Friday, October 14, 2016

Lay Down Your Writing by Connilyn Cossette



Connilyn Cossette

Are you able to trust God and his goodness in your writing journey, despite days when you feel discouraged or fears start to creep into your thoughts? I’m inspired by what author Connilyn Cossette shares today, and I believe you will be too. ~ Dawn

Lay Down Your Writing

A few years ago publication was just a dream, and a forgotten one at that. I was a stay-at-home mom with two kids under five and although writing was always my “if-money-was-not-an-object-what-would-you-do answer”— I had little hope that anything would ever really come of it. My personality is also a bit “all or nothing” so I had never even tried to write anything substantial, other than some bad poetry here or there, and a few intermittent scribbles in an oft-neglected journal—since in my mind, if I didn’t know how to write a “good” novel and didn’t have any earth-shattering ideas, why bother wasting my time?

But then, as I was studying the book of Exodus, I was struck by the humanness of the people within that story. Like many others that grew up in the Church, listening to the Old Testament felt-board stories, I saw those “Bible Characters” as something akin to fairytales—not that I did not believe the Word of God and its history was truth—but that Moses and Pharaoh were characters in a story that had little bearing on me personally.

However, the more I dug into the history and the culture surrounding the well-known story, the more those long-ago people took on flesh, began to live and breathe in my mind. And when I read the verse “a mixed multitude went with (the Hebrews)” in Exodus 12:38, inspiration struck and Kiya, Shira, and the other characters from the Out from Egypt series came alive in my mind as well.

Once I wrote that story (during a five year long process of researching and learning) I was faced with a decision. I could either give in to my fears and my lack of self-confidence, or I could lay my manuscript in God’s hands and trust that if He created me with such a desire to craft words and wrangle them into a story, He would be faithful to complete whatever He planned for those words.

The long, windy road to publication, and beyond, was not without struggle. There were times, sometimes months-long periods, of extreme discouragement. There were lots of rejections, deafening silences, and one devastating email that nearly caused me to throw in the towel. But this journey has taught me more about myself, my God, and His Word than I ever dreamed possible, and it seems the more I entrust this career of mine to His capable hands, the more He delights in showing me just how much He loves me.

Perhaps your writing dream is still a mirage on a far horizon, or you have a manuscript or two under your belt and are frustrated with the hoop-jumping that defines the publishing industry, or maybe you’re already published and dealing with discouragement. May I encourage you, however, to consider this time as a call to lean in to the Lord and His Word? Ask Him what He is teaching you in the midst of this messy process. Lay your writing down before Him, in declaration of your trust in His goodness.

Having my books in the hands of readers is wonderful and I am grateful for the privilege, but the rewards of going deeper with God are so much better. I can’t wait to see where He will lead me next!         

   



Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira's gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart's calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira's people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she's denied herself and embrace who she truly is?



When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure out-of-print history books. There’s not much she likes better than digging into the rich ancient world of the Bible, uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus and weaving them into fiction. Her second novel Shadow of the Storm: Out from Egypt Series releases October 18 through Bethany House Publishers.


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5 comments:

  1. Good words Connilyn! I remember sitting at a table with you in the My Book Therapy session at ACFW a few years ago. I could tell then that you were going to make it. Most writers have a challenging journey and some never get to that publication landing place. But as you said, the lessons God has to teach us are more valuable.

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    1. Hi Jan! Yes I remember well that morning, I was so nervous!! I was so glad to see your book in print as well! Hope things are going well for you!

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  2. Great words from a great author - so glad you didn't give up! I needed to hear this exact message, thank you soooo much!

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    1. Glad to hear it connected with your heart!

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  3. Thank you Dawn and the Seriously Write team for inviting me to your wonderful blog. You all are a blessing and an encouragement to those of us navigating the turbulent waters of publishing!

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