Friday, March 25, 2011

Too Sick and Tired NOT to Write by Mesu Andrews

Welcome to Fortifying Friday at Seriously Write. Guest author Mesu Andrews is here today to share her journey to publication. Her path is a great example of God having his own plan for our writing careers. I (Dawn) was blessed by her story, and I have a feeling you will be too.

Too Sick and Tired
NOT to Write
by Mesu Andrews

In 1996, I was a busy pastor’s wife with two active little girls and a growing speaking ministry. I didn’t have time to be sick. When an annoying flu bug was diagnosed as fibromyalgia eighteen months later, our family adjusted to Mommy’s new normal.

A slower pace provided me more quiet time with Jesus, and I was intrigued by the Song of Solomon. Reading all eight chapters every day for a year, an incredible story unfolded, and it became my most popular retreat topic. Just one problem. My audiences wanted it in written form.

I bought a “how-to” book and wrote my first proposal. I purchased airfare to Baltimore and attended a writers’ conference. All three critique appointments, two editors and an agent, begged me to stick with speaking. I was crushed. Returning home, I filed the Song of Solomon proposal under “F” for Failure and kept writing devotionals.

My health plummeted in 2002, and I spent six months in bed. The “people ministries” that once filled my days—Bible studies and weekends retreats—were now infrequent. God’s Word was burning inside me, and my laptop became the release valve. During these months, I wrote Solomon’s Song, my first full work of fiction.

By November of 2003, Mayo Clinic added two more chronic conditions to my already weary body, and I prayed, “Lord, will I ever teach Your Word again?” I meant teach as in: “speaking in front of a group” because my writing still felt awkward and ineffective. I just didn’t communicate as well through my keyboard as I once did in person.

In 2005, daily migraines began, but each week I let the Lord whisper through His Word, and He often provided a life-lesson that I included in my growing devotional ministry. Positive feedback poured in, and people seemed to prefer the stories over my carefully researched Bible facts…go figure!

I bought another “how-to” book, wrote a non-fiction devotional proposal and flew to California in hopes of securing an agent. The Lord was gracious and answered my prayer. For three years, this fabulous, committed agent knocked on every publisher’s door. The answer was still No.

My heart grew content with ministry through e-devotionals, but my wise and tenacious friend challenged me saying, “You’re a fiction writer. Resurrect your Solomon novel.”

“I’m not a novelist!” I protested. “I’m a Bible teacher. I write Bible studies and devotionals.”

She stopped all my protest with a single reply. “Didn’t Jesus use parables to teach? I think it was the Pharisees that recited Scriptures.”

Only our dearest friends will push that hard for our own good.

At that moment, I became a student of fiction. Now, my novels and devotionals teach through story. The Song of Solomon proposal eventually secured my first contract with Revell, but it’s the second book to release (Working Title, Love’s Sacred Song, March 2012, Revell). My debut novel, Love Amid the Ashes (March 2011, Revell), chronicles Job’s troubles and triumphs.

Mesu's greatest delight is to share God's truth through well-researched, compelling stories of real men and women who lived in biblical times. As an author and speaker, she illuminates the sometimes shadowy characters of Scripture, helping audiences and readers experience God's Word in living color.

To find out more about Mesu and her books, please visit:

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