Thursday, April 10, 2014

The "Write" Heart by Heidi Chiavaroli

Heidi Chiavaroli
Okay, so I’ve been at this writing thing for a long time. Ever since I wrote my first manuscript, I’d Cross the Desert for Milk at the age of nine, I knew I wanted to write. Now, three finished manuscripts and a few good doses of life later, I’m still pursuing publication. No agent, no contract. Only a handful of contest finals to show for my labor.

Recently, I went through a small wrestling match with myself and the Lord. I knew the stories I had a passion for writing weren’t considered “easy sells,” if there is such a thing. I am drawn to write about hard, sometimes unpleasant situations in hopes that God’s grace and beauty will shine even brighter amidst the darkness. Yet after I finished my last manuscript, I stopped and pondered where this writing thing was going. Was I wasting my time? A voice in my head told me I should try something else. Maybe a shorter novel, maybe a sweet romance—after all, who doesn’t like a sweet romance?

As I wrestled with these things and almost gave in to the temptation to force something from my pen that wasn’t on my heart, the Lord encouraged me. No, I didn’t land an agent or a publishing contract but like Jacob, I did walk away from the wrestling match with a great blessing. God gave me peace, and a vision of sorts. A vision of a paperback book with my name on the cover—my baby, finally. Only it wasn’t my baby. It wasn’t an honest story from the depths of my heart. It was a fake.

I wanted no part of it.

And with that vision, I realized that publication can only take me so far. Without a story from my innermost being, I’d rather leave it altogether. Even now as I write this, a part of me is saying, “Are you sure, Heidi? Do you really mean that? You might just get what you ask for.” And my answer is yes, I mean it. God didn’t give me my passions and what little writing talent I have for nothing less than His glorious purpose, His big, all-encompassing gospel. How can I compromise my heart or the mission He’s put into it?

So rest assured, if you ever see a book cover with my name on it, know that it not only came from my pen, it came from my heart. It is an extension of myself that I refused to give away easily. Isn’t that what this whole writing journey is about?



Dora here. What about you? Did this post spark a similar chord in your heart? Have you wrestled with God over some aspect of your writing?

I'm so thrilled that Heidi will be back here on a regular basis. Starting Thursday, July 17, she will be a regular contributor every month. 
Welcome, Heidi! :) 
   

Heidi Chiavaroli writes History Woven in Grace. She is a wife, mother, disciple, and grace-clinger. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has semi-finaled in the Genesis contest and My Book Therapy’s Frasier contest.

20 comments:

  1. I can you all that I have no doubt you will see a book with Heidi's name on the cover in the future. She is an awesome writer of stories with depth and emotion.

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  2. Awww...thanks so much, Sandy!

    And thanks so much to The Seriously Write team for having me once again! I'm beyond excited to become a regular contributor. :)

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    1. And I'm thrilled that you'll be joining us every month, Heidi! Welcome!!

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  3. I went through a similar struggle about two years ago. I saw that my friends were selling sweet romances and I tended to write differently than they do. So I thought, why not? Maybe that's the way to get published. But when I tried to write them, it didn't feel like me at all. It wasn't what I was supposed to write. So I'm not. I'm writing what God gives me or not. Just got a book contract this fall for a story about some difficult times.

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    1. Wow, Terri. So nice to hear your story. It's interesting that you tried to write something you weren't meant to and you just knew it wasn't "you." Very neat. And so wonderful on your book contract! Congratulations!

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    2. Congratulations, Terri. Staying true to God's plan for you paid off as it always does.

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  4. Heidi, wonderful post. And your authenticity will be a great gift to your readers.

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    1. Thanks so much Susan! Your comment is already a great blessing to me. :) Thank you!

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  5. Heidi, what a heart touching and even familiar post! I got pubbed pretty quick at first but there wasn't the peace I sought . Long sophomore slump. And I still struggle in lots of ways even with a few books behind me. Yet I know The Lord is teaching me patience and peace! That said, I know your journey to publication will have a happy result and soon. Your sensitivity shines through. God bless you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Tanya. Funny, because as an unpublished writer I forget that after I'm published (if that ever happens) there will still be struggles, I will still need to trust in Jesus with this crazy journey. Thank God for that!

      May God also bless you and your writing journey as you continue to trust in Him. :)

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  6. Congratulations Terri!

    Heidi - I've no doubt we will see a book with your name in it. In the past I've struggled with my writing, but I always felt I just needed to keep plugging along.

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Terri!

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  7. So true. The thing I appreciate most from the Lord is that as soon as I begin to force my pen, I know it's wrong. All my motivation for the story disappears. The whole thing fizzles out and becomes dead weight. It's the stories that keep pressing me, keep aching to be told that are the ones from the heart. God has blessed with me with the intuition to know the difference. I'm so glad He's done that for you too.

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    1. I love that, Melissa...the stories that are aching to be told. So true!

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  8. Thanks for the reminder that we have to write our own story, Heidi! The market may control what publishers will buy, but we control what we write. I always pray that whatever I write that He will be glorified. That's all we can ask.

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  9. Beautifully said. I can't wait to read your books.

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    1. Awww...thanks so much, Christina. I can't wait to read yours too! ;)

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