Many friends already know that I have been “pregnant” with another new book this year—so, does that surprise them? Not at all. They know that I usually have another idea waiting in the wings even as my latest book is coming off the press. I thank all my friends who have been praying for this new book-child. When I'm asked which of the books I've written is my personal favorite, I truthfully reply, “The next one....”
At what point in the "literary gestation" process am I? I've just had a "literary sonogram" on 7/17/17—surely an auspicious and lucky date with all those sevens! I suppose I should have written 7 chapters to make it fit, but I wrote 9, perhaps for the decades of my life. My sonogram was the completion of my first draft. Now I've seen my “baby” in formation.
I know this much about my “child”—she is non-fiction and autobiographical. She has a name already. Her parts (chapters) are all there. She is now in the finishing stage requiring much nourishment (multiple editings for enrichment) as I press on toward completing the manuscript. Only God knows the “due date.” I continually submit my editings to my Supreme Editor with much prayer seeking His approval. I want to be sure that I have said all and only what He wanted me to say.
Writing For the Supreme Editor
My Wordsmithing Life
From my INTRODUCTION
How long have I been writing? For a lifetime. I expressed myself in writing ever since I learned to write in childhood. I always write with the flow of whatever is happening in my life. Much of my mid-life writing was in the context of the ministry in which my late husband Ted and I were engaged. It has primarily been since the traditional age of retirement that I have become more free to pursue my writing and publishing calling. Most of my several dozen books have been published after I became a cancer survivor and a widow. God generously stretched out those years into longevity The calling of God is for a lifetime and He has not rescinded it in my nonagenarian years.
This book is not just another autobiography. I already wrote my life story to the point of my eightieth year in 2002 and followed it with a spiritual autobiographical Trilogy of books since then. This book is autobiographically specific for the writing aspect of my life—not a “how to do it” book on writing, however. I certainly haven't achieved some public pinnacle in writing or publishing. I have never written a “best seller” in the world's eyes or been at the top of any publisher's charts. In the chapters that follow, I have traced my writing life from childhood to the present into my nineties. Why? To give God all the glory.
This book is a very personal leisurely walk-through the memory lane of my writing life. It has been a reflective fun book to write without a deadline or pressure to please or target any particular readers beyond my family which now extends to more than a dozen great-grandchildren. That younger generation may not remember me in person when they grow to maturity, but they will be able to know me to some degree through my writings and follow the threads of God's calling upon my life. Perchance some of my progeny may inherit the “writers' ink” in our bloodline which I might have inherited from some unknown literary ancestor on the European Continent or elsewhere.
Why do I emphasize a “leisurely walk-through” to trace my wordsmithing life? By temperament, I am accustomed to writing and doing everything else in the fast lane. I wouldn't like to be known as being self-driven, however. Some people have incorrectly labeled me an “Energizer Bunny,” as if I were super-energetic and depend on my own capability with my writing foot on the accelerator. I want it known that I try to write by the energizing of the Holy Spirit, that I am inspired and enabled by the promptings or impressions or nudges of God, my Supreme Editor. It may seem like a self-contradiction but I have to work hard on walking and working more leisurely!
At my advanced calendar age, my mortal flesh “earth suit” has an ever-longer roster of disorders and ills and limitations and weaknesses not uncommon to the aging package. If I appear to be running the race at the same speed as I did in years past, it may be true but deceiving. It takes more energy for me to press on now. As I decrease in physical and mental stamina, so I must increase in dependence on the strength and enabling of God in my growing weakness.
It was my intention and desire for this writing project and for this season of my joyful wordsmithing life to adopt the translation of Deuteronomy 33:25 in the NASB version, “According to your days, so shall your leisurely walk be.” Other translations are, “Your strength will equal your days; your strength lasts all your days, the rest of your days.” “Your old age will be like the days of your youth.” Taking it as my verse for this year, I have found much gold to mine and exciting promises to reflect on as I applied it to the writing of this book on writing. I have coupled it with Psalm 103:5. “[God] satisfies your mouth [your life, your years, your necessity and desire at your personal age] with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”
I have tried to take it easy, to walk, not race with God's strong hand on my shoulder to keep me from running ahead. I trust Him to see me through.
In this modest saga about my writing life, I have traced God's guidance in the rear view mirror as I reflected upon His faithfulness. He patiently taught me to listen for His voice and then obey it as a writer who is a Christian.
(Stay tuned and pray for me as I spend hours on end to tweak and prune and snip, clip and trim while I edit this new literary book-child to the point of delivery.)