Oh, imaginary friends! What a week! Am I still awake? It’s quite possible that this week has exhausted me to the point that I am blogging with my eyes closed while I catch a few winks. I have been busy with church obligations, school projects, requirements for my teaching certificate, and a couple big looming deadlines at work. In addition to these things on my mind, I’m in the middle of reading three books at the same time (“Bitterblue” by Kristin Cashore, “Raising Your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, and “American Sniper” by Chris Kyle), and my two Bible study classes are overlapping a bit, so I’m actually participating in two devotionals at once this week. And did I mention that I signed up today for a 10k race that is in (gulp) TWO WEEKS? I feel like my brain is in 100 places at once! Right now, I am the definition of spread too thin, but I’m loving it all! Thank goodness we somehow make room for things we love.
Today I got ahead at school for the first time all week, which took a huge weight off my shoulders. Last night I did a few loads of laundry, which took another weight off my shoulders. And I finished one of my books this afternoon, which oddly took more weight off my shoulders. (You know you are addicted to reading when books begin to weigh on you!) Things are shaping up and I’m heading into the weekend ready to get some more things checked off my to do list. I’m also making a to do list for Chris, which includes things like finish painting the last small side of our house and mowing our yard so that we don’t lose the kids in the grass when they are playing.
You know what is sitting the heaviest on my shoulders right now, though, Imaginary Friends? Come close because I don’t want to say it too loudly.
I’m working on my book. With a publisher. And have been for a couple months.
Nothing is in stone yet. Trust me, you’ll know as soon as I know. In fact, no matter what corner of the world you are reading this blog from, I guarantee that you will hear me squeal and hoot and holler if a book deal is actually ever really signed. But I have been talking with a publisher for a couple months now, and I’m in the middle of getting a few more sample chapters to them this week.
Almost a year ago, I wrote this blog post about God shutting the door on my book. I said that I thought sometimes God closed doors because it was what was best for you. And I believe that. But not very long after I wrote that post, I felt that tug again on my heart to write a book. I just couldn’t get away from it. Everywhere I went, book publishing was in my face. It was what I literally dreamed about at night (one time I dreamed that my book came out and I was standing in Barnes and Noble, but wouldn’t let anyone pick it up off the bookshelf… ???). And I prayed. And I prayed. And I prayed. And I thought, “Lord, if this is your will, then put your hand on this book and I will be your servant.”
Not long after, my agent at the time called. We had parted ways for a while after the first book deal fell through so I could go lick my wounds. But several months had gone by and she wanted to check in to see if I was ready to try again. And I was. So, I wrote. And I wrote. And I wrote. And publishers called and called and called. I spoke with so many editors that I couldn’t keep them all straight. My cup runneth over with publishers.
But not one of them worked out. Every single deal I thought was in the bag passed me by. And every time it broke my heart, but bolstered my spirit. “I know your hand is on this, Lord, and I will wait for your perfect timing.” Occasionally, my prayers were more like, “WHAT THE CRAP, GOD?!?!?!?” but more often than not, I was as patient as possible. And still, no book deal.
This whole process has been going on for almost three years.
People have asked why I don’t self publish this sucker and get it over with. I self publish every day on this blog. Every day, I put my writing out there to be judged, criticized, embraced, laughed at, laughed with, shared, cultivated, and improved. I don’t want to self publish because that’s an accomplishment I’ve already made. I want something more. I feel called to be something more.
Let me tell you, nothing has given me nerves of steel like trying to get a book published. I’ve kept quiet about it because disappointment is so disappointing when it’s this personal. When you want something this badly, the disappointment reaches all the way down to your toes and all the way to the core of your spirit. And it can BREAK you. It can break your heart into many, many pieces. But every time it doesn’t work out, I learn to fill that broken heart with prayer and confidence that this has been put on my heart by a God who is big enough to fill that hole.
And so I am continuing to wait. It might be this publisher. It might not. It might be this year. It might be next. It might be five years from now. But I’ll be here, writing my heart out. Pouring my heart out. Because that’s the heart I’ve been given.