by Catherine Anthony Boldeau
About a month after my first collection of stories, Too Proud to Beg, Too Dumb to Steal was published, my husband developed a life-threatening illness. My plans for hosting a book tour was put on hold and although I did manage to complete a signing session and sold quite a few books there, my book has been put on the back burner.
I took up a new teaching contract two months ago and due to the intense nature of the work, family and voluntary commitments, my book is still waiting...and waiting...and waiting... And I'm not in a position to effectively plan a book tour as there are so many other pressing demands around.
What do you do when your writing doesn't go to plan? When the dreams and hopes that you nurtured and the hours of writing and re-drafting seem all in vain? What happens to your confidence as a writer, when 'life happens' and dictates the agenda?
It's easy to give up when it appears that there is little hope of a positive outcome. It's natural to feel that you might be wasting your time and any writer not prepared to for the 'downs' in your writing life, should walk away now.
Being a writer takes enormous courage. Being a Christian writer you need additional tenacity to keep believing in a God that has called you to write. I have gained enormous strength and peace in knowing that there was a reason for me writing Too Proud to Beg, Too Dumb to Steal. One of the blessings was a comment from my editor, who has no particular faith tradition. On reading the title story of the book, he made minor changes and said in an email, 'Very moving'. And several people who have purchased the book have indicated the stories really resonated with them.
So, what next? Where do I go from here? To be truthful, I'm leaving that to God. No, its not a 'cop-out' because He who instilled in me the passion and purpose to write Too Proud to Beg, Too Dumb to Steal, has a plan that will unfold in His time. While I wait for His next instruction for the book, I keep on writing my daily Facebook devotionals and continue to receive paying commissions to write articles for a variety of media and organisations. And I've had the privilege to write and produce a TV series for Christian women to be aired early next year and being funded to run a series of Creative Writing Workshops for Christian writers. So, I've not given up on writing...and I've not given up on the book either.
It's easy to give up on your dreams, especially when they don't materialise as you would like them too. But your writing life will have it peaks and troughs and sometimes, it will just remain static for a while. Remember the God who called you has a purpose for your writing...