Saturday, 15 March 2014

Balanced Challenge: Day 4: How To Know God’s Call For Your Life

I think it's very easy to question whether or not we're following the right path, especially when things don't go as expected or we meet failure and rejection. As a writer this is definitely something I've experienced, especially because it's not always easy to see concrete evidence of the progress I've made. People in other lines of work might have plaques or awards to signify how far they've come, or even something as simple as a change in job title or extra numbers on their pay check. Me? I've written two full-length novels in two years (as well as some unfinished ones and many, many ideas for potential novels). I've participated in two online editor pitches and submitted one full manuscript and one partial. My full MS was rejected, but with encouragement from the editor, who said she'd be willing to look at another novel in the future. The second response was even better--the editor gave me the chance to edit the chapters and resubmit them. 

This second offer was open-ended. The editor didn't tell me when she wanted to see the edited chapters, just that if I wanted to make changes, she'd give them a second look and let me know if she wanted to read more. This opportunity, which I received back in October, was exciting. I hadn't even finished the entire novel by this point, so I spent the rest of October finishing my rough first draft. I planned to participate in NaNoWriMo in November and work on something entirely new to give me time away from my WIP, then go back to it in December and begin editing.

But things didn't go entirely to plan. By the time December rolled around, I knew that I was pregnant, and morning sickness seriously kicked in. Combined with extreme tiredness and Christmas craziness, I didn't get a lot done in December. My morning sickness only seemed to get worse as we moved into the new year, and it's only now that I'm actually feeling like I have the energy and concentration to get stuck back into editing. I don't want to submit a shoddy second draft to this editor, so I know it needs some serious attention before it's ready for her to see. It's also the first time I've been asked to submit edits, and I want to make sure I do it right.

Still, I have found myself doubting what I'm doing. Can I really call myself a writer if I'm barely writing anything? Is this really what I'm meant to be doing with my life if I'm struggling with it? Am I a bad writer if I'm considering setting my writing aside for a time while I cope with pregnancy ailments and a new baby? If writing is what God has called me to do, am I failing at my calling right now? 

Chapter 4 of Balanced definitely had some encouragement for me. If anyone knows the stresses of balancing motherhood and writing, it's Tricia Goyer, so I appreciated her words on this topic. Especially the encouragement that: "God has a plan for both aspects of our lives! The trick is balancing them--not being overwhelmed but trusting God for the outcome." 

I'm sure I'm not the only person who struggles with trust. Right now, I'm trying to trust that I will be able to balance writing and being a mother, and that I won't neglect either part of my life. I know that, when it comes down to it, I can set aside my writing for a season if I need to--my kids will only be young once, but my books will wait. But still, I trust that this is something I can balance. I trust that writing is something I'm called to do, and that as such, I will see one of my novels through to publication some day. It might be through this current opportunity with this editor, or maybe I'll revise my first novel and submit it elsewhere, or maybe it'll be something entirely different. I don't think God would have placed the gift of writing in my hands and provided me with time to write if it wasn't meant to go somewhere, so I just need to wait and see where it takes me. 

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!

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