midnight hour has long come and gone by the time I finally finish my
last email to my publisher. Late night emails are part of the routine
of my life now.
My new novel, Harvest
of Rubies, released three weeks ago, so we are still in the
throes of feverish publicity that surrounds the early days of a book’s
release. I encounter a flurry of activity as I accept invitations to
blogs, write magazine articles, participate in radio interviews, keep
up with my online presence, maintain my relationships with an active
community of writers, and continue to keep in touch with my publishing
team, often on a daily basis.
Sometimes blog interviews come
with a two-day deadline. But each opportunity is precious. If I want
people to hear about my book, I need to accept most invitations.
While I write new articles and
read reviews, I also make time for my next novel—Harvest of
Gold—the sequel to Harvest of Rubies. It
will not be written by angels. I tried delegating to them, but they’ve
maintained a frosty silence. In the meantime, I am thinking of ideas
for the story I want to write after that one.
Writing revolves around
contracts. New ideas, appropriate research, and book proposals are a
continuous reality in the life of a writer who wishes to carve out a
career rather than engage in a hobby.
Sound busy? It is.
Of course, I also have my day
job. Most of us who are blessed to be contracted and published cannot
afford to quit our jobs and become full-time writers. At least not
immediately. It takes years to build the kind of readership that allows
for a full-time writing career. In the meantime, life must go on. I
love my day job; I work in a church where I feel like I make a true
difference for the kingdom of God. My hours are not always regular and
often run into the evening. Forty-hour weeks are light for me.
I consider myself incredibly
blessed. Many people never get to do what they find fulfilling. Some
never even discover what their true calling on this earth is. I have
been simultaneously released in two careers that I love. Sometimes this
makes for an interesting schedule.
Just before the release of Harvest
of Rubies, my father landed in hospital with double
pneumonia. The day he was discharged from the rehab facility to go
home, I had surgery. I took my laptop everywhere with me. By his
bedside as I visited him every day; to my own bed as I recovered from
the surgeon’s knife; to my day job so that I could catch up with one or
two emails during my lunch break. This is not a hardship. I love
writing too much to begrudge its demands.
you are a part-time writer, the rest of your life must go on as before.
You have to create opportunities to accomplish these new tasks. You do
everything you did before and this. Love makes it
possible. Love and God. Sometimes I tell Jesus that I
cannot do it. It
is impossible. How can I possibly manage this pace? And then I remember
the truth that I am “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do” (Eph. 2:10
God’s provision trumps my lack.
I know this is my calling. For this season in my life, He has called me
to live this privileged life. Just as He prepared this work in advance
for me to do, so did He prepare the provision for it. Time, energy,
creativity, wisdom, discernment, peace: all that I need is part of my
inheritance, set aside for me in Christ.
I feel my deficiencies. I
acknowledge them every day. But the mystery of God revolves around that
He is strong in our weakness. He will make a way through this winding
path. My job is to take one step at a time, to be obedient in the task
that is before me at this moment.
Of course, this requires
sacrifice. I don’t read as much as I used to. I watch very little TV. I
can’t remember the last time I went to the movies. I stay up too late,
and I am attached to my laptop. As a single woman, I don’t have to
juggle the needs of husband and children in addition to everything
else. But I don’t see as much of my family and friends as I would like.
I don’t cook the meals I enjoy. My house is littered with papers I
can’t put away yet, and my diminutive garden harbors nasty, nameless
Would I give up any of it for a
moment? No. It’s all worth it. It’s all worth hearing how God uses
these books in the lives of the readers. It’s all worth knowing that I
am fulfilling my purpose. It’s not easy. But it’s worth it.