Dancing With the Voices

My writing, in many ways, is a Pandora’s Box. A padlocked time capsule, if you will, brim-full of temptation, obsession, and magic. A time capsule, because I’ve often argued with God, wondering why He’s gifted me with this burden now rather than fifteen years from now. By then, it surely would be a more convenient discovery, a more rewarding and less-guilt inducing one. Why now, as a busy wife and mother? Is it a test? To see if I’ll stay the course of wife and motherhood that to me, has always been the ultimate career choice?

 

I’ve struggled with this since May. My inner conflict rivals that of my novel’s heroine, yet would bore most readers to death. God’s given me a need to express myself by way of the written word, and for three months I expressed, bobbing and bubbling, swept away by one of the strongest currents of my life. The current of writing contemporary women’s fiction.

 

Last December, I gave into the impulse and the simmering story within became a 120,000 word novel. Five weeks of the most exciting chair-time I’m ever likely to have and I couldn’t stop! Another five weeks later, I had yet another 120,000 word novel—a sequel to the first. And during that same time period, I’d braked in the middle of novel #2 and got 5 chapters into the last of the series. Three books, three months swallowed by the madness.

 

It scared me into unplugging my creativity. My writing had become an addiction. Deep down, I realized I didn’t have the balance to support the pull of writing with the pull of the most important people of my life—my family. During it all, my husband couldn’t have been more supportive. He even got excited with me, helping me with the logistics of writing an apartment fire, drawing diagrams and brainstorming scenarios. And in this recent time of silence, I’ve almost felt his disappointment. He wants my dreams to come true, even more than I do.

 

Yet five months passed and here I am. A month ago, I started praying for wisdom. Praying for some critique partners. There’s nothing like knowing Someone is out there keeping you accountable. I started letting myself think about my book again. A few days ago, I happened upon two ladies who write such similar stuff to mine, who seem to have so much in common with me, and who want to form a critique group with me. And I’m feeling that familiar rush again.

 

Writing has added in so many ways to the prisms of my existence. It confirmed my belief that one is never too old to learn new things. I suddenly want to scale cliffs, hike mountains, and soar down a zip line. I not only want to see new places, I feel sure I will someday. A life of wishful thinking, of putting off dreams, has become a life not to be wasted. I’ve learned so much in researching for my storylines. The best part…I’ll never learn it all.

 

So today, I popped in the CD of Christian music that drove me as I wrote my first novel. It transported me to a hay loft, soft with white Christmas lights…sweetened with past heartache and present joy. The first scene of my book that really flowed as I discovered my voice.

 

I smell the snow-wet barn wood, and I know that the time is right. I can go back. I can get it right. Praise God.

For more of the very first ever Carnival of Christian Writers please visit Writer…Interrupted for the whole line-up…