WE SERVE AN AWESOME GOD

I am discovering that we serve an awesome God.

Don’t take that the wrong way.  I have known all along what an awesome God He is; but the discovery is an ongoing process that just gets better and better.

As some may know, I submitted a manuscript to a publisher and was awaiting a review.

The synopsis and query had been posted on Christian Manuscript Submissions, and then I had received a request from an interested editor to see the entire manuscript.

Even as I was proofreading the story one last time before that submission, I was suddenly asking myself some serious questions about the way it was written.  I did not want to take the time to rewrite what I was unsure about, so I submitted it with an email that asked those questions to the editor.

I recently got an email that informed me that they did not feel that it was ready for publication yet.  They gave their reasons, and told me to use the comments to rewrite and then resubmit the work.

I have been digesting their suggestions, trying to find a way to make them work, somewhat amazed that the suggestions are in line with my own doubts.  I find myself wondering if God put the doubts in my head to prepare me for the review.

One of the reviewers said they loved the storyline and the first few chapters just the way they were; but that I was too formulaic and imitative.  I was not really sure what this meant, and had to ask someone that had already read the manuscript to explain to me what it meant, according to what they remembered reading.

This review was encouraging because they gave me a couple suggestions and said they saw tremendous potential in my story.

I have to admit, though, I am a little fearful of delving into my own words and finding the places that they told me needed changing.

Part of this reluctance stems from the fact that this comment was generic, two sentences, that covered 300 plus pages of words and ideas.  How am I to find the exact points that need changing and change them, without having to rewrite all 300 pages?

My reluctance is also coming from the fact that another reviewer stated that the Christian elements overwhelm everything else, making it impossible to develop realistic characters or scenes.

This really bothered me because the story is based on my life and my faith.  I wrote those Christian elements according to my own faith journey and growth, using my day-to-day living and experience as an example.

I couldn’t help but wonder if that comment meant they would also think my life was unrealistic.

So, I have been struggling with the review, praying for the wisdom to know what to change, what to leave, and for the words and ideas to make it ‘right’.

I welcomed the advice and suggestions, yet I have been fighting against discouragement and self-doubt, asking that God show me clear directions on the next phase of this project.

And He has.

The day before I received the email from the editor, I found a blog about Christian fiction being too ‘preachy’.   I personally like an in-your-face Gospel message because it reaffirms and strengthens my faith.  I feel let down, like something is missing if it is not in the story.

I was amazed to read comment after comment on this blog that said people get preached at on Sunday morning, they do not want to get preached at when reading a book.  I began to squirm in my seat, literally, because I was reviewing my story in my mind and clearly seeing how much ‘preaching’ there was in it.

As I read those comments, I found myself wishing that I had the chance to re-do those preachy parts and make the message available but not quite so in-your-face.  I knew I could not change anything until I got the response from the editor that would tell me their decision.

I immediately sent an email to the editor telling her about the comments and stating that I was wondering about my ‘preachiness’.  The very next day, I got the email from the editor informing me that all the reviews were now in and told me the comments.

I also questioned my ability, comparing myself to someone else whose writing seems to flow with a beauty and maturity that I am sure I will never possess.  It was then that I was led to a blog that basically said we write as the Lord gave us talent and ability.  We will never be, or write like, someone else; and we need to know and understand and accept that truth.

I doubted myself because of the critique, and the need to rewrite, and I questioned whether I should just give up.  He led me to a blog about someone that had 60 rejections of one book before an acceptance that led to a published best seller and a movie deal for the story no one else wanted.

With each and every question and doubt that have come into my mind over this manuscript, God has shown me clearly the answers that I needed to find, just when I needed to find them.

Like I said, we serve an awesome God.

 

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2011

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ON FAITH AND WRITING

As I sit here, trying to write my very first post, my mind is full of possibilities. What do I want to say? What do I want to share? I suppose my introduction should be just that, an introduction.

I am currently waiting for my first inspirational romance to go through the review process of a publisher. This has been years in the making and, now that I am to this point, I am both excited and nervous at the possible outcomes of that process.

I have wanted to write stories since I was small; but it was only as I became an adult that I truly felt a drive to create those stories. I have felt a need to write, to share my faith and my stories for years, but struggled to find an outlet for them. I felt as if I were wasting a God-given talent by not using what He had given me to bring Him glory.

When I began to work in the office at my church, I found a small outlet for the creative side of me. I was asked to write my testimony of what God had done in my life, and then asked to write articles on God’s Plan of Salvation for our monthly newsletter. The few comments I received were positive and encouraging; but I still felt as if I were stifling my thoughts.

I would go through my day, encountering a person or a place, seeing an interesting event; and there would come a flash of inspiration for a story. I had all these ideas floating around in my head, words pushing to escape onto the written page. I would sit down and the words would just flow through my fingertips to the keyboard.

What stopped me from using those ideas, those words to make a story to share? An undeveloped faith. I was a born again Christian, had a faith in God and Jesus; but I was still in the mindset that if I submitted my stories for publication, I was going to be on my own in that unknown world. And that terrified me.

Since those days, my faith has grown through trials and tribulations. I can look back and see His hand in my life, guiding, directing; always getting me to where He wanted me to be. I can see the tests of my faith, the instances where I was allowed to go through tough times to strengthen my faith and bring me closer to Him.

I can also see all the blessings he has bestowed on me. From major things like a grant to get needed work done on our home; to little things such as beautiful flowers in my garden.

I have made a conscious effort to strengthen my faith and my walk with God; and now I am assured that wherever this new phase of my life takes me, I will not be on my own. He will be right there with me.

I know He will work everything out according to His will. I know that He will work everything to my good. I can rest assured of His promise that whatever His will is for my life, it will be what is best for me. And if His will is that my book be published, that would just be an added blessing thrown in just because He can.

Whatever happens, I have resolved to keep growing my faith and to keep writing for the Lord; trusting Him to take me where He will.

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2011