Thursday, October 20, 2016

God's Timing. By guest Denise Weimer

Spiritual Stepping Stones On the Writing Road

By Denise Weimer
Denise Weimer
Getting ready to speak to a women’s church group about my writing and publication background, it hit me that I’ve learned a specific lesson in each phase of my journey. Even in a delay or failure, God had something to accomplish or teach. I share those in hopes other writers and readers might identify and be encouraged.
I started writing at age 11, when my parents took me to historic sites and my imagination had me scribbling stories in the back seat of our car. Just after receiving my journalism degree, I queried multiple Christian publishers about my Civil War trilogy and finally got a call from my favorite publisher. Surely this was it! But while the employee told me my chapters had gone to the final review committee and she encouraged me to keep writing, they couldn’t publish my story because they’d just committed to one too similar. Knowing I’d done all I could at that time, I put my writing away and worked full-time until starting a family, when I did free-lance layout and editing from home.

That was lesson #1. Our timing isn’t usually God’s timing. While sometimes He has to work on a situation or another person, often He has more work to do on us! Looking back, I probably didn’t possess the maturity to handle success at 22.

When my younger daughter started napping, I decided to write a novella. But the publisher set the price so high I lost money placing the book in any store and could only do direct sales. By most standards, the project failed. But lesson #2 came from Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings.” The man who became my historical mentor and cover artist for The Georgia Gold Series (four books of mid-1800s romance with a touch of mystery) read Redeeming Grace and offered his help with future research.

After a year of research and about three years of writing, I spent a year searching for a publisher for The Georgia Gold Series. A new house not only contracted it but hired me, then folded as book one, Sautee Shadows, released. Lesson #3: When something we hold dear falls apart, we must be willing to put it on the altar. After agony and embarrassment, I told God He could redirect me to a “real job” if He so chose. If something is meant to move forward, God will give it back to us with His blessing attached. A year later, I connected with Canterbury House.

Lesson #4 came as I publicized The Georgia Gold Series: Watch out for distractions! These may be people who distract our focus or commitments that drain our resources. One day as I prayed, God showed me several specific things to take off my plate. Nehemiah 6:3: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.” Now, we do have to cook our families dinner, but sometimes we say no to the lesser good to say yes to the greater great.

Yesterday I shared White, Widow and Witch of The Restoration Trilogy. This series was birthed out of watching my parents restore a historic doctor’s house and apothecary shop. It struck me that the spiritual restoration God wants to do in each of us can mirror that type of physical restoration. The series has been described as defying genres. There’s romance, humor and suspense, but the books deal with deeper issues that sometimes raise eyebrows. Lesson #5: Don’t be afraid to be different … just do what God shows you to do.

Many authors tend to be introverts. But finally, I’ve learned in publicizing The Restoration Trilogy lesson #6: We’re not meant to be lone gunmen! I need to connect with other authors and readers in person and online. In that community of faith, we encourage and support each other, and God opens blessings and opportunities that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Along my rocky road to publication, I now see the stepping stones God used. He wasn’t as interested in my success as He was in my character. Looking forward to seeing where I’m going next! How about you? How has God worked in your life journey?

Please leave a comment and tell us how God helped you.

The Georgia Gold Series on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B00YVVV116/