The Joy of Waiting

Ask most any writer and he or she will tell you that waiting for the right plot, character, or book idea can be frustrating. I’ve never really lacked for ideas at all. In fact, I haven’t enough time in the day to write all the ideas inside my head, which in itself is frustrating. Waiting for the time to write, however, is another matter. Being forced to wait for that can be dangerous. When a scene plays out in my head, I want to tap it out on my keyboard almost immediately. If a character ‘speaks’ to me about his or her situation, then it’s imperative to grant that character room to grow.

This year has brought a great many joys and a few minor struggles. Derek and I have traveled to Israel again, as well as Jordan, where we led intrepid tour members to some of the most important archaeological sites in both those countries, including Joshua’s Altar, an area that is now being claimed by the Palestinian Authority. We’ll see how that develops. We also visited England and Scotland, and we’ll eventually produce a film about that journey, Lord willing.

Ah, Lord willing. That is a phrase we all use a great deal, but it means more to me now. And so we get round to the idea of waiting. Sometimes, the Lord wants us to wait. In late July of this year, I came down with shingles. The infection caused me tremendous pain, but it hit just as I was trying to finish two books and prepare for the Defender Conference in Branson. Yes, I attended the conference, and I spoke, but that experience caused me to realize how important it is to allow others to pray for me and minister to me.

Lesson one learned.

Derek and I managed to finish our manuscript just in time, but the infection and pain made it very difficult for me to sit up and type. I’m not wired for dictating a book. The scenes emerge from my fingers almost as if they have a mind of their own. I’ve heard other writers say the same thing; that the book flows via their hands. Consequently, dictation software wasn’t an option. Despite the difficulties, I managed to finish Realms of the Dead and send it off for layout and printing. And here’s where that ‘waiting’ becomes a blessing. Had I finished the book when I’d intended to do it, I’d have missed a very special character that emerged into a scene one day, almost as if he’d been hiding inside my brain all the time. Both Derek and I have already come to love this new character, and I look forward to working him into lots of plots and scenes going forward.

Lesson two learned.

The bottom line is God’s will. Sometimes, he forces us to wait.