Well, I’m back in the saddle…briefly. The OCW conference is past, but next week is church family camp. I’m the director, so I’ll be focused on that all next week.
The conference was fine, as expected. I reconnected with several old friends, made a few new ones, and missed the several who weren’t there this year.
My debate with James Scott Bell (plot versus character) went well. I won, of course. (Just don’t ask Jim who he thought won).
The big news, though, is something that happened apart from the conference. The publishing committee at a large Christian publisher met on Wednesday to consider a proposal of mine. Although I was expecting a “yes,” I got a “no.” And yet I wasn’t horribly disappointed. The reason is that although the proposal was on a topic dear to my heart, it was also one I was a bit hesitant to pursue. So I left it in God’s hands….and He, working through the decision of the committee, obviously closed that door. The result is that I’ve asked my agent not to submit that proposal nor the two others that were on the same general topic to any other publishers. It’s somewhat painful to close the door on that topic, but I think it’s for the best. This all goes back to the first step in becoming a Christian writer—trusting God to open and close doors as He chooses. I now feel free in a way. And, hey, this now means there are only 52 projects (instead of 55) on my list of books I want to write. I’m being narrowed as a writer and that’s a good thing. I expect there will more narrowing ahead too. I know I certainly will never live long enough to write all the projects on my list. But having a vision for each of those books is important, even though it means a season of pain when some of these envisioned projects must be put away for good. As someone as once said, the delete button is a writer’s best friend.
The hardest part, really, is that once I knew the proposal was under consideration, my mind kicked into high gear in preparation for that particular project. Everything I saw, read, or thought somehow got sifted for material to use in the eventual book. Even now, hours after hearing the negative verdict, I’m having trouble shutting down that part of my mind that was becoming consumed with gathering material for the book. I imagine this will last at least another full week. Maybe longer.
Perhaps the week at family camp will quiet my mind a bit. We’ll see. In the meantime, if I don’t get the fifth and final step in how to succeed as a Christian writer posted before family camp, rest assured I’ll do it as soon as I’m home again.
Meanwhile, I want you to consider how God might need to narrow or expand your vision as a writer. Is it time to hit the delete button on some projects….or perhaps time to refresh your vision with something new and exciting?