Happy Birthday, Seekerville!
My first book was released in 2007, the year this blog went live. After looking back over those nine years, I came up with nine steps that took me from fear to freedom.
Pray. In my opinion, everything should begin with prayer. We were a military family and moved every two to three years. Each time we changed locations, I prayed for the Lord to direct my steps to what he wanted for my life.
Make a decision to write. I had published a few articles when my children were young, but as they grew, I set aside my love for writing and volunteered heavily in their schools, in our church and within the military community in which we lived. All the while, the Lord gently reminded me about my heart’s desire. When we moved to Georgia, I realized I was running out of time and needed to try my hand at writing again.
Ignore the negatives. Early on, I purchased Julia Cameron’s book, THE ARTIST’S WAY. Cameron talks about the negative voice that lives within each of us. It’s the discourager who rears its ugly head all too frequently with caustic rhetoric, such as “Who do you think you are? You will never be a writer,” or “You’re stupid to expend so much energy on something in which you will never succeed,” or even, “Get real. You’re too dumb to write.”
I controlled the negative voice by following Cameron’s advice. She says to turn each negative into a positive and write it five time. When Mr. Negative whispers, “Who are you trying to fool? You’re not a writer,” I countered by writing and rewriting “I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer.”
Fiction mirrors life. The characters in our stories have baggage and so do most of us. Screenwriting consultant Michael Hauge, in his book, WRITING SCREENPLAYS THAT SELL, encourages writers to explore past wounds that shape the way their characters act. Characters must overcome or heal their brokenness before they can live fully in the present.
My father was an excellent technical writer, and in my youth, he always corrected my creative attempts, perhaps a bit overzealously. Growing into adulthood, I never felt my writing measured up to his standards. Realizing that even my dad would have struggled to create a full-length work of fiction freed me to move forward on my writing journey.
Put God in control. Soon after receiving “The Call,” I penned “The Writer’s Prayer.” The Lord provided the words, and I was merely the scribe. As many of you know, I give the prayer away at conferences and in mailings, and so many authors have told me how meaningful the prayer has been in their own lives. “The Writer’s Prayer” sits next to my computer and always helps me focus as I start to write. It also reminds me that the Lord is in charge of my career.
We’re not alone. While working on an especially tight deadline in the wee hours of the night, I was overcome with fear that creating the next story depended totally on me. Thankfully, I was able to power through that fear and complete the manuscript on time. The truth is that authors have the support and expertise of their editors, copy editors and marketing and art departments. That entire team is working together to make the story the best it can be.
It’s common knowledge that writing is a solitary profession. Whether published or pre-pubbed, writers need to surround themselves with writing friends, critique partners and blog communities, like Seekerville, for support, affirmation and encouragement.
Analyze the process. Once we have a few books under our belts, we might see a pattern in the way we write. By understanding our process, we can take comfort, knowing we have faced similar doubts before and have gone on to accomplish our goals. My husband and children remind me that with each book I go through the this-is-the-worst-thing-I’ve-ever-written phase, the this-story-will-never-work phase, the I-should-just give-up phase, and how-can-I-call-myself-a-writer phase. Eventually, the story is completed, submitted and, with the help of my wonderful editor, reaches publication.
No ticking time bombs. Our stories have ticking time bombs, but that’s not what we need in life. Instead, we need to set achievable goals and give ourselves adequate time to complete our projects, to learn new craft techniques and to write our books or get our stories ready for submission. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was a writing career.
God’s timing is always perfect. Two years ago, I meditated on the idea of God’s perfect time and realized He always provided the wherewithal for me to write my stories and make my deadlines. That realization brought a sense of security. Now even when I’m short on time or when I’ve overextended my schedule, I trust that the Lord will provide enough time—His perfect time—for me to complete the work.
What steps have you taken to overcome fear and achieve your goals? Leave a comment to be entered in one of two drawings for a copy of my latest release, PLAIN TRUTH, a copy of “The Writer’s Prayer,” a writing journal and a $9 Starbuck’s Gift Card.
In honor of Seekerville’s birthday and in keeping with the suspense genre, I've baked nine Death By Chocolate cakes for us to enjoy. The coffee’s hot. Tea is also available. Pour a cup of your favorite brew, and let’s talk about moving from fear to freedom!
Wishing you abundant blessings,
By Debby Giusti
AMISH COUNTRY SECRETS
When widowed doctor Ella Jacobsen is attacked and left for dead in her childrens’ clinic, the peace she’s found in Georgia’s Amish country is shattered. Someone is after something in her clinic and wants her out of the way...but what are they looking for? Ella knows only that her life is in the hands of army special agent Zach Swain. Zach can’t resist the vulnerable but headstrong Ella, who stares down danger to care for the people she loves. With one look, the loner soldier goes from investigator to protector. To save Ella, he must uncover the secrets that swirl around the idyllic community. And he needs to do it fast, because Ella is running out of time.