BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS
by Kitty Bucholtz
I was talking to a writing friend yesterday who said she is tired of trying to write around what she hears the market wants, the agents want, the editors want. In these economic times, everyone would have us believe our efforts will be even harder to sell than ever before. But sheâ€™s done with worrying about it.
Why? Because she believes Godâ€™s plan for her life canâ€™t be circumvented by an economic shift, or a change in publishing house staff, or a tightening of an agentâ€™s client list. So what does she believe in? Following her heart, and pouring all her joy and honesty and passion into whatever story most grips her imagination, and believing that Godâ€™s power to work his plan in her life â€“ whatever that is, publishing or not â€“ is stronger than any other power on earth.
This conversation stayed with me because Iâ€™d been thinking along the same lines. This morning I was talking to God about the fact that Iâ€™m 40, for goodnessâ€™ sake, and how long was this going to take anyway? Then I remembered that the Israelites wandered around in the desert for 40 years asking the same question â€“ how long? â€“ until a young man named Joshua went scouting in the Promised Land. He and his co-spy came back to tell Moses and the rest of the millions of Israelites that even with all the enemies theyâ€™d have to defeat, it would be worth the trip.
Eventually Joshua did lead them over the river (even though people taunted him and accused him of leading them all to their deaths!) and it was worth the trip. But it wasnâ€™t easy. I re-read some of the story of Joshua this morning and realized that nowhere in the Bible that I can remember did God say, â€œBe strong and courageousâ€ and â€œdo not be terrifiedâ€ as much as he did when he sent his children into the Promised Land. The Promised Land, for goodnessâ€™ sake. And all those people were so afraid.
Just like us.
If there is a God who can miraculously place himself into a little baby human being, then allow himself to die with all the punishment of all the people who ever will live on his back, then raise himself from the dead and defeat death for all people for all timeâ€¦ Well, if there is a God who has that kind of power, then itâ€™s irrational for me to believe that he can’t use my life for good in this world. He must have the power to make whatever good plans he has for my life to come to fruition. Regardless of whether the circumstances seem to suggest otherwise.
Iâ€™m doing my best to write stories for the sake of bringing more goodness into the world. I believe that is Godâ€™s plan for my work life, and I believe he will make that plan work out perfectly by the time I die, regardless of how much gets published. Itâ€™s hard because I see the battles ahead and I donâ€™t know how to fight them, let alone how to be victorious. But if God really does have a plan for me, thenâ€¦
…itâ€™s worth it.
Kitty Bucholtz is a co-founder of Routines For Writers, a new web site to help writers write more. She writes light urban fantasy novels with a romantic comedy spin â€“ and loves every minute of it! Even though she loves talking about, writing about, and teaching about writing, sheâ€™s pretty sure she knows at least three people who arenâ€™t writers.
GRATEFUL TO GOD FOR MY FAMILY
by Kitty Bucholtz
â€˜Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. â€“ Alfred Lord Tennyson
There will always be disagreement about the truth of that statement. The same person might even change their mind about whether they hold that belief depending on where they are in their lives. Itâ€™s much harder to believe when youâ€™re in the midst of loss.
When I went to Australia three years ago, I knew Iâ€™d be gone at least three months because of my husbandâ€™s job. Three months turned into thirteen, and we definitely felt the loss of our friends, our church, and for me, my OCC family.
I just returned from the chapter meeting and Iâ€™m feeling euphoric and nostalgic and full of gratitude even though I know Iâ€™ll be feeling a deep sense of loss this time next year when Iâ€™m back in Australia. Shannon Donnellyâ€™s presentation on writing a synopsis was exceptional â€“ the most pages of notes Iâ€™ve taken since Michael Hauge was here. Sue Grimshaw gave an excellent presentation about the Borders book buying process and what authors can do to promote themselves. Not sure if it was because sheâ€™s from Michigan (Go Wolverines!) or because sheâ€™s such a nice person with a great presentation, but I felt really inspired to keep going afterward even though Iâ€™m still unpublished.
But itâ€™s not the professional information that makes OCC my family. I spent the day teasing friends and getting teased back. Several friends encouraged me to not give up on the kind of writing I want to do regardless of whether Iâ€™ve seen anything like it in the bookstore. A lot of people shared my excitement in moving back to Australia and listened with saint-like patience as I extolled the virtues of life there. One friend told me I would be missed and filled my heart when she said she would start missing me now. Aw! (Guys, itâ€™s a girl thing. 😉 )
So what do I think? Is it better to have made friends and poured time and energy into them and found they became another family? Networked and shook hands and passed out business cards to strangers for years? And then up and leave for who knows how many years?
Yup. No question.
Itâ€™s worth it.
Kitty Bucholtz is a co-founder of Routines For Writers, a new web site to help writers write more. She writes light urban fantasy novels with a romantic comedy spin â€“ and loves every minute of it! Read her article ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU THOUGHT OF THAT? in Septemberâ€™s RWR magazine. Even though she loves talking about, writing about, and teaching about writing, sheâ€™s pretty sure she knows at least three people who arenâ€™t writers.