As a writer, I have a tendency to see my life in seasons. I am aware that both the good and painful times can be woven together to create something beautiful. And every moment—whether big or small—will come together to create the bigger picture, the “story”, of my life.
I want to remember these moments. How pointless would it be to read a book and completely forget what happened in the chapter before, the one that lead you to where you are now?
That is why I am beginning this blog: to document every moment of my writing journey from now on.
Yesterday, as I was discussing the details of my book tour with my mom over mochas, I was hit with the realization that I am living my dream. To be honest, I tend to forget this. I often get so caught up in the business of writing that I somehow forget this was what I only dreamt of just five years ago. I don’t take enough moments to stop and take in how far God has brought me.
No, I am not a huge best-selling author. Granted, I’ve only published one book so far.
However, this journey isn’t over yet. In fact, it is only beginning. And I don’t want to miss even a moment of this.
I do have another blog, but I only post writing tips, devotions, and book reviews. Since I am an introvert, I tend to shy away from writing personal posts on Christ is Write.
This blog isn’t going to be as structured as that one. This is going to be more of a journal (hence the notebook background). Because of that, I am not going to edit my posts much, so please excuse any and all grammatical mistakes. =)
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tessa. I am a 20-year-old YA novelist of PURPLE MOON, a Selah Award Finalist that was published last fall by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. To read the full story on my journey to publication, click here.
I want to go ahead and make it clear that I am not, in any way, writing to glorify myself. God is the Author of my life. The characters I write should not take pride in who they are since I am the one who crafted them; likewise, I am not going to take the credit for a gift God has given me. Writers are always warned to avoid creating carbon-copy characters. Every character should have their own set of skills, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses. How boring would it be if every book we read had the same protagonist?
Similarly, God has given everyone their own set of strengths, weaknesses, skills, and hobbies. This is what makes us unique. And just like an author pens the fate of their protagonist, God has already penned our future in His book (Psalm 139:16).
Yesterday my mom and I went to Panera Bread to discuss the details of my book tour this fall. While drinking a mocha, I recalled a moment from five years ago when I was also sipping on a mocha and writing what would become the “pre-draft” of Purple Moon. I remember the rush I felt every time I envisioned my story in print. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to create characters, a setting, and a plot that would actually come to life in another’s imagination rather than just my own! That alone was enough to push me to continue writing.
And I am so glad I did.
It has almost been a year since my book has been in print, and to be honest I didn’t do as many events and speaking gigs as I’d hoped I would. I thought it was fear holding me back—which it certainly has been. But now I am realizing that it just hasn’t been God’s timing for me to begin my speaking ministry. I know it is now, though.
So starting this fall, I am going to schools and youth groups to share what God has done in my life and hopefully inspire others to pursue their dreams as well. I want them to know how much God loves them, that He has a specific calling and plan and purpose for their life, that they don’t have to be anyone except themselves. I have such a burning passion to share this with others, and that is how I know that it is God’s will for me to do this, despite the fact that I am introverted. I’ve struggled with speaking in the past, but I know God wants me to step out in faith and trust in Him. He doesn’t want me to rely on my own ability; instead, in my weakness He wants me to rely only on His Strength.
“Then I said, ‘But Lord God, I don’t know how to speak I am only a boy.’
But the Lord said to me, ‘Don’t say, ‘I am only a boy.’ You must go everywhere I send you, and you must say everything I tell you to say. Don’t be afraid of anyone, because I am with you to protect you,’ says the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth. He said to me, ‘See, I am putting my words in your mouth. Today I have put you in charge of nations and kingdoms. You will pull up and tear down, destroy and overthrow, build up and plant.”
~Jeremiah 1:7-19 (NCV)
I know this is what God wants me to do, despite the many times I have tried to convince myself that I am not capable. I am constantly reminded of the story of David and Goliath, the way that David was only a teenager and yet he didn’t even give a second thought to facing the giant, despite his lack of strength. It was His faith in God’s strength that destroyed the giant.
So that is what I am going to have to remind myself as I step out and trust in Him. I am going to focus on God’s strength rather than my weakness.
And to be honest, I am so excited to begin this book tour. I can hardly wait to teach writing to others, minister to them, travel, try out new coffee shops, and to meet new people and hear their stories.
That is why I have started this blog. To record this new journey. Because it is not just the journal of my life as a YA author, it is my journal of embarking on this new adventure: Facing my fears and following God’s will for my life, wherever that may lead.
So I hope you’ll join me. =)