Last week, I posted about all my current writing plans and what I’m working on.
I should have known better.
Because something happened that I did not expect, and I found myself on a slight detour.
Remember that story I talked about and shared a snippet of? The Rapunzel-inspired-selkies-and-fae involving story that grabbed hold of me by the throat during my writing hiatus in March and wouldn’t let go?
Well, as I said, I gave up and started devoting a little bit of time to it. I thought if I wrote 100-200 words a day on it, that would be a good start until Towers of Might and Memory was done and then I could focus on it more.
But there was a problem. Every time I opened up Towers, I hit major writer’s block. And it wasn’t just your normal everyday garden variety writer’s block that I can normally muscle through with the right music and some word sprints. This was a full-blown paralysis of the fingers. I would open the document and struggle for every single word I wrote. I felt like I was dragging the story along behind me kicking and screaming by its hair.
Meanwhile, every time I opened up this fairy tale, the words flowed effortlessly. I would set out to write 200 words and 15 minutes later I’d have 1200 new words and I couldn’t have told you where they came from. This new story, it seemed, was dragging me kicking and screaming!
The story literally wouldn’t let me go. I would stare out the window and hear an entire conversation playing out in my head. Whole chapters unfurled effortlessly in my imagination. I was dreaming entire scenes of this story… and the dreams still made sense when I woke up!
Then one day, as I was getting ready for the day, I was thinking about Samuel. The Biblical Samuel. For those of you not familiar with his story, when Samuel was a young boy, he worked for Eli, a priest in the temple. One night, he hears a voice calling him, “Samuel! Samuel!” Thinking his master is calling, Samuel gets up and trots on over to where Eli is sleeping and asks him what he needs. Eli groggily waves him away, saying, “I didn’t call you, go back to sleep!”
This happens two more times!
The third time, Eli (by now possibly fully awake) realizes that his young charge is hearing the voice of the Lord and tells him to go back to bed. “If you hear the voice again, say, ‘Here I am, Lord, your servant is listening,’” he instructs.
It is so easy for us to shake our heads at the people we read about in the Bible. Often, I have caught myself wondering, “How could they be so stupid as not to realize what was going on?” God SPOKE OUT LOUD to them, for crying out loud! How could they miss that?
As I was thinking about this story (for no particular reason) it suddenly hit me and I sort of dropped everything I was doing and asked, “Wait… Lord… am I the idiot here?”
(side-note: I talked to a friend about this whole situation and she laughed and said “Lord, Am I the Idiot?” would be a great title for a book in and of itself)
As I mulled this over, I started to realize that maybe my writer’s block on Towers hasn’t been exactly normal. And the speed and ease with which this other story (which I’m currently calling “The Summer Princess” though that is a seriously rough working title) is not at all normal. So I prayed about it for a while. I wanted to work on Summer Princess, but I felt guilty “abandoning” Turrim Archive. So I talked to my husband about it. He is more organized than I am, and we’ve been pressing toward this deadline with Turrim Archive, so I figured if anyone would be able to talk me out of focusing all my efforts on Summer Princess, it would be him.
But he didn’t.
He didn’t even try.
Instead, he thoughtfully said that if I felt so strongly that God was directing my writing in a specific direction, then I shouldn’t fight it, and that I could pick up Towers again when this new project was finished.
I’m not sure what will happen with this story, but I am… considering some things I have not seriously considered before… like… querying it out to actual traditional publishers when it’s finished! (feel free to gasp) That was another thing Derek said when I explained to him the struggle I was having. He said that maybe we should try getting a traditional publisher for this one (which made my jaw drop open in surprise, partially because we have always been on the same page about my being happily self-published, and partially because I’d already had that thought!) I don’t know. I can’t say what will happen with this story with regards to publishing. All I know is that writing it is an act of obedience, and has so far been the easiest and most pleasant experience I’ve ever had when writing anything. I’m almost scared to say that out loud, but it’s true.
I’m not going to share much about the story at this time, but I am SO excited about this one, and I can’t wait for you all to read it! The one thing I will share, is that I’ve been periodically adding to a Pinterest Board for this story for a while, and I decided to unhide it last week, so you can go look at it HERE. I’d love to know what you think of it!
Fellow authors, have you ever felt dragged along behind a story?
Dear readers, have you ever read a story that just wouldn’t let you go, even after you’d finished reading it?