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I'm at a loss for where to take the focus of my writing vocation, in terms of book manuscripts.
The marketing and journalism arenas of my writing continue to make sense and bear fruit. I am building on my base of higher education clients, and continue to write for a variety of Christian publications. I've taken a bit of a break from writing for leadership development-related publications, but that's just a matter of time.
But there's the larger dream that still remains of cranking out the books, the way I did when I was a youth and had loads of time on my hands. I've spent a big chunk of the past three years writing a spiritual memoir and beginning its sequel, taking the former through numerous drafts...and showing it to a few agents and at least one publisher. The results? Nada...or multiple nadas, as Ernest Hemingway would have said (see his short story A Clean Well-Lighted Place).
I may have to come to grips with the reality that the memoir project is more of a personal writing journey than one intended to impact others. I think of a special friend last week who said he would pray "for God to close doors"for me," so that I could focus my energy and gifts in the best directions. Is a 50,000-word manuscript that--rather than proceeding toward publication--might end up being mainly a lasting gift for my children one riveting example of a door that is not meant to be opened?
I can deal with that, if that is the case. The more frustrating aspect is what to write about next in terms of a longer project. Fiction? Some aspect of leadership development? Spiritual disciplines for busy corporate leaders?
I have a million resources at my fingertips, a pretty decent educational and professional background, lots of interesting people in my network that inspire and inform, and decent enough writing talent...
...and yet here I sit, close to 9:30 in the evening, in the home office I've longed to possess, surrounded by my most sacred books, in a beautiful part of the country...at somewhat of a loss.
A tense undercurrent at play here is the lack of quality reflection time. Ideas need to incubate. When the brain and body seldom stop to reflect, the best ideas never get past their embryonic state. I must address this, and make changes.