by Melinda Inman
This past weekend Barnes & Noble hosted a launch party for my first novel. Refuge is a “crossover” novel with appeal for both the open and the Christian markets. I signed with Koehler Books, a traditional publishing house, to gain broader access to both markets.
Everything has been surreal, from receiving the early shipment of my book, to launch day, to seeing Refuge in a bookstore, to the climbing stats on the Amazon rankings. This is a pinnacle experience, one we all press toward as writers.
Repeatedly, I’ve been stunned that this is finally happening to me.
How can it be?
For thirty-five years, I was a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling a passel of rambunctious and precocious children who fully engaged my brain. When the oldest four were young, I began writing a novel. I only finished one chapter. I was unable to mother and to author simultaneously. Some can. I couldn’t.
Years later, as I homeschooled our last child through high school, stories came bursting forth, a pent-up avalanche! Much of Refuge and its sequels were penned while hunched over a laptop in a ballet studio or crowded into a tiny coffee shop during French tutoring. I killed off a favorite character when my daughter had a weekend sleepover, allowing me focused time to commit murder by laptop.
I am a mommy. I married very, very young. This is who I am. But inside that mommy is a patient writer, a keeper of journals before The Mommy Blog, a student of theology and history. I simply pursued my passions. Unwittingly, it became research for future novels.
During those years of reproducing, nursing, and molding young lives, God was at work within me. He built life experiences and heartaches, calamity and blessing. He created mighty stories of redemption and reclamation and beauty arising from the ashes.
And, when the time was right in the providence of God, those stories clambered to be heard, crowding my thoughts, waking me in the night.
Out they came!
If God has given you a story to tell, if he has gifted you with a heart that yearns to encourage others with your words, if you know in your gut that a story is better than a lecture, if you’ve waited and waited for your time to write, hold on.
When the time is right, grab it! Write with everything in you.
Be tenacious. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He has made you for a purpose. God creates writers to write. And it will be so. When the door opens, write with gusto, write for Jesus, write to tell his stories.
For some of us, the writing journey includes a long period of expectant preparation. God designs the path. If the Lord has purposed for you to serve him as a writer, he will orchestrate the circumstances and bring the day to your doorstep.
You will walk out into the light. You will write for him. Yes, you will.
Melinda Viergever Inman is a prodigal with a passion to write. She authors fiction illustrating God’s love for wounded people. At http://melindainman.com she blogs inspirational and sells inductive bible studies. Her six precocious adult offspring still teach and inspire her. Her family labors with RIMI, a church-planting ministry in India.