Welcome to the Inspy Romance Back to School Book Bash season! I hope you’re as excited as we are. If you missed the post, you can visit it HERE.
One of the highlights for me this year are listening to podcasts. This is a bit overwhelming to me, so right now I’ve tried ministries/pastors I enjoy (Elevation, Pastor Robert Morris for example) and The Office, a television show I didn’t enjoy at first, and then grew to absolutely love for the writing.
There are two podcasts related to the show. One is The Office Ladies. Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey take each episode and share their experiences as only they can as two of the most loved actresses can.
An Oral History of The Office features actor Brian Baumgartner and a 12 hour look at the show from idea to casting to writing strike. It was listening to this episode that I had a revelation about my writing.
One of The Office writers shared the time when she announced she was leaving the beloved shows. Steve Carell, the actor who played Dunder Mifflin Paper Company manager, asked the writer if she was sure about her choice. When asked why he said, “Because I think you process a lot of your experiences through my character. I think Michael Scott’s your therapy.”
I don’t know if the other IR bloggers have the same issues I do but that comment got to me. When I wrote Entangled, I struggled. The words would not come. The theme was regret or surrendering the past. One day I felt a God nudge that there was an issue from my past I had to let go. I wrestled with it, but finally surrendered it. And when I did? The words flowed and readers still say that’s their favorite book.
Fast forward and I’m starting a new series. After several starts, it’s moving. My critique groups have been so complimentary. The series is Surrendering Opinions. It’s about the Collins sextuplets. They stay in the news because of tragedy, so each book belongs to a sibling and their young adult journey to find a love like the one their parents had. Anchored is the tentative title for this first one, and it’s all about surrendering control.
Jordyn is my heroine. As the oldest, even by a few minutes, she feels responsible. For her dad. Her siblings. Everyone around her. Spencer is the hero. He’s also the oldest in his family and suffered a recent loss. His dad isn’t handling it well. Spencer’s trying to control his family. His job. Everything around him. Oh, one more thing. Spencer and Jordyn have been thrown together for a new show at their television station.
Guess what my struggle is this year? 2020. The one with a pandemic. Control.
I don’t know when my husband returns to the office. Or when my kids will leave home for their education. As an “introvert’s introvert,” I like my space. I like to clean when the house is empty. To not have an end date on when I get tht space, it’s messing with me a bit.
As I thought about each book I realized as I wrote, God used each theme to work a new healing in my life. Funny thing, I never planned it. I pray about surrrender issues readers would be encouraged by. Only God knew there were things deep within me that needed to address. So I discovered my book themes are more than therapy, they are God’s way of healing me. Growing my faith and to be more like Jesus.
Writing is hard. Writing is lonely. Writing is weird. Writing is crazy.
But I love it.
Is there a surrender theme God’s working on in your life right now? Please feel free to share in the comments.