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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


That new computer file. It’s clean. It’s fresh. It’s scary.

As a writer, starting a new project is exciting. It’s filled with possibilities. Where will the story take me? What will my characters discover? What lessons will be learned by my character, by me, by my readers along the way?

It’s also scary. I have the story in my mind. It’s brilliant. The writing is clear and lyrical. The theme will inspire millions.

But am I the person to write it? Can I do the brilliance justice? Or will my attempt turn to dust, withering on the screen and falling into scraps at the bottom of my cyber trash can?

I have not encountered a single writer who does not go through this stage of self-doubt. Our first drafts are horrible. Our second drafts often little improved. But still we endeavor to persevere.

Because God gave us the desire and the ability to create stories; to inspire readers; to glorify Him through words.

This month I will be finishing up the last bits of a book I began several years ago. As that computer screen is closed, as cover letters and manuscript pages head out the door to agents and publishing houses, it's time to open one more new screen. This new story has been in my head for several months. There will be several more months of filling a computer screen with plot twists, world building, character development, theme, tone, voice notes. Then a new screen will be opened and the story will begin to be told. 

It all begins with clicking on that little white paper icon at the top of the screen. It all begins with the opening of the file. And the opening of a mind to fill it with words.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we are so grateful for the gifts you have blessed us with. For us writers, we love words and the talent you have given us to use them. All of us—writers or not—are often faced first with the thrill and later with the doubt—of not doing justice to the task you have led us to. Please remind us that the process for whatever task you call us to may be arduous but that it is the process you look to and our obedience to the call that causes you to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?  In what task or vocation do you see God leading you that you may need to open a file or a mind to begin the project?  

This post is part of the Christian Writers Blog Chain. Our theme for March is “open”—either an open topic or the meaning of “open” itself. Please click on the links to the right and see what my friends have to say this month. 


chris said...

So many times still it seems like the direction that God is leading me is scary. I need to continue down that "open" pathway that He is leading me, and do so with confidence knowing that His plan is always way better than mine!

Good thoughts today Carol !!

From Carols Quill said...

@ Chris - you've made such a major leap in faith that so many folks don't get. It's easy to ask God to bless "our" plans; harder but better to let God lead us to work on His plan!

Terrie Thorpe said...

Just what I needed today Carol! I have so many writing projects pinballing around my brain, it's hard to stay focused. There are times when I hit a wall as well, nothing comes to mind. On those occasions, I just start praising and soon thoughts begin to form. Our God is so amazing- what a pleasure it is to serve Him with Joy and not drudgery. Peace and Blessings!!!

Pam B. said...

Praying for you, Carol, that your project will find a publisher and resonate with readers. God did not give you this passion and talent to hide under a bushel!

From Carols Quill said...

@ Terrie - so glad you are praising God through all the tworkles of writing. He is so very good! Bless you and your writing, Terrie.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Pam - Thank you so much for the encouragement. I just finished one further revision of Esther and was thinking of you and the Lit n Lunch gals and how you all encourage me. And here you were with more encouragement! Thank you, dear friend.

lynnmosher said...

Awesome, Carol! Praying for all your ideas and God's leading to get them published! Happy opening!

Deborah K. Anderson said...

As always, great post, Carol.

Praying that God give you favor as you submit, in Jesus' name. It's just a matter of time, my friend.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Lynn and Deborah - thank you ladies for the encouragement. Today I will be closing the Esther computer screen in prep for sending it to a selected few lucky agents. Yesterday when I finished my next to last review I cried at the last page. Those words definitely didn't come out of my head. God was absolutely leading my fingertips. Praising HIM!

Eileen said...

Yes, the thrill and the doubt...I've been there many times!!

From Carols Quill said...

@ Eileen - yes, it's sort of like the "agony and the ecstasy"

Stephanie Boles said...

And other times it's like the agony of defeat--we tear up what we wrote, learn from our mistakes, and rewrite it all again. This is a good post. Thank you for helping and encouraging me through your posts, Carol.

From Carols Quill said...

@ Stephanie - so glad to hear you're encouraged. I hope you'll stay that way through all your projects!