Welcome to another Fortifying Friday. Through authors sharing their journeys to publication, we’re reminded that everyone’s path is different. God calls us in different ways and at different times. For years, I’ve admired author Colleen Coble's generosity in giving back to the writing community. I’m privileged to share her personal story today.
Journey to Publication
by Colleen Coble
I can still remember the first story I ever wrote. It was in first grade and was about twin colts. My teacher praised my writing, and the seed was planted. Someday I would be a writer.
The seed lay dormant through the early years of marriage and raising a family. “Someday” I was going to write. I devoured books by the armloads from the library, and it bothered me to read the hopelessness in them that assumed there was no God. Through those years, I told God if he’d give me a story, I’d love to write from the viewpoint that he exists and cares about his children. But nothing came.
August 25, 1990 changed everything. The phone rang late that night with the news that the oldest of my three younger brothers had been killed by lightning in a freak farm accident. In the coming months, as I emerged from the storm of grief, I realized that if I was ever going to follow the dream I believed God had put in my heart, I needed to get started. I was approaching my fortieth birthday, and time was marching on.
As part of the grieving process, my husband and I made a trip out to Wyoming to see where Randy had lived during a two-year stint. As I stood on the parade ground at Fort Laramie, the first idea took root and sprouted. The fire of grief and adversity had finally cracked open the seed that had lain dormant in my heart all those years.
It still wasn’t easy. Getting published is hard and takes work and commitment. Every time I was tempted to let the computer go dark, God whispered in my heart that I could do it. That he had given me everything I needed to go on. When a rejection came, I’d cry for a while. Then I’d pick myself back up, rework it and send it out again.
Seven years later I finally made the first sale. But God taught me about faith and perseverance through those seven years. In those days I knew no other writers. It was lonely and soul-crushing at times. I’m so thankful for American Christian Fiction Writers and other authors whose friendships I treasure now after wandering so long in that wilderness. Looking back, I’m glad it wasn’t easier. It makes me appreciate so much more the joy and privilege I have to share my novels with my readers and to hopefully make them a little thirsty for the One who holds out a cup of living water.
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com .