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.