Confession: I’ve been pedaling as fast as I can on a stationary bike for a long time now. Barely keeping my head above water with a multitude of life tasks, a family health scare, and raising a teenage boy. Last spring, our son went to Junior prom with his lovely girlfriend, which means this year, he’s a Senior. On top of everything–I have book deadlines. Deadlines are a blessing and a curse. As writers, if we don’t have deadlines, we’re not working. Or getting paid. I remember before I was published, hearing an author speak at a conference and complaining about deadlines. At the time, I thought–I’d kill to have a deadline. Now I understand.
I was all excited when I signed the contract, couldn’t wait to start the first book. And then life hit and hit and hit. Before I knew it, I only had two months to get the book written while existing on an emotional roller coaster. I didn’t care about my book or the characters. All I cared about was the curve ball life had thrown me and treading through it. But I still had to write the book. I thought about asking for more time. And I could have. I didn’t for several reasons. I have a new editor and I didn’t want to start things off by asking to extend my deadline and mess up her editorial schedule. And the curve ball hit our finances too. I’ve never written for income, but this time, I needed to.
My husband encouraged me, literally took me by the shoulders and gave me a gentle shove toward my office several times. I wrote. Even though the story didn’t flow. Even though every word was forced. Day after day, word after word, I wrote the book. I revised it and met my deadline. Turning the book in did little to relieve my stress. I was certain it was the worst book I’d ever written. I’ve written books that didn’t flow before. Usually, when I go back for the final read after revisions, I fall in love with the book again. Not this time. I kicked myself for refusing to ask for more time instead of turning in a bad book. I talked to my husband about how the entire book–every scene–was forced. He said he’d had sermons like that and they were often the ones he got the most compliments on.
With another deadline five months away, I took a much needed month off. I spent time with my family, went on outings with friends and cousins. During this time, more tests were done and we learned the health scare wasn’t as bad as we initially thought. The illness is treatable with a great prognosis. I’m sorry I’m being so vague, but somehow I’m just not ready to get into detail yet–even though we have good news now. Maybe in my next newsletter, which I badly need to do soon. But just know that my family is fine and this health scare won’t cut our happily ever after short.
Once our crisis was over, I dove into the next book, which thankfully is flowing better. Last week, I heard from my new editor. She loves the book I turned in and mentioned how I kept the tension ramped up until the end, how the child in the story is adorable and the thing keeping my hero and heroine apart was believable, not easily overcome, and held her interest. I was amazed. I told my husband I thought the whole book consisted of my characters standing at the fence watching horses. Our conclusion, God knew I was mentally incapable of writing a book, so he wrote it for me.
I’m tackling the revisions from my editor now and realizing I no longer hate this book. I’m falling in love with the characters and their story. God had my back. And He did a much better job than I could have.
Has there been a time in your life when you had a deadline or a time crunch and life hit, but God got you through it? One commenter will win a copy of Sweetheart Reunion. Deadline for the giveaway is August 22nd. And don’t forget our back to school bash. If you missed the giveaway lineup, check it out: https://www.inspyromance.com/are-you-ready-for-the-back-2-school-bash/