Monday, January 24, 2011

The Unexpected Dawn of an Orphaned Idea

As a writer, it can sometimes take a long drawn-out night to see the dawn of an idea come to light. As what happened with an idea I had some ten years ago. Back then I was called to write an idea for a biographical series with another historian. Since I dealt in fiction writing, he would do the history, and I would write the storyline. One of the stories for this book was on the life of William Penn and the Quakers. It was contracted by a major publisher. The idea was hashed out and rewritten over and over. For two years I worked on it. The book was done. Then out of the blue the publisher decided they didn't want it anymore. The editor who originally contracted it left the fiction department. That was that. An orphaned book with nowhere to go.

Talk about major disillusionment. It took a while after that for me to pick up the pieces and write again. I really thought, why bother? All that research; all that work I did. Hours and hours, and for nothing, in my finite mind.

And so the book sat. I left it along with all my other hard work to lie in a computer file gathering whatever dust computers gather.

Fast forward to this past summer of 2010. I am on the Appalachian Trail hiking in New York (yes, hiking). I get a frantic cell call from my agent. My long time editor who I have worked with for nearly fifteen years needs a fourth author for a novella collection. She thought of me and wondered if I could come up with an idea.

What is the collection? A Quaker Christmas.


After so many years, I could use the research I once did and put some of it into this tiny story. No, it doesn't compare to the work I originally did. But I was still able to bring out a bit of William Penn's life and compare it to the life of my hero. Most importantly, God did not forget all that work. That when we are faithful to sow, He will cause it to grow if we are patient. Granted I didn't think it would take 10 years. But to God, its just a day.

So if you are waiting for your seeds, be patient. In God's timing, they will grow. And usually when you least expect it.

1 comment:

DenaDyer said...

Such a great testimony of God's perfect timing. Thanks for sharing!