I put pen to paper this week for the first time on my new book. It was excruciating. I’ve had the idea and even the title for a couple of years now, but until recently, chaos in my personal life prevented me from starting. As I turn the corner on my next chapter in life, I’ve decided writing actual new chapters is a fitting way to start.
Staring at a blank page and forcing myself to just start writing has always been the most challenging part for me. I actually love editing. I edited each of the first two books at least a hundred times, reading each chapter, each paragraph, refining them over a hundred times. That may sound tedious, but compared to the act of getting each of those paragraphs down on paper for the first time, it’s a breeze. You see, I hate everything I write at first, and for good reason: it’s bad. Sometimes a blog will come out inspired, flowing from the first word and needing very few tweaks before publishing. Those are the times it’s most clear to me that I’m not really the one writing and the hand of the true Author is most visible.
So I’ll be praying constantly through this process for Help, because this time it’s more important than the first two. This time I’m telling the stories of victims of HLH, the rare blood disease Megan had. It will be very different and more difficult than the first two, in that I’m writing about subjects I don’t know and can’t objectively research. I’ll be attempting to bring people to life who I’ve never met, some of whom, tragically, I won’t have the opportunity to interview. But luckily I’m not the one who will be writing the book. Saying that I am would be like saying that the hammer builds the house and not the Carpenter. I’ve seen His hand in the process already. I targeted finding 15-20 stories, but nearly panicked when over 30 responses came in within the first few days of my call out. What I didn’t count on was that not everyone would follow up, and as of right now, I have a perfect sixteen. I knew I wanted a range of ages, genders and outcomes, and, naturally, the sixteen are. I estimated that each chapter needs between 2,000-2,500 words, and, of course, the first draft of the first story has 2,300. It’s intimidating to take on a project like this, but I can already tell that I have nothing to fear–I’m not in it alone.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” –Matthew 1:23