Hey, Everybody! I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Heather Day Gilbert. She’s one remarkable lady with her debut novel just now releasing.
When Susie asked me over (thank you, Susie!), she suggested I could blog on why I write. That got the wheels turning, and several answers came to mind.
“I’ve done it since I was a kid! I used to win contests.” True, but writing for publication is no contest. It’s more of a long-haul win…not the easiest thing for sure! So why have I stuck with it for five and a half years now?
“It’s what God has called me to do.” Nothing wrong with this response. I do think it’s something we have to evaluate all the time (especially if we’re moms!). We have to know we’re pressing on because God wants us to.
And yet recently, my author friend Wendy Paine Miller said something that hit me in a fresh way. She said her writing is an act of worship to God. I’d never thought of that, but isn’t it true?
It’s worship, every time I create characters and experience that thrill of getting to know them through writing. Every time I weep over someone who has to die, or laugh hysterically at something one of my characters says. Every time I pray and wrestle with the direction my story is taking. Every time I get to THE END and feel that massive sense of happiness and completion.
It is all as to the Lord.
Our pastor once said that when we use our abilities for God, we’re laying up rewards in heaven–and they’ll be tangible things. I could picture a bookshelf, with all my finished books sitting on it.
Books that might have stayed on my hard drive, with no one to read them. And yet God saw and marked every bit of me I invested into each book, every dream I had of who they could reach, every sacrifice I made to get them finished.
I once wrote a Viking historical book, God’s Daughter. In it, I wrapped up facts from the Icelandic sagas with characters and scenarios my mind fleshed out. I wanted to touch on those hidden, unspoken longings in marriage, and expose lies we often believe. I wanted to show how Christianity was not the bad guy for the Vikings–in fact, it was more freeing than paganism. I wanted to write a historical novel that changed the way readers viewed Vikings and an entire time period.
I had lofty goals. After over a year out on submission and plenty of publisher rejections, my dreams might have crumbled. But God opened another door–showing me it was time to self-publish God’s Daughter and get it into readers’ hands. I can’t express how thrilling it is now–to have readers getting to know my beloved Viking characters, and relating to the situations my main character, Gudrid, faces.
So I write as an act of worship, to touch readers with new thoughts and characters they hopefully won’t forget.
Even if those two as-yet-unpublished novels on my hard drive never see the light of day, they might be waiting for me in heaven. And I hope God will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” because I used the talents He gave me and didn’t bury them, even though I was tempted to throw in the towel countless times.
He sees our writing efforts and He knows our hearts as we write. This is honestly the biggest comfort of all, even though I have an extremely supportive husband, family, and friends. In the end, He sees us. He is El Roi, and He understands how much we love to write.
Heather enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Sixteen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as ten years spent homeschooling her three children. Heather is the ACFW West Virginia Area Coordinator.
You can find Heather at her website, Heather Day Gilbert–Author, and at her Facebook Author Page, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads. Look for her Viking novel, God’s Daughter, on Amazon or Smashwords.
About God’s Daughter:
One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America.
In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America.
But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself–and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart.
Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir–daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.