When I wrote Chords, I was convinced it was amazing and ready to be published.
My alphas let me know it wasn’t. I was discouraged, disappointed, and angry. I tucked the story away and moved off to other stories. Then I suddenly decided to finish it. And then I got an idea for a short story sequel. And the suddenly a whole series came to being, and I started to work on it. I looked back at Chords, and realized that it really was bad, but it could be fixed.
When I had the idea for The Colour Red, it was supposed to be a short story. I was quickly undeceived. Before I was halfway through, I knew it was a series that tied into the other series. Then God suddenly put together some of the puzzle pieces that had really bothered me in Chords and its series. Again, I looked back at Chords and saw, once more, that it had to be written, bad as it was, to get me started on this journey.
I was so excited when I wrote The Colour Red. I was so happy. So at peace. So full of ideas. I knew that was what God wanted me to write and He was giving me the message He wanted me to speak loud and clear. Then I finished The Colour Red. And got ready to write the sequel. I was just SO excited and so full of ideas.
I’m the girl who wants to please everybody. Who doesn’t want to mess up. And that shows in my writing. I don’t want to make a mistake. I want it to be perfect. I want it to be loved.
But that doesn’t always happen.
I discovered that not everyone likes or understands my writing style, especially for this series. It’s unique and out of the box, especially for YA contemporary.
It was debilitating. Every time I sat down to write, I looked at my words and said, “No one will like this.” And I’d wipe it all away. There was no more joy in writing. It was anxiety. The ideas were there, but my fear was hindering me from writing them out.
Finally a dear friend let me wail about it. She told me some truths, sympathized, & encouraged me.
On the first day of KDWC, I made a resolution.
“I will write this first draft. No matter how crummy it is, it will at least be written. It will be able to be fixed. That’s what counts. That’s what first drafts are all about. Capturing the wonder and excitement. Fixing things is for later. I’m going to sit down and write for myself. I’m going to find that happy place. The ‘home’ I had before I invited critics in. I’ll add them in later. For now, I’m writing for God and for myself. I’m getting the words out, no matter how bad they are. I’m taking the first step. I’m gonna be brave and move forwards. Because I know His hand is in this project. Somehow. I don’t know how. I don’t know what He has planned. But I know He wants me to write this right now.
So I’m gonna take that step in faith that He knows best & He’s not wasting my time.
And I’m gonna joy in this journey.”
Day one of KDWC, I got 100 words written. Disappointing, but at least it was a start.
Day two of KDWC. I sat down to write, and the story just started flowing. The ideas poured in again. I was back in my happy place, with the people I loved.
And I wrote 1,209 words.
And once more I was smiling and loving my story.
You see, I’ve learned something.
I’ve learned that no matter how awful a book is, it had to be written so that it can be fixed. And it is not a waste of time. Until you write it, you can’t fix it, and you can’t move forwards.
I’ve learned that you can’t write for your audience. You have to write for God and yourself. That’s how you keep your voice genuine.
I’ve learned that when you have courage and step out in faith, God rewards you and takes care of you.
I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what people think about your book. What matters is that you write the message God gave you. He will bring it to the people—or person—who needs it.
I’ve learned that trusting God with your first draft is the best and only thing to do.
I’ve learned again that my writing needs to be surrendered to God.
I’ve learned that I’m still thin-skinned and anxious to please and fearful. I thought I was over that, but it’s going to take more than a couple months to fully change that. But I’ve learned that I’ve learned a lot and I’m stronger and braver that I was. I’ve grown and changed.
I’ve learned that this year IS a year of growth and learning.
God is so good.
2020 has been the year I needed it to be. It was nothing like I imagined it would be. But it was exactly what I needed.
“My life may not be perfect, but it is perfect for me.”
Because my God knows exactly what I need, and He is the One in control of everything. And He is the One who planned my journey and directs my steps.
And He is the One who frees me from fear.
“The way to freedom is to surrender control.”