Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Heavenly Father Wants You to Write--thank you, Rhett!

(This was supposed to be posted in June...better late than never!)

Everyday, I roll out of bed and onto my hands and knees--a trick I taught myself years ago. Rolling onto the floor and then situating myself upright into a kneeling position next to the bed ensures a faithful morning prayer, uninterrupted by the dogs.

Last week I needed that uninterrupted prayer more than ever. Here's what happened.

My writing came to a halt in May. After completing a very successful A to Z challenge in April and swearing I'd get back into my story after the ASAA forum was over in mid-May (my day job), I learned a dear friend had succumbed to brain cancer. Between the exhaustion of the forum and the emotional trauma of my friend's death, my mind was wiped blank--was it writer's block or something worse? I was too numb to figure it out. 

I knew if I turned my dilemma over to the Lord, He would help me. He's done it in the past. I had full faith in Him to do it again because I needed his help. So I rolled out of bed, sat up on my knees, and prayed.  

The dogs left me alone. I poured my heart out. It was one of those moments where I needed affirmation of my story's worth. That can be the worst kind of question to ask, because what if the answer is, "Go back to your day job and hang up your writer's hat for good." The Holy Ghost usually does't answer me that way anyway, but when I'm dejected about my writing, my mind takes some funny twists and turns. I got up from my prayer and went about my routine. 

While checking Facebook, I found a blog posted on LDStorymakers. It was Rhett Wintch's article titled, "Heavenly Father Wants You to Write." He told his story--how he had been inspired to write, then went through the drudgery of learning how, and the endless rewrites and self-doubt that comes with such a lonely field of work. But it all paid off--success was in sight! "Qaplah! " ( for my Klingon compatriots!)

Answers don't usually come to me like a big brass band--loud and life changing. Nor do they come with such surety in direction, like a blog article that is seemingly addressed to me. Answers are usually small whispers of impressions to move forward or to wait with faith. This was a full-throated shout--Heavenly Father wants you to write. Heavenly Father wants me to write. Me. 

And write, I shall.

I don't know Rhett. But I know his story. and I'm determined to make mine take life as he did his. Thank you, Rhett, for the push I needed. It's time to fly.

IWSG July Blog: The emotions that walk with the idea

A Doorway Back to Forever: Believe is not a book series. It is an idea, a brand. It is not about getting a book out there. It’s about changing people’s lives. I’m waiting for a final edit before I submit it for publication. While I wait, I must respectfully give a nod to the emotions that have walked with me through the process.

Tired, but not conquered. Having an emotional relationship with an idea is every bit as tiring as a relationship with a real person—it requires work, give and take, you get hurt as much as you receive joy, and yet you still hang on. I’m tired after all these years of study and growth. It’s been like going back to college where you take class after class, not knowing if you’re getting passing grades until graduation. I’ve made four giant overhauls of the book and developed the idea to a greater degree than I even imagined. I see five to seven books in the series, supplemental books on the symbolism and gospel connections, motivational speaking engagements, multi-media entertainment—all within the parameters of missionary work. It’s become who I am. There’s no backing out of the doorway now—I have the courage to believe.

Angry, yet forgiving. I’ve had to disassociate myself from family members who have denigrated me for my religious choices. It is overwhelmingly difficult to deal with, since family is so important to me as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But it was necessary for my emotional survival. I am weak in that respect. I hurt, I cry, I feel so alone. Being in a denigrating environment was destructive to who I was, to the idea growing inside me. Yet one day my nieces and nephews will know I love them. Perhaps their own magic-sense will be rekindled and they will step through the doorway to discover more about who they are—and maybe they’ll find me waiting for them. 

Overwhelmed but focused. Emotional roller coasters can be overwhelming. I’ve needed time to withdraw and recuperate. One thing I’ve rediscovered is my love for Star Trek, the original series. Quite by accident, I stumbled upon Star Trek Continues, a web series that recreates the original series to a tee. Its purpose is to continue where the original left off, finishing the five year mission. The passion behind this series is amazing. The accuracy is brilliant, down to the details of the ship, the uniforms, and even the background music. The creators understood the intent of Gene Roddenberry so thoroughly, I believe he is channeled through each episode. In watching it, I’ve rekindled my love for Star Trek TOS and started watching the old series again too. It’s led me to a discovery—Star Trek was my saving grace at the age of Robyn and Kit in Doorway. It carried me through times of deep sorrow and loneliness. It was not just a TV series—it was an idea. The idea that mankind can overcome the evils of his nature, join together as a race, and explore the galaxy. I developed confidence and security through this vision. It was my gospel before I discovered the gospel. I personally wish to thank Gene Roddenberry when I see him on the other side of the doorway.

Compelled and driven. My book, to me, is like Star Trek was to Gene Roddenberry—an idea, a vision, a lifeline to those who will need it. I am compelled to finish it and to market it for what it is so that others may find a reason to hope.

I thank the Insecure Writer's Support Group IWSG, for giving me inspiration to get this far.