Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the honor of interviewing nonfiction author Candy Arrington. Candy has addressed some tough topics in her articles and books, including grief, suicide, and caring for aging parents. And her newest book is on a topic that challenges all of us at one time or another—waiting.
Welcome, Candy! Please tell us about your book, Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well.
We live in a world of instant everything, so life pauses seem negative. When our plans are brought to a halt, we’re frustrated. Is waiting ever beneficial? What if pauses ensure protection, provide time for preparation, or develop patience? Waiting may be the catalyst for successfully navigating what lies ahead.
I call waiting God’s favorite teaching method—and I’ve been on the receiving end of that teaching. What waiting period in your life inspired you to write this book?
Several years ago, my husband lost his job when a major project he was working on was put on hold indefinitely. Initially, we were optimistic about a quick turnaround, but many companies were not hiring, and eight months later we were still waiting. During this life pause, we learned a lot about trusting God’s timing and his provision in waiting. Later, I wrote an article for CBN.com about that waiting period in our lives and pitched the book idea based on that article to a publisher at a conference.
What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
2020! Not only did I have the distraction of a global pandemic and all it entailed, but a number of family crises occurred while I was writing the book that pulled my attention in other directions. Remaining focused and productive to meet the deadline was a struggle.
I think many of us can relate! Do you have any themes you return to again and again in your writing?
Recuring writing themes: moving through and beyond difficult life circumstances, finding positive elements in times of hardship and loss, building on a firm foundation, and personal growth.
What would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?
My ideal writing place is a covered outdoor area with a view of water. My actual writing place is my upstairs office beside a large Palladian window that overlooks our yard.
They both sound lovely! When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
My husband and I attended a weekend retreat with a group from our church. Early the second morning, God woke me. Words swirled in my head, forming phrases. I got up and could hardly get my notebook and pen in hand fast enough to capture the sentences that were pouring from my mind. Later, when I shared what I had written with the group, many asked for a copy of my words. That was the first time I realized my God-given words had the ability to touch hearts.
That’s fabulous! Now that you’ve been writing a while, what is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
Many people have the illusion that writing is a glamorous endeavor, that you get an idea and it pours onto the page. However, in truth, writing is hard. It requires planning and rewrites and perseverance, and often rejection.
So true! Now, all writers are readers. What do you read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I write nonfiction, but enjoy reading fiction, particularly British murder mysteries. Currently, I am reading Saturdays with Billy, written by my pastor, Dr. Don Wilton, about his friendship with Billy Graham.
Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
My father was a builder and real estate developer, and when he died, I inherited the real estate portion of his business. Today, the other hat I wear in addition to writer is president of a landholding corporation. I frequently use building themes or life lessons I learned from my father in my writing.
Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I work well to deadlines, much better than to a nebulous time frame. Part of staying disciplined is knowing my most productive writing times. For me, weekday mornings and late afternoons are when I do my best writing. I have also become aware of cycles in my writing, times when I am more creative and productive. When I am in one of those cycles, I try to clear my schedule to take advantage of the creative surge.
It’s so important to learn those cycles and our own most productive times—I’m glad you’ve found them. Please tell us about your next project.
My next project will be a surprise, maybe even to me! I have been collecting information for several years for two nonfiction books. It remains to be seen which one rises to the top or has the most interest from publishers.