Friday, September 10, 2010

Breaking the Break

I'm planning to end my break from writing on Monday. I have a day off, which will be my only day off for a while. I'll need to use that day to come up with a pretty decent game plan of how I'm going to handle my writing and editing and querying for the rest of 2010.

The really interesting thing is that on Tuesday, I start a new job. I'm going to be working with my church's preschool three days a week. That will mean I'll be working THREE jobs in the childcare field. I'm going to be doing this while also trying to balance writing/editing/querying into the mix. In other words, you might want to stick around and watch me over the next few months. I have a feeling my brain will soon explode and cause a fairly impressive display of some kind.

Yay! Fireworks! Ooh. Pretty.

The thing is, I'm not really sure if I've learned much from this writing break that I can put into words. I was able to read a few books and get some different perspective. I was able to really think about whether I wanted to just try to self-publish or continue to try to find a literary agent. But really, regarding querying, I still have little clue of what I need to do or how I need to do it.

I don't think taking a break was a bad idea. I needed to reevaluate some things. The thing is, though, writing is just like everything else. There isn't a step-by-step process of how to do it. It took me thirty years to realize that people who achieve what they want didn't start out knowing how to achieve it. Maybe the way to succeed when I don't know what I'm doing is to research as much as possible, then just do something and see what happens. If I make mistakes, I learn. If I do something right, I learn. The way someone else did it isn't necessarily the way it's going to work for me.

I decided to go through several of my old disorganized notebooks the other night. These notebooks contained some forgotten short stories and some truly wretched poetry...and also many, many prayers. I write down my prayers because I communicate and focus better when I'm writing. When I write, I think I might be more myself than when I'm not writing. It only makes sense that my most intimate communication with God should be written. Anyway, I came across some of my prayers from a couple of years ago--back when I'd just gotten done with my first draft of my first book. I prayed then that the Lord would do with my writing what He wanted to do with it IN HIS TIMING and IN HIS WAY. That book has gone through SEVERAL revisions. It's much shorter and much better than it was originally. It's changed and I've changed. God hasn't changed. I believe He's still working in these stories and working in me. I believe that IN HIS TIMING and IN HIS WAY He will honor my efforts to reveal my writing to the world.

It will most likely not be how I expect.

It will most likely be in a way I can't imagine.

It will most definitely only be possible with His help.

I'm not sure what the next few months will bring. I really hope the next few months do not involve my head exploding or bursting into stress-induced flames. I don't know if I'll find an agent or just learn a lot by trying.

But Monday is coming, and even though I'm not sure I'm ready, I'm going to face it head on. I don't know what will happen, but I know something will happen. I can be a passive writer no longer. The break is almost over.


  1. Ruth, you are a wonderful writer, you express your thoughts beautifully. Have you ever tried sending some of your writings to Chicken Soup for the Soul? I believe that's the name of the group of books. My daughter and I both follow you and would have written you directly but having a Twitter moment, again. Hope your new job goes well. There should be an abundance of stories with so many children and the things they say, especially when you're not expecting it. Keep writing, you make sunshine even when it's raining.

  2. Wow, thanks! Your comment definitely makes me smile! What are your twitter names so I can make sure I'm following you back?

    Working with kids defintely gives me many laughs. They are amazing. My biggest passion is writing, of course, but I love children, too.