So I’ve been sitting here all day today throwing myself into this writing thing (I’m working on my first novel) and as I’m finishing up the last few paragraphs of chapter 3 it’s hitting me.
Wow, I’m really writing a book.
This is something that I’ve always toyed around with in the back of my head but nothing I’ve ever taken too seriously. I know I have a knack for dramatic storytelling and for manipulating my audience (lol it’s the Yancey way) but writing a book has always seemed to be a tremendous undertaking that I’m not disciplined enough, or creative enough, to strike out and successfully attempt on my own.
I now look back on the old Ashley Yancey and am embarrassed that she thought so little of her passion that she refused to pursue it. She instead stuck it into a smelly bag and crammed it into the back of her junky, disorganized closet better known as the deepest, darkest place she could find in her mind.
I am now so thankful that God has chosen now to reveal to myself that I can do this, that I am able to do this and that I need to do this. He’s been speaking to me for quite some time regarding this journey that I am currently embarking on and how thankful I am that I trusted the Holy Spirit and stepped out on faith regarding a task (book writing) that I know so little about….let me explain.
Last fall God told me that I needed to start preparing myself to spend a significant amount of time in NYC. I shared this with one of my best friends, Ash A., and she helped me draft a plan of enrolling into some publishing courses for the following summer. I had no idea what else I would be doing in Summer 2011, only that God had spoken to me and I knew I needed to be there. As a result, while I didn’t shy from mentioning my plan on heading to NYC, I definitely told no one about the publishing courses.
Next up, God told me that I needed to hone in on my writing skill in preparation for what was to come. From there I began my blog in November 2010 and as a result of a personal goal to myself, began to start submitting my work to larger publications. Soon after, God told me that while my blog was okay, I needed to go even bigger-He said I needed to write a book.
I immediately felt incredibly overwhelmed. A book!? At times, I can barely get a simple 500-word article typed out for my blog because of lack of inspiration and now I’m supposed to write a 200+ page novel?! It all seemed so impossible to me, yet I didn’t say no (how do you say no to God?). I have an AMAZING, inspirational network that I am surrounded by and knew that I already had the support-I just needed to get out of my own self’s way in order to make these things happen for myself.
So while I felt deep down in my spirit that I needed to write a book, I had zero inspiration for it. Zero. I had tons of ideas for short stories, but no one idea was strong enough to support an entire book. After struggling with this for about a month or so, my idea for the book struck. In January I became aware and knowledgeable of a few things in my personal life that I had never encountered before. The entire experience was so unsettling, so nerve-wracking and so life-changing that I had an epiphany of sorts. I was struggling on finding a way to cope when God told me that I was to write about it.
Wow! Writing about it would be perfect. Writing has ALWAYS been the avenue I’ve turned too when nothing else seems to work. Some people decide to go workout, others eat, some listen to music and I, write. So here I am, two months later, with 3 chapters down, and 9 more to go. As for this summer, God has already mentally prepared me for NYC, and I now know and understand that it is His will for me to go there to find a publisher.
I am a writer.
I have faith.
God revealed it to me.
This is my testimony!
P.S. There are other amazing things that are a part of this testimony…such as how I recently met a NYT bestselling author and she gave me publishing tips…or how I bumped into an Essence magazine model and through he and I getting acquainted I discovered he knows publishers in NYC, etc. I may chose to share some of those details with you all at a later time.