed for God to guide him, so I had no reason to worry about that. He said my book is good, and then gave me some very helpful critique. I had envisioned it as a personal experience Inspirational Nonfiction book. Apparently that is an extremely hard market to get into as an unknown author. After he shared with me the things I should change to make it better, I sat there just thinking; absorbing. A “new” thought crossed my mind. I looked at him and asked him if he thinks that if I completely rewrote it as Inspirational Fiction the book would have a better chance. His answer was, “You would definitely have a wider audience.” I sat and absorbed some more. I was honest, and told him I was just trying to wrap my mind around that idea. He was quiet. Then I asked him if he could tell me how I could do that. He was so helpful and gave me such great advise. So here I am at this place I had said I would never be; writing a novel. You know, that huge frightening “n” word to someone who has said, “I would never write one because I could never write one.” Even as I was asking his advise on it, I was wondering where in the world that thought came from! Later, as I looked back, I could clearly see those stepping stones that God had laid for me. He showed me how He had led me here, gently, until I was ready to hear that idea. All this is just in time for me to enter the challenge called “National Novel Writing Month,” which begins November 1st.
I will still keep the manuscript I have now and use it as my research. Maybe the process of writing that whole manuscript was a stepping stone to help me have a bank of organized information so I can write the novel. I don’t know. I just know that for now, this is what God seems to be leading me to do. So here I go on this great new adventure. As long as I keep my eyes on Him, and my spiritual ears open, I’ll be in His will. I know I can count on God to help me through.
Be blessed, my friends