The Writing Life

Last month I attended the Orange County Christian Writers Conference. Having attended the event previously in 2012, I had vacillated before registering earlier this year. My experience three years ago was a high point in my writing life, as an excerpt from my developing novel caught the attention of publishers and editors and won three fiction awards. Astonished and elated, I had vowed to dedicate all my free time to completing the book and pursuing publication before the end of the year.

Within weeks, however, the demands of my career and graduate school and life thwarted all my good writerly intentions. With my creative energy allocated to finishing my course work at Chapman University and numerous guest columns and blog posts, progress on my novel stalled. There was simply no time to write more than a few chapters for my MFA workshops, and I labored over those small accomplishments. While I did return to the novel at full speed in 2014 in order to fulfill my 150-page thesis requirement, I have often felt disappointing and even disobedient to God by not finding a way to finish. Even worse, as the years passed, I began to diminish the merits of the recognition my excerpt had received and question what I had believed was my lifelong calling. It shouldn’t be this hard, I thought. Perhaps I heard God wrong. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

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