As I type this, I’m sipping my morning cup of coffee. It’s a daily occurrence for me, usually followed up by another cup in the early afternoon. The morning cup I usually have over (or after) a dive into God’s incredible Word. I like to save the afternoon cup for writing time.
I entered my 22nd rotation around the sun yesterday. Year 21 was difficult emotionally and spiritually, something I’ve written extensively on now. Writing-wise, though, it was a year marked by re-finding my joy for story-crafting and my dream of being published. I finished writing a book. Edited another one. Came up with new ideas and developed them. My writing progress came in quick spurts. But this Year 22, writing will progress at a slower pace, requiring more discipline and more focus. I anticipate it being edit-heavy, though honestly I could find I’ll just need to write new stories to keep my writing energized. I have no idea. I’m just going to take it prayerfully one step at a time.
Writing is an important part of who I am. It’s who God created me to be and what He’s called me to do with my life. Here in the month of August, though, writing isn’t the priority, and it won’t be for a long while. I am sad about this shift, because I do love writing and every time I have to place my books on the sidelines, I make slooooooow progress toward my goals of publication. I tend to get discouraged. I feel anxious about writing every single story I have an idea for and worry that I’ll never have the time to write them all.
Then I remember God is in control. I trust Him to lead me through the maze of writing priorities, a maze that these days is smaller and ventured into far less frequently than I would like. But that’s okay.
This past year, my gap year, was especially trying, but solidified a commitment to live a life for Christ. I hunger to do that, even as I stumble around. I know that He’s leading me forward to this new stage, this new part of my journey. He’s gifted me as a writer, and I will use that gift when He needs me to—even if my timing and dreams don’t align with His vision.
Right now, the priority part of the next several months involves my formal Student Affairs training. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, essentially Student Affairs Professionals are college/university staff whose main job is to help students develop during their college experiences, whether through residential life, student activities, orientation, etc. There’s many different ways student affairs roles can play out at a given school. Why this student affairs path? In college, I didn’t have much of a direction until I got involved with student leadership. My work with my peers sparked a joy, a passion for helping others in the crucial transition years between childhood and adulthood. And now I’m pursuing that passion as a fulltime job (by going through required grad school first).
This profession makes me a better writer, too, I think. Hearing the stories and experiences of others. Understanding how people think and why we do what we do. Seeing the struggles of those around me and wondering what message they need to hear to find hope and peace in the midst of their trials.
I admit, though, as someone who’s always wanted to write fiction as my profession, sometimes it’s hard to let that vision of being a fulltime writer go. I could work towards it, but I have no guarantee that I’ll find fulfillment and be able to support myself financially as a writer. I would rather pursue something meaningful and financially stable while I wait to see where my writing takes me. That means I have writing dreams that I may never get to—like writing a musical or a sitcom. One dream that I’ll actively, always pursue, though, is my dream to be a published novelist. Grad school or fulltime job won’t change that pursuit, and Lord willing, I will be traditionally published, someday.
Over the next couple of years while I’m in grad school, I hope to keep up with this blog. I want to make progress on Our Company of Fools and The Queen of Imagination and maybe even write a new book or two. It may be slow baby steps, but no matter how quickly (or not) I write, edit, and get to that publishing goal, I know one thing’s for certain: God made me a writer, and I won’t let this gift sit idly to the side no matter how busy I am. I will keep writing until the end of my days, and then in Heaven, I’ll write some more. Even if I don’t publish more than a single book in this world (or any book!), I know I’ve got all of eternity to explore new styles, new stories, all perfectly focused on proclaiming who God is and what He has done. That thought brings me joy. It doesn’t give me an excuse to not use the time I have in this World to write, but it does give me peace knowing that everything I need to leave written on this Earth will be written, and everything I don’t get to is okay. That is what it means to be a Christian writer. That is who He made me to be.
Thanks for sticking with me this far. Hope you’ll stay around for Year 22.