Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Time to Create...and A Time to Rest

I have a lot on my mind right now (just as I’m sure we all do). I’ll let our other fabulously-talented Hoosier authors be pithy, witty and erudite. Using that last word is about as good as it gets for me right now. I’m in a fog, a haze – part euphoria, part contentment, and – yes, part exhaustion. Aside from the fact that it’s nearly 1:30 a.m. as I’m writing this, I’m tired. Every now and then, we need to pause and reflect and simply rest in the Lord. I mean really rest, taking comfort in His promises and that beautiful peace that truly surpasses all human understanding. Even the Lord rested and understood this business of creating is exhausting business. I need to ponder His word and refresh my engines before continuing on with my current project and starting on the next one.

My first book literally just released, and of course, I’m overjoyed. To be perfectly honest, I held my breath throughout this journey, praying (1) my new, small publisher would stay in business long enough to actually publish my book; (2) they wouldn’t wake up and realize they’d make a horrible mistake; and (3) it would actually happen and I’d someday hold my book in my hands. Only a few minutes ago, I saw those magic two words on Amazon.com, “In Stock.” It’s the realization of a dream come true, the culmination of many hours of writing, reading, editing and praying. But, sometimes you simply have to see the humor. For one thing, under the tags on Amazon for the book, it’s listed as “historical” romance. Since when is 1997 historical? Anyone under the age of 25 need not answer. I shot an e-mail to the publisher to see if we can get that tag removed since we don’t want to deceive or anger anyone.

For those who don’t appreciate the pure joy derived from writing, we authors are enigmas. I’ve always written for enjoyment, as a creative release and to help me maintain my sanity. But let’s face it, every writer dreams of one day getting their work published. We become so focused on the pursuit, and don’t stop to think about walking through to the other side of the door. Now, I’m crossing over to the “other side” and learning that publication is only the beginning. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. But now I’m dealing with the “other end” of the spectrum: marketing and all the details of post-publication. Blogging, guest interviews, book signings and giveaways... I’m reading blogs and articles about how shameless we can/should be in order to market ourselves and our books. It’s all about branding and creating a name for ourselves. My head is spinning. How much is too little? How much is too much? Is there ever a happy medium? Even if there were 50 hours in a day, would I ever be able to get it all done? Lots of decisions need to be made, but I'll let the One who's led me this far continue to open those doors of His choosing. He hasn't steered me wrong yet, and I know He never will.

Writers, especially Christian writers, are some of the most productive people I know. Most of us are involved in some type of ministry, work a full or part-time job, and have many day-to-day responsibilities with families or friends. Yet somehow we find the time to write. Because we love it. Because it’s what we’re called by the Lord to do. Keep at it, my friends. You inspire me. Blessings to you all during this most joyous season of the year. Rest assured, I’ll awake tomorrow, refreshed and renewed, ready to go again. And, uh, check out my book on Amazon.com, but only if you're so inclined. It's called Awakening. But for now, this tired writer is going to bed.


  1. Good morning! P.S. I think I woke up in the Twilight Zone. Now Awakening is not showing up on Amazon.com in paperback format, and I know I wasn't THAT tired last night/early this morning. What gives? But it IS showing up on Barnes & Noble as available for purchase in the paperback (without a product description, of course). Maybe I really do need more rest...

  2. Your FIRST book -- one of life's most thrilling moments, for sure. . . CONGRATS and praise God! :-)

  3. JoAnn, Whoo-hoo! A firstbook is born into this cold and also beautiful world. May it touch many hearts.

    Thank you for this timely blog. God had been speaking to me about rest recently, about resting in him, even this mornings devotional was on this topic. You have such a strong voice JoAnn, as I was reading I was hearing your voice.