But that’s not why I wrote my novel, Without Regret.
I wrote it because I was frustrated with life.
Before my frustration began four things had occurred:
- I had just FINALLY come to terms with the idea that my husband wasn’t ready for more children (my fourth baby was only 10 months old, mind you)
- My dreams of writing was starting to resurrect after many years of motherhood and I was excited.
- I had bought my first real bathing suit since before I was married.
- I weighed LESS than I did at my wedding.
With all the ‘stars aligning’ I became excited about the prospect of doing something other than reproducing!
Then, I found out I was pregnant. Just weeks before I would have been delighted, but all of a sudden I found myself a little angry. Of course, I wanted another baby, so I was extra confused.
Why did God allow me to arrive to a place of contentment only to snatch it away so quickly?
So…I did what any red-blooded writer does: I concocted a story about three women whose life got flipped-turned-upside-down, but instead of becoming the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, they had to actually DEAL with their frustrations of ‘dreams deferred’. They had to walk through the mire and the muck of figuring out what to to do with all those unmet desires and colliding dreams. (Other writers do this, right?)
Why did I write this story? Because I was forced to walk through it with my characters!
Through struggle, tears and a lot of soul searching, Without Regret was birthed. It was messy and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get an epidural for that crap.
Writers (including me) dream of having hours of uninterrupted time to write, producing a great book, finding a fabulous agent and landing the perfect book deal in one fell swoop. But what about God’s sovereignty? What about HIS plans for our life? What if His plan looks nothing like the one we would choose for ourselves. It might include failed novel attempts, haphazard schedules and too many late nights. It might just reveal that we rely too much on coffee and too little on him!
As writers, we can plan a LOT of stuff, but if we are called by God, we must answer to his plan FIRST.
Psalms 19:21 says it best:
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
When I finished my book, I realized the unplanned pregnancy that seemed to throw my writing off-course actually established my dreams of being an author.
I realized that for me writing and motherhood goes hand-in-hand. Sometimes that journey of being a Writer with Children is just plain ugly, but God is good. He can work even when it looks like a freaking mess. Honestly, it’s probably when he does his best work. Just look at the cross..that didn’t look like it was going to work out so well, but it actually saved humanity for eternity.
If you believe you’ve been called to write a book (or do anything big like that), I hope my story will help you remember that the journey of writing a novel isn’t a straight line. It’s full of bumps, twists and turns. You might think you are going the wrong way. You might think that you’ll never make it, but keep on pressing. Keep on writing. Keep on trusting that the God of the universe has a plan. And he might just use the very thing that keeps throwing loops into your life to establish your dream of writing a book.