Friday, June 7, 2019

Balancing Writer Projects: God’s Smile by Melinda V. Inman

Melinda V. Inman

Balancing Writer Projects: God’s Smile

For the first time in my career as a writer, I’m producing two novels in one year. When I first began writing fiction, no serious author would have considered such a thing. It typically took at least two to five years to produce a well-formed novel, maybe longer. Publishing two in one year was considered impossible. Nowadays, it isn’t.

But, goodness! How in the world? What about quality of content?

First, let me quantify the two projects. The first one is a full-length novel that has taken me over three years from the beginning of the first draft to publication later this calendar year, a respectable span of time. It’s historical fiction and the sequel of another, so it required all the research and other work that goes into producing 300+ pages.

The second is a novella written for a series alongside other experienced multi-published writers. The energy of the group carries the project forward, along with providing feedback and brainstorming. The sense of collaboration is fun and energizing. I was invited into this project, and when I heard all the particulars, I wanted to be a part of it. The timing, the invite, and the opportunity were like a gift from God!

If God opens a door, if his face shines upon you, and you know it’s one you can and should walk through with his help, if he has provided the opportunity, by all means walk through the door. This is especially the case if you once thought it was impossible.

How did this work? Well, first off, the Lord orchestrated it all. My job has been to simply walk into what he has provided.

The group project sought me out as I was editing the full-length novel. This was perfect timing. I wrote the rough draft for the novella during breaks in editing the novel. My Patreon campaign then allowed me to get that novel professionally edited as I was doing major work on the novella manuscript. The projects layered together nicely.

The group project was bite-sized. A novella is one-third the length of a full-length novel, making it feel like a short story in comparison. The setting is contemporary, meaning less research.

The premise was inviting, and the genre is a new model. The characters’ lives embody many Christian principles I firmly believe in and want to advance.

Both stories broach issues I’m thrilled to write about, thus moving me in a God-pleasing direction in both. When we’re working on something fresh and new, something we know will please the Lord and promote his message, it adds vigor to our efforts. It’s like a fresh breeze blowing through, lifting the curtains.

All of this together brought God’s smile into my work. His face shone. Working under the providence of God’s smile on two projects in one year brings an awareness of God’s blessing. When we recognize that God is in any project or undertaking, our steps are lighter, and the work is less burdensome. As a writer with a chronic illness, this is incredibly important, for we often cannot simply power through as we did when we were healthy.

The smile of God, the unique newness of the project, the joy of collaboration, and the sense of God’s delight and blessing in giving the opportunity empower me as a writer.

When has God’s smile given you direction or lightened your load? How did his approval or leading make the work joyful?

How has God’s smile opened doors and made possible projects or plans you never before considered possible?

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-26 NIV).

If God opens a door, if his face shines upon you, and you know you can and should walk through with his help, by all means walk through the door.
#seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @MelindaVInman

Melinda V. Inman, Author of Refuge; Fallen; and No Longer Alone

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda Viergever Inman now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the Midwest. Her faith-filled fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Find her weekly at To find her work and to be notified of future published novels, follow her at


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