Thursday, January 31, 2008

Filling My Time

I'm in that interesting spot writers sometimes find themselves between contracts. I turned in my last contracted book January 15th, and spent a week revising one proposal as requested and then creating a new series proposal at another editor's request. Now I'm...waiting. Ugh. I. Hate. That.

Let me say that again. I. Hate. Waiting.

I'm a type A personality. It didn't take my agent long to label me slightly obsessive.

It's truly ironic that two of my favorite Bible passages deal with trusting God and waiting on Him. He has a supreme sense of humor! Psalm 37:4 has been my life verse since I was 11 or 12. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Love it! But I can't ignore the verses that surround it:
Psalm 37:3-6 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Hmmm. Could David tell us to trust and commit our ways to Him anymore often in that passage? I say I trust God, and I really do try. But I'll be honest...times like this when everything is outside of my control are hard. There is truly nothing I can do but sit back and trust Him to have my future and my best interests in His hands. He knows which books I should write, in which order, and for which houses. Now I have to trust.

I also am tired. Frankly, I needed a few weeks to read, work on new ideas, dream a bit, and not write with a deadline marching across the calendar. The Type A makes it very easy for me to tackle everything. I'm good at it. I can do alot. But I also need to give myself a break, let me body and mind rest. And maybe God knew I wouldn't do that without an imposed break. Yep, I think He knows me well.

So I'm also trying to take Isaiah 40 to heart:
Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
You see, I'm still very new to this field. I'm used to being in fields (law, non-profit world, teaching) where, while I couldn't control everything, there were certain things I could always do to help direct results. Do A and B is likely to occur, if not guaranteed.

Writing is nothing like that. Instead, it's a real journey of faith.

There are still things I can do. Read great fiction. Research areas that interest me. I've got World War Two ideas and horse racing ideas filling my mind because I've been reading non-fiction in those areas. I can draft proposals.

But at a certain point, all I can do is wait.

You see, I have this assurance deep inside that good things are coming. I just don't know when. And that uncertainty is hard to handle. I also don't know which of the three proposals currently out there will resonate with an editor. Making it EXTREMELY hard to know where to direct my time and energy. So I gave myself another week "off" -- my husband would laugh as I race through books, write reviews, work on ACFW's 2008 conference, etc.

But next week, I'll pick up another legal thriller proposal that several editors are interested in. I'll invest a week in it, try to polish it up for my agent to review. And then I'll wait. Rest in Him. And trust that He has my future under control.

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