Beth is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Her inspirational contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted May 2012 (Howard Books.) Her second novel, Catch a Falling Star, releases May 2013. Beth is an established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International. Visit with Beth at her website bethvogt.com.
Just Beyond the Bend in the Writing Road
Have you ever found yourself someplace and wondered, “How did I get here?”
Yeah, me too.
When I see the word “novelist” by my name, I scratch my head and wonder, “How did I end up here?”
And then I remember: It was all because I said I was never, ever, ever going to write again.
It’s odd to achieve your goals – and then find yourself weighed down by them. Too much to do – even when you love what you are doing – is not a good thing. A few years ago, all my commitments, all my deadlines, wore me out. And so I walked away from my computer, vowing never to write another word.
My vow of literary abstinence lasted all of three days.
But when I sat down and powered up my computer again, I wasn’t thinking about a deadline. Instead, I played with the idea for a novel. I wrote because I wanted to, with all the freedom of knowing no one would ever see my story. After all, I didn’t write fiction. Not really.
What I didn’t realize then was how God was fashioning burnout into a bend in the writing road. Week by week, he pulled me farther from my oh-so-carefully laid out plans. Before I knew it, I found myself on the other side of the writing road – the “Dark Side,” as I like to call it. I attended writers conferences geared solely to fiction writers: the ACFW Convention, as well as My Book Therapy’s Storycrafters, Deep Thinkers and Polish and Pitch Retreats.
What began as a little bit of fun became a God-inspired focus for my life.
Is there a lesson to my story? Yep. And it’s this: Sometimes we don’t know what to do when life overwhelms us, or when we struggle with the feeling of “I can’t do this anymore.”
My suggestion? Stop trying to keep on keeping on, as the saying goes. Admit that you’re exhausted. And then rest. And wait. Because maybe the next step isn’t right ahead of you … maybe the next step is right where the road curves a new direction.
As a writer, have you ever ended up someplace you didn’t plan to be? Has your career taken an unexpected twist or turn?