Writing my novels was one of the most engaging and thrilling events of my life. Attempting to get them published has been hell on wheels. It has been like the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory in which the flames of torment are believed to burn away what is dross and leave pure gold. It has been a spiritual journey for me in which I have had to examine and edit my motives and attitudes as often as I have my novels. I am still not published, but I have grown as a person and am still growing. I had to reach a point where growing as a person was as important to me as being published and that took some time. I really was that neurotic and sometimes still am.
I have always loved story telling. Even as a preschooler I would dictate stories to my mother who would type them on the big black Royal my father had used to do case work during the Great Depression. Once I could read and write on my own, I began illustrating them as well. I did not know you could end up rich and famous doing that (nor did I know it could lead to a sense of failure, despair, alcoholism, drug addiction, or suicide if something went wrong in the soul of the writer). I just enjoyed the ride with no thought of the destination.
However, when hard times came (as they do for us all), I found myself escaping into the stories I wrote. They became more real to me than the life around me. The potential for successful publication of them conjured up the vision of a life bigger than the one I had. That vision was so strong in me that it seemed like a promise from God like the one He gave the Israelites. – I did not occur to me at first that, even with that promise, the Israelites had to meander in the wasteland for forty years then go to war to obtain it.
This series of blogs will deal with my own wasteland and series of wars. Those wars have been as much within me as with the mechanics of the publishing business. It is a war we all fight daily, writer or not. It is about wanting what we cannot have or cannot have yet. It is about our will vs. God’s will. It is about balancing our desire for improvement with a genuine gratitude for what we already have. It is about enjoying the journey as much as focusing on the destination. It is about focusing on our work and doing it mightily as to the Lord and enjoying it, yet not putting the gift to do it above the Giver of that gift. It is about self-examination at intervals without becoming self-absorbed, and a lot of other things that apply to us all.