By the time you read this, I’ll be close to submitting the final edits of my final book in the Guideposts series Secrets from Grandma’s Attic. As I’m wrapping up this chapter (ha!) of my writing career, I’ve been looking back over the entire experience. The unexpected season has been instrumental in teaching me a few things about myself and my writing, so I thought I’d share those with you.
I can write faster than I thought I could.
While I never thought of myself as a slow writer, I certainly didn’t classify myself as a fast writer, either! But if these past two years have shown me anything, it’s that I can finish a book more quickly than I imagined. Honestly, if I’d have known when accepting the first contract that I would end up writing three books over the course of twenty-four months, I would have been terrified! I’m glad I didn’t know until it happened. Of course, this fostered an even greater need than ever before to involve the Holy Spirit in my writing. It required me to depend on Him to give strength in my weakness and to trust Him for the wisdom to know when to write and when to do the others things He’s asks me to do. And He was so faithful to do both of those things.
I love historical research.
With each new book’s historical storyline, I found myself giddy in the research. So many new things to learn in every era and location of history. In the course of these books, I’ve learned about the drawings made for dam construction, life in a small farming community during the Depression, architects and architecture in the 1940s-1960s, the Korean War, helicopters, MASH units, medics, helicopter pilots, war orphans and adoption, the World’s Fair of 1904, the 1904 Olympics, early 20th century St. Louis, and the 1904 Olympic marathon. And I’ve loved every bit of it!
Historical fiction is still my wheelhouse.
It’s not that I’ve never written contemporary fiction before this. I have. In fact, three of the five novels I wrote before becoming a published author were in a contemporary setting. So I did wonder, going into these books, if I would find myself drawn back to that. I found that though I enjoyed the contemporary story lines, I loved the historical ones. Another confirmation of this historical fiction bent was the fact that my editors always had more things to say about my contemporary sections than the historical ones. I believe this was God’s encouragement to continue on in my natural bent—toward history. Not that I won’t ever write something contemporary, but it is definitely a more difficult task for me.
God isn’t finished yet.
Yet again, I’ve learned this to be true for my character as well as my writing. The difficulties in each project continue to shave off my rough edges and keep conforming me to the image of Christ. Don’t you love how when you do a task you are created to do, it not only brings joy to others but transformation to you? Also, that these books were written will always remind me that God has plans I’m not privy to until they happen. In late 2020, I would have said I’ll never have another book published. Instead, I have three new books, all under my own name. So even without a set-in-stone new project, I can trust that the Lord is still working. That I just need to do the next thing and wait on Him.
Have you been through a situation lately where you clearly see things the Lord has taught you in the midst of it? I’d love for you to share!