When I was a kid, I had big dreams. And this idea that writers lived on mansion on hilltops. I thought that surely, surely fame and fortune awaited me down that road. That I'd be a household name. That people would squeal with excitement when they met me. That I'd be able to dive into my vault of gold like Scrooge McDuck.
Yeah, so...um, no. LOL. That's not the life of a writer--at least, not many of us. But that's okay. Because the more I travel this road, the more I know it isn't about those old dreams. It's about the stories God puts in my heart.
For a lot of writers, writing is a career. They love it, but it comes down to the bottom line. I get that...but that's not me. To me, despite those childhood dreams, writing isn't about what I get from it. It's about what I can give with it. Writing is my calling. Writing is my ministry. Writing is the way I share about faith, about God, about how He guides through our lives. About how love lifts us above the dark places--though those dark places will always come.
Tonight I have a book signing at my local library, so my thoughts this morning were on the subject. And I've also been hearing back from my beta readers for A Soft Breath of Wind, so that makes me think about it even more. I guess as a kid, I would have imagined that praise for my books would have made me smile like a movie star, utter a gracious thank you so much! and go about my day knowing I'd done that, I'd done what I set out to do.
Instead, every time I get an email or message from one of these early readers with words like your best yet and this opened my eyes to faith on a whole new level, there's no euphoria. There's no glow of accomplishment. There's something better. There's that deep-down, bone-level gratitude to God for helping me write what He wanted me to. For putting down a story I wasn't sure would be what my core readers want and finding that it's what they need. For realizing He had things in mind for my words I didn't know.
That's what writing has become for me. And while it might not be enough for Scrooge McDuck, I gotta say, it's why I keep doing this. It's why I get up at 5:30 every morning, though I don't often get to bed until 11. It's why I bake cookies to take to the library with me, though my day is already full. It's why I sacrifice that time when I could be outside or reading or otherwise at play, to squeeze a few more paragraphs onto the page.
I've said it before, I'm sure. I write because it's who I am. It's what I'm called to do. If no one ever read it, I'd still write. If I never earned a penny, I'd still write. Because God teaches me so much through each story.
Yesterday marked the T-one month date for the release of A Soft Breath of Wind. And as the countdown to release begins, I'm covering this book with prayer. It goes places no other book of mine has ever gone. It digs to places I didn't know it would plumb. It asks questions I'd never thought to wonder about until Zipporah and Benjamin and Samuel brought them up.
And that means it's probably going to offend some people--those types of books always do. So I'm also praying that it doesn't get into the hands of anyone to whom it would be a stumbling block. I'm fine with people not liking my book, with them taking issue with it, if it's an issue God wants them to take. But I'm not okay with people asking questions that makes them waver in their faith or go places in their minds they don't need to go (I've had a few of those reviews over the years too). So if you've a mind to say a prayer over this book and its releasing, please include that--that it make it into the hands of those who need it and stays out of the hands of those who don't.
I'd also appreciate a prayer for my event tonight. I love doing library signings--so much fun to chat with folks who love books! So here's hoping it goes well and I meet some new people to chat with. =)