Nearly 2019? Surely not! We just had New Year, didn’t we? It can’t possibly be fall. I didn’t finish writing my summer book yet!
Uh, it appears it really is the middle of October. 2019 is just 10 or 11 weeks away. Oops!
Life, and God, can have a funny way of changing our plans! I have a dear friend who doesn’t like me to use the word “plan”, even though I try to remember to add “God willing”, every time I say it. And I think she’s right! “Hopes” is a far better word.
I had so many plans for 2018, for both writing, and for life. Flaky confession alert here – my plans vs the reality!
I had oh-so-good intentions to write and release six books in 2018. LOL, that didn’t exactly work out! By May I was already way behind, with messy results. The La Risposta (A Tuscan Legacy #9) launch was delayed a month, and Heart in Hiding (Love in Store # 6) got postponed till 2019. My Christmas book – dropped till Christmas 20-who-knows-what!
I figured I could still get some of the other books I had planned for the year done. Huckleberry Lake #4, Choose Again, for a late-summer over-60s boxed set. And Brodie’s story for The Macleans could get pushed back to a January launch instead of December, if needed.
I’m still hoping Brodie will get his story told at last this winter. He’s had a long wait! But Choose Again, my over-60s romance for the Somewhere Beyond the Blue set, stubbornly refused to come together. Nine chapters written, and it stalled. No matter how much I pushed, pleaded, and cajoled these characters, the rest of the story just wasn’t coming. Usually that’s a sign the story took a wrong turn somewhere. Often somewhere early.
Three weeks before deadline is not a good time to realise my story probably has a major flaw. Especially when I have zero clue what it is!
After much prayer, I knew my only choice was to regretfully drop out of the set rather than delay the launch. The set (delayed a couple of weeks for other reasons, as it turned out) released this week, with some wonderful stories you won’t want to miss!
So with Choose Again laid to rest in the Graveyard of Unfinished Books, I hope only temporarily, I felt pretty much the flakiest person on the planet. So far, only one book out of all I hoped to complete in 2018 actually done on time. I started to listen to those nasty little whispers of negativity telling me life would be so much easier if I just gave up writing. Not great timing, when with Marion Ueckermann, Alexa Verde, and lovely blogger Paula Marie, we’d just set up a Facebook reader group, Three Authors and a Blogger! But those whispers persisted, and got louder.
Thankfully, God whispered even louder, telling me He wasn’t finished with me yet! He reminded me that my word for 2018 is “still”, and while I’d been busy making my plans and trying to make them happen, I’d neglected truly being still with Him. Oh, I prayed and read my Bible, but I wasn’t still.
He reminded me of His priorities for my life. Time with Him, getting a better sense of the physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthier habits He’s asking that I let Him grow in me. Ones that will help me serve Him better and support what I feel called to do – nurturing my husband, nurturing friends and family, giving to readers, writing the books He gives me to write, helping readers find them.
So here is is mid-October, and He’s already given me my word for 2019. “Discipline”. The discipline to be still with Him, to soak in His love and grace. And then the discipline to take that out into every interaction I have with others. The discipline to live in obedience to His plans, not my own!
Then He sent me off in a completely unexpected writing direction, both the story I’m working on now and two new projects to add to my to-be-written list. Looks like next year could be even more interesting than I guessed!
Did you choose a word for 2018? If you did, how has it applied to your life so far this year?
One comment made on this post will be randomly chosen to win an ebook copy of my hope-to-release-it-later-this-month Christmas set, Together for Christmas, containing a book from each of my four main series. Including that unexpected writing project – revising Love’s Healing Touch, my novella last summer for the now-unpublished Kindle Worlds, as a longer Christmas story set in Sweetapple Falls!