Have you ever felt like the writing road is lined with ledges? I certainly have.
I felt like I was living on the Ledge for several months this past year.
But I survived.
Following is what I learned as I leaned on others during that tough time.
I suffered a debilitating case of Second Book Syndrome shortly after I was contracted. I felt sure what I was writing was drivel or dreck or downright disgusting. My supportive hubby and awesome CPs held my hand as I teetered on the Ledge.
In time I realized there was no way to deal with Second Book Syndrome other than to trudge through it. So I wrote the story, such as it was, sure it was terrible. And I prayed, surrendering my efforts and the outcome to the God.
Guess what? He’s faithful and omnipresent, coming alongside me in my down times. No surprise there, huh?
I wrote, but I wasn’t alone. The Lord plopped Himself beside me on the Ledge, ready to stay the course, and imbued me with renewed enthusiasm, energy, and ideas.
Gradually my confidence returned–in baby steps, mind–and when I looked up one day, I discovered I was no longer languishing at the edge of the Ledge. It loomed in the distance, but as I kept my focus on the story I’d been transported to a new place, a better place.
Did I still feel the fears at times? Yup. But I wrote anyway, and the Lord honored my efforts. I finished the story, performed my self-edits, and will be sending it to my CP soon.
When I delved into the finished story, sure it stank and eager to seek ways to improve it, I had a pleasant surprise. It was better than I’d thought.
Oh, I could claim creative brilliance, but that would be a laugh. I know the real reasons.
One is that my talent didn’t leave me; only my confidence did.
The other more important reason is that I tapped into the Source of my creativity and inspiration. I invited the Lord to be my partner on my writing journey at the outset some six years ago, and He’s been there for me all along.
With God beside me I can do this–even face the Ledge–because He’s there with me, upholding and uplifting me and blowing my mind with His goodness, guidance, generosity, and abundant love.
Have you lived on the Ledge? How did you respond? What lessons did you learn?
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Novelist Keli Gwyn is a California native who lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville in the Sierra Foothills. Her stories transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. She enjoys visiting her fictional worlds, the Coach outlet store, and Taco Bell.
Keli’s debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, will be released by Barbour Publishing in July. She’s a member of the El Dorado Hills Inspire group.