2020. A year of hard lockdowns – and not-so-hard lockdowns. If you were fortunate, you were allowed to venture out of your home for essential groceries and for vital medical supplies. But: No visitors allowed. No trips to the theatre, to cinemas or to any entertainment venues. All sporting events cancelled. Even your personal exercize routines were severely limited.
What on earth were you going to do with your time? Connect with family? Not an option for people like myself who have family in far-flung corners of the world. Watch more TV? Not an option for me either…no DSTV…only a snow-ridden TV which I never switch on. Read more…I wish that was the battle-cry of millions…but sadly, judging by the disappointing book sales, that is not happening either.
So in my case, it was…Write more. Obsessively. Persistently. For five months, I knuckled down and practically didn’t stop writing. I felt as if I was seldom lifting my head from the page. Old-fashioned author that I am, I usually hand-write my manuscripts first (the pen in my hand and scratching across the page seems to help me to think better), before typing them up and editing them at the same time.
And what did I write? One brand-new Christian novel which I published on Smashwords (Meltdown Miracles). One revision of an adult Christian novel which I also published on Smashwords (Firm Foundations), and one collection of Christian young adult short stories which I sent off to a Christian publisher in Singapore. These stories were adaptations of Christian picture books as regrettably, there seems to be very little demand by publishers for this genre. But actually, I feel that these stories work well as young adult Christian fiction, so I’m pleased with the result of all that hard work.
Towards the end of 2020, after that frenetic writing frenzy, I felt shell-shocked: not able to write another word.
But in the words of Ecclesiastes which we are presently studying in my ladies’ bible-study group, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3,1,NIV) . And with apologies to ‘the teacher’…King Soloman?...
‘a time to write and a time to rest.’ So after all my labours, I’ve realised that this is my time for resting, for reflecting, for planning.
Not that I’m being completely brain-dead as far as writing goes. I am slowly but surely planning another manuscript, but I think it will be a long time before my carefully nurtured seed will grow into a fully-fledged plant. Hopefully, I will receive some encouraging news along the way – an appreciative reader? Is it wishful thinking that in the future, I will be able to bless someone with my God-given talent?
Roll on Christian writers. Roll on readers of Christian fiction and non-fiction. And most of all, roll on the Hallelujas in heaven when one more of God’s own children come into his kingdom.