Happy Monday to you, from Bonnie Leon.

Bonnie -- May 2009 I just finished a book that was supposed to take six months to write. It took more than a year.

I've been writing for a good long while and have never had so much trouble finding my story. However, I now have a novel I feel good about and I can't wait for it to land on bookstore shelves.

I won't go into the reasons why it took so long to complete Touching the Clouds; I'll save that for another time. I will say, however, that I'm grateful to have an editor (Lonnie Hull DuPont) who cares enough about my work to make me sweat. Yep, I did say grateful and sweat in the same sentence.   🙂

Writing isn't supposed to be easy. And often it's not blissful. In my opinion, the best in life is a combination of pain and joy. For those of you who have given birth this concept is easy to grasp. There's a good reason we use the term "birthing a book". Simply put, writing ain't easy.

Am I allowed to use the word ain't on a writing blog? *Shrug* Oh well, too late now.

Seriously, I love the labor of creating a novel. The process is filled with surprises. And fine-tuning can genuinely be fun.

Sometimes a book takes more time and energy to develop than we counted on. When I turned in the first draft of Touching the Clouds in my gut I knew something was out of sync with the story, but I had a deadline to meet so I mailed it off. I soon discovered that my gut was right–the book needed a doctor. My editor gave me more time and I went back to work.

First I had to figure out what was wrong with the story. At that time, my life felt similar to a circus with a rogue elephant on the loose. Needless to say, my mind was a muddle so I knew prayer was my only hope. That's where I began. I soon discovered I'd missed the mark with my characters. They weren't the people they needed to be to tell this story. So I had to go back and discover who they really were. New characters meant reworking the manuscript in a major way. I went through every nook and cranny.

When first faced with this monumental task I did more than my share of groaning and complaining. But soon the story that was meant to be emerged. I rediscovered the joy of writing and, carried away by my characaters, I flew through the pages. I was smiling again, and remembered one of the reasons I write. I love it!

There's still fine tuning to be done–I'm not on final pages yet, but I'm expectant. I think I've got a good book and it's only because of a great editor, diligence and guidance from my Lord. We can't expect something for nothing. Writing is hard work. We toil, and if all goes well, in the end we marvel at what we've brought forth.

So while in the midst of birthing our books remember to enjoy the experience. Take pleasure in the work, for while our stories are being transformed so are our lives. 

If the writing is going along too easily be suspicious. It's just possible we're not working hard enough. And it will show. Remember, ultimately we write for God. He never produces junk and neither should we. 

Grace and peace to you,


Unveiling Truth Through Fiction



2 thoughts on “Value the Work

Dianne Neal Matthews

September 15, 2009 - 09 : 30 : 28

Bonnie, I enjoyed–and needed–this post. Thank you! I’m thinking of posting the last paragraph above my desk where I can see it every day.


Bonnie Leon

September 15, 2009 - 19 : 20 : 22

Thanks Dianne. I’m enjoying being part of the CAN team. And I’m thinking you have a good idea–I think I’ll post it as well. 🙂


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