I am a writer; it’s part of who I am.
I write to express myself, to share experiences that may resonate with others, to bring hope and encouragement to others, to share God’s Word with the world, to provide useful information to people and to be funny (once in a while).
As a storyteller, I need a way in which to tell my stories and share my experiences without cornering unsuspecting and unenthusiastic listeners and regaling them with my musings.
Instead, I write stuff down here in my blog, or now, in a novel; a young readers novel, to be more precise.
The idea for a this novel started as a little seed, and I’d been letting it brew for several months.
Last summer, I finally took a weekend away to the Writers’ Haven Michigan and started putting it down “on paper.”
Very little of it is actually on paper. It’s mostly digital, because I can type almost as fast as I can speak – that is impressive speed.
A dry erase board holds the chapter outline, because I’m an extraordinarily visual person. Seeing the outline triggers the memories of what I wanted to write about for that chapter. Cool, huh?
But why now? What’s so important about this story?
As many of my regular readers know, my oldest child suffers from Trichotillomania – trich for short. Trich is an impulse control disorder in which a person pulls out their own hair without realizing it.
In an online search, I couldn’t find a single fictional story centered around a young person with trich. Not one.
As a writer, I figured I’m the one that’s supposed to tell the story and start the conversation.
The best part about writing this novel? My oldest, the one with the trich, is writing it with me. How cool is that?
We’re sharing the story, because she’s the one that lives with it.
What better consultant could I find and for free, too!?!
(Well, I do need to feed her, and clothe her, and house her, and pay for her education… oh my word, she’s the most expensive consultant on the planet!)
I’m writing 75% of the chapters, and she’s writing the remaining 25%. Since she’s an incredible creative writer in her own right, I cannot wait to see what she comes up with.
Taking time to write is really hard. I absolutely love my creative time, but it is often shoved to the bottom of the priority list. I only managed the outline, plot line and some of the sub-plot lines in July.
Then, some time between July and September, I snuck away to Starbucks early one Saturday morning. Coffee and danish in hand, I settle in at a table and wrote like crazy.
Be the time I went home 3 hours later, chapter one was saved to a digital file and to a flash drive. Never trust one location with your creative works.
Even with that inspiring morning, life, once again, stomped on my creative muse and writing was back at the bottom of the priority list.
In September, I made the trek back to Michigan where my creative muse does her happiest happy dance and the story poured out. Chapters two and three were written in short order.
We were blessed to have published authors with us that weekend; I was terrified and thrilled to have them read my work.
As a fairly narcissistic writer, I like what I write. I think it’s all good, but that’s not necessarily an objective point of view.
When other people told me it’s a good work, I was deeply encouraged and inspired to write more.
Then they told me I had to go home.
Once I was home again, I realized my muse was nearly stomped to death by the reality of daily life. Ugh.
So, this weekend while my family leaves town, and I have the house to myself for a little while, I will resurrect my muse from near extinction and write.
Why? Because it’s a story that needs to be shared, and my daughter and I are the ones to share it.
Luke 6:38 (ESV)
38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Hebrews 13:16 (ESV)
16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
What difficult or epic choice did you make in 2015? Tell me about it here in the comments!
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