Forward on fiction

Image by Stephen St. John available as prints at

Sometimes God prevents you from writing a project so concretely it seems as if he holds his hand at your chest (an expression Larry Woiwode used in Words for Readers and Writers and I quoted here).

I’ve felt that hand most of this year, especially on my novels. But I haven’t sat around, staring at my monitor screen and waiting for inspiration. Nonfiction and paying work have claimed priority and time.

Recently I tried to write in a novel I really wanted to complete, but the hand held me back. A chance remark led me to pick up a juvenile fiction series from a few years ago. And I was suddenly moving forward.

I’m learning that if I can’t make progress on one project, I need to try another. I may have a strong desire to get a particular novel published, but it might not be the right time for it. I have to trust God to work out the timing. My job is to write the stories.


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