We are still in the first month of the new year, and so I am going to admit to you what one of my unfulfilled goals was for last year. To get my book published. Now some of you may feel that was quite greedy – and that it was fulfilled anyway, as my Bible study notes on David came out before the end of 2015. But, while I have indeed had five books published traditionally over the years, each one was an idea that came from an editor with whom I already had a relationship with (either as a freelance editor or writer for them). So they feel like a bit of a cheat (which is silly, I know).
The problem is, I have had a book simply burning within me for a few years now. Based on my own life’s circumstances but then broadening out, I feel passionately that God has called me to write it. After some initial wobbles, I felt him speak clearly to me during a leadership training day … on preaching of all things. He told me that this is my story, and this is what I am to convey. While others in the room were being called to preach, I was being called to write my story down – and then be willing to talk about it.
Since then, I have had interest from one publisher, only to have that initial interest wane after the publisher was made redundant. I am in correspondence with another publisher – but still have no idea (or any guarantees) whether they want to publish. The commissioning editor has been extremely kind, and brutally honest – which I know those of you who have been on the receiving end of that before can probably still remember the sting of it. And yet the comments were well meant, and have made the book better as a result. I am exceedingly grateful – even though it hurt at the time.
But my book still remains unfinished and without a contract. I feel like I’m in a waiting game, and that is very much like being in limbo. Yes, I could be finishing it off anyway – and I do try to write bits of it when I can, but life does tend to crowd in, in the form of other writing assignments that pay and family and church activities. Oh yes, and enforced rest from work due to ill health – I’ve had a surprising and unexpected amount of that in the last year.
I am trying to do the waiting well. Trying not to pin all my hopes on this one publishing house. I’m trying to keep things in perspective, as well as keep on with relevant research and bits of writing when I can. I know I’m not alone – that waiting is one of those painful but inevitable parts of being a writer. How about you? How do you do the waiting well? I’m hoping I can learn something from you…
Claire is a freelance writer and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include David: A man after God's own heart, Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Guide: Managing Conflict and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes a regular column for Christian Today as well as Bible study notes and is currently standing in as editor for Families First magazine. To find out more about her, please visit www.clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.