Stories that Matter

That's All She Wrote…

Many who know me understand just how long and hard I worked to achieve my dream of becoming a published author. It took years. Years of believing I had a story worth telling. A story others would relate to and relish, characters readers would love as much as I did.

That dream came true on March 15th, 2011, with the release of Yesterday’s Tomorrow.

And now, a year later, in this season of spring, of new growth and second chances, I’m facing down a few giants.

What if you only get one shot? What if your dream comes true, but it’s a fleeting moment that fades far too quickly? What if that’s all there is?

As I sit here on this Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day, I am mindful that today is a day of new beginnings. A day to put aside the past and press on toward the future. A day to look forward, in anticipation of what is to come.

And I find myself paralyzed. Dreadfully afraid that I’ve had my piece of the pie and the pan is empty. Would it be enough? Would I be satisfied with the gift I’ve been given and not want more? Could I be?

You see, through circumstances beyond my control, I find myself at a crossroads where my writing is concerned. I have some tough decisions to make and I’ll be making them soon. Decisions that will affect what happens next in my short-lived career as a published author. Decisions that ultimately, whether I want them to or not, make me feel as though I’ve somehow taken ten steps back instead of moving ahead as planned. Decisions I will not celebrate.

What if that’s all she wrote?

This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. For me. Right here. Do I face what is to come with the faith that God who has started a good work in me will see it through to completion? Or do I throw my hands up and lament the (albeit temporary) end of a dream? The end of years of hard work and perseverance. And ultimate victory that provided much joy.

I hope this is just a speed bump. I know I will continue to write. The stories are there. Inside of me. Waiting to be told and told well. But who is to say those stories will find an editor, a publisher to take them on and turn them into books? No guarantees. I knew that going into this game. I’ve been lucky. Blessed.

But today, like many, many others out there, I am faced with the unknown.

Today I must grasp all head knowledge and convince my heart it still makes sense. Maybe one day it will. Right now, it doesn’t. But I do know that God has a plan. And it is good. And so I will fight discouragement. I will continue to try to find joy in the journey. I will continue to write with the belief that one day, perhaps soon, perhaps not, my stories will be shared once again with readers.

Today I will look up, even through tears, and I will trust. Believe.

And hope.

What are you facing in this season of new beginnings? Where does your strength come from? Let’s encourage each other today!Ā 

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12 Comments

  1. kyoske on April 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I’m a newbie to the blog, so I’m confused. If you were published once, why wouldn’t you be published again?

    As I edit my fist novel, I try not to worry about this, but part of me is already thinking about it. My novel is set in world I know best, but it is kind of a one shot thing. I can’t write another without looking like writer who can only do one thing.

    As you’ve said, there are stories inside you, and honestly, there is inspiration everywhere around you. You just have to put on your writer goggles and see it. When I feel this way, I’ve found taking a walk really helps. Charles Dickens walked every day, he said it helped, so I think my suggestion is in good company (though I’m not actually a huge Dickens fan)

    Keep it up. Speedbumps are hard but if you keep pushing it, you’ll be on a smooth road soon.

    • Cathy West on April 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! The world of publication is not one I claim to understand! While I am hopeful that things will not be as doomsdayesque as I feel they are today, like I said, there are no guarantees. It’s a juggling act of learning to be happy with the here and now and trying not to look back. Hope. That’s what I’m trying to focus on right now. šŸ™‚

      • kyoske on April 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm

        My pleasure. It’s always harder to see the positives instead of the negative, so the fact that you are focusing on hope and not doom and gloom, is definitely a big step in the right direction!

  2. Michelle Sutton on April 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Cathy,

    Your story was incredible and I am sure that there are more coming in the future even if it looks bleak right now. Let God lead you and you’ll never go wrong, sister. He may lead you in a direction you didn’t anticipate, but you will be going somewhere. Your talent is too good to waste.

    • Cathy West on April 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks Michelle!! I definitely do have lots more where that came from. šŸ™‚ But it’s all in the timing, isn’t it? And God’s timing is always perfect, no matter what it looks like through my eyes.

  3. Elaine Stock on April 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Cathy, trusting in God will always lead you to the right place in the right time. You are a talented author… yet most of us encounter trouble when we don’t listen to Him. I will pray for you. May you find peace in your heart and know that you will come out a winner either direction you follow.

    • Cathy West on April 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Thank you, Elaine. I am determined to stay positive! šŸ™‚

  4. bethkvogt on April 9, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Cathy,
    I read Yesterday’s Tomorrow months ago, and I still remember scenes from that book.
    You are that good of a writer.
    That compelling of a writer.
    I don’t know what lies ahead for you. I don’t even understand this bend in the writing road. I’m with you: It doesn’t make sense.
    But I’ll do for you what others have done for me when life doesn’t make sense: I’ll hang on to hope for you when your grasp is slipping,
    Here are lyrics to a song that got me through some of my toughest times ever:
    I’ll be holding out hope to you,
    Even when this world breaks your heart in two.
    When your life is consumed
    By your fear and your doubt,
    I’ll be holding out hope to you.
    Believing with you and for you, friend.

    • Cathy West on April 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Beth, your words mean so much more than you know. Thank you for your friendship and your prayers!

  5. ausjenny on April 9, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Cathy I am not a writer so dont know all the issue you face, I have learnt it can be hard and just because you publish one book doesn’t mean you publish more. I sure hope you do and that you do what is right for you and what God wants.
    I do know the uncertainty of not knowing what next. I completed study in admin in the hopes of getting a job. So far nothing has turned up and do know the uncertainty of no knowing when I will get a job.

    • Cathy West on April 9, 2012 at 10:06 am

      I did think of the many folks around the world who are right now unemployed. It is that kind of uncertainty that can pull the foundations out of under us. I will be praying for you in this, and trust something will come up for you very soon!

      • ausjenny on April 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm

        Thanks Cathy, I am sure something will come up. I do have a little part time work around 14 – 15 hours a forthnight but need more like 20 – 25 a week. but God is in control. I can understand the highs and lows. at times when I get rejected it can be hard and harder when I get an interview and get rejected but it all builds character.

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