Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Writing is a form of Revelation"

As you might know (if you read this blog regularly, or are my friend in real life) I recently attended a conference for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers.
It lasted five days, and consisted of classes and peer review in the morning (which I didn't attend... too pricey!) and speakers and panels in the afternoon.
As too many witnesses can tell you, I spent much of every day crying.
Seriously, you guys. I cry a lot.
Every talk was so touching, inspiring, and encouraging. Whether it was about writing from real life, finding the proper ending for your book, or understanding the importance and power of children's literature... I was crying.

But the real reason that I was crying, was that I felt a confirmation and love from God towards my writing. I felt like God cared about my writing. Like, because it is important to me, it is important to Him.
I felt encouraged to keep writing.
And for some reason, I was surprised by this.

I know that God wants me to be a mother. I am strengthened, led, and helped to be a better mother by him every single day. I know my children are important to him, and that when I pray about them, my prayers are answered.
But writing books isn't motherhood.
I guess, I didn't realize that some of the other things I do are important to God, too.

I'm not that good at writing, really.
And my books aren't... perfect. That's silly, but I mean they aren't totally wholesome. (Not that they're bad, just to be clear.) But my characters are flawed. The book I'm working on currently is about two sisters in a broken family. Sometimes they swear. Bits of the book are about... you know... sex and things.
And yet, my imperfect book about imperfect characters is important to me.
And so it's important to my heavenly father.

Throughout the week, I was given lots of amazing opportunities, and I'm still not totally sure how they came about.
An example? I was able to meet with a book agent, and he read the first chapter of my book. He liked it.
He asked me to send him the whole thing. He said things like, "This reminds of 'A Bridge to Terebithia.'" And I came home giggling like a giddy child, and repeating all the nice things he said to anyone in the vicinity with ears.
Then, when Travis and I were on a date, I had a total breakdown in the Frozen Yogurt place, and started sobbing, saying over and over, "My book might be published. Someday my book might get published."

And Travis patted me on the back and said, "I know, Becky. I've always known that your book would get published."
Which is a very nice thing to say, considering he has absolutely NOT read my book yet.
And I just feel... grateful.
I feel so grateful and overwhelmed and excited.

And I feel encouraged. I've been writing my pants off over here lately. (Yes, I write without pants on. That's what that means.) And getting more excited every day.
Because this book is important.
And not just to me. But also to my father in heaven.

And a few notes, for those of you who are curious, or leave comments on my Facebook like, "Where can I pick up my copy of your book?" (Which is very nice, thank you.)

1. You can't. My book hasn't actually been picked up by an agent, let alone an editor. It still only exists on my computer.

2. Let's say my book does get picked up by an agent AND an editor: it could still be about two years (after I finish editing!) before it hits shelves.

3. (This note is to myself): Stop imagining yourself showing off your fancy Newbery Award at your five year reunion, your book will not be published by then.

4. (A note to people who went to my high school): Are we even having a five year reunion, or just a ten year reunion? Because I would like an excuse to bring my cute kids to Minnesota, and show them off to all of you and your parents who miss me.

5. (A note to people who know these things): Do Newbery Award winners actually get a trophy of some sort? Or just a sticker on their book and world renown?

6: Just so everyone is clear, I don't actually think I'll win a Newbery. That is a joke.  Laugh with me. Do it now. (Hahaha)

Anyway. Someday I will have a book. A real book. A book that I wrote and which got published.
And when that happens, you will know, because I WILL FREAK OUT ABOUT IT.
Every day.

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Lana said...

Did you start a different book or is this the same book? I don't remember swearing or sex. You know what is funny though? Sometimes phrases or images pop into your head that remind you of something and you feel like possibly you read that at some point in the thousands of books you read, OR just a snippet from a book pops into your mind suddenly and you read that book once a million years ago, you know what I'm talking about? That has happened to me a couple times with the book of yours that I read. Something about shepherds pie, I believe. love you. sorry about the baby stoppers nonsense. I see now that it was an immodest post and it was deleted. husband was embarrassed of me and that was probably the worst reprimand I've ever had, just him saying "you embarrassed me." gah. chagrin.

Unknown said...

Keep working hard, and it will happen if you keep believing! Isn't that a song or something, but still true. There will be time for it all. It is so inspiring for me to still see you working on a dream even if it is only 10 minutes a day. Love you guys

MARCIE said...

Just think, in years to come you can write books about your boys and you will have your great blog to fall back on for inspiration. A series of books about the adventures of Grey and Micah would be adorable!

Betsy Hite Reddoch said...

I love being reminded that if it is important to me, it is important to Him. Loved the post. Can't wait to read your book when it is published.

M.Z. Buschman said...

I can totally connect with this, being a writer myself, and that is totally awesome. When your book hits shelves, I will find it and read it! And then rave about it on your site. :) Best of luck.

KC Squared said...

I feel like this deserves your own "You go girl!" :)