I have an entire day to work on my book proposal. My goal is to produce a rough draft “competition” section. It feels utterly presumptuous to compare my story to either of these great bestsellers; however, subject-matter similarities exist.
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. After a painful marriage and divorce, Gilbert sets out upon a year-long journey of self discovery in three far-away lands. In these places where she indulges in food, culture, and new friendships, she opens her heart to honest, authentic relationship with God and the important people in her life. Differences: HOG is a spiritual journey of a different ilk. Gilbert finds fulfillment in Eastern religion. Tracy finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Additionally, food for Gilbert is pleasure. For Tracy, food is an enemy, a symptom of emotional pain, something to hide and, eventually, to overcome.
- Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. Taylor’s passion for God ignites her relationship with church into service overdrive. Exhausted, she resigns her leadership position as a priest, yet her relationship with God grows deeper and more intimate. Tracy’s passion for God also ignites a works-based relationship with church that exhausts her. Though Tracy doesn’t physically leave church, she distances herself emotionally. As each woman draws closer to God, they discover that church is not merely a meeting place, but a living breathing relationship with Jesus and the imperfect people he loves. Differences- Taylor is an Episcopal priest, the leader in the churches she leaves. Tracy, a member and Bible College student, leaves Pentecostal churches with serious problems.
My life is filling up with gainful employment. Yes, I have a part-time temporary, possibly permanent, full-time job at Boise State, my ala mater. It’s been 7 1/2 years since I graduated from Boise State and four years since I terminated my almost 17-year employment there to accept a new position at Idaho State University. Come June 27, I will have been unemployed and technically retired for two years. I surely thought that I would be further along with this book. Further along like done. D-O-N-E! Actually, except for some last-minute rewrites, I am done with the book. It’ s the book proposal that is creeping along like something very slow. I keep telling myself that even slow-moving things get there eventually. Oh Lord, give me strength, inspiration, patience, and a few really great open doors.
Literary agent, Rachelle Gardner writes one of my favorite blogs. She invites the reader into her world: the world of a literary agent, and in the process, gives for the taking a wealth of amazing advice.
Today, needing a break from writing a book proposal, I paid Rachelle’s blog a visit. In Writing vs. Publishing Friday, April 29, 2011, she discussed “why we write.” I responded.
I write because reading changed my life. As a child, like many of you, books allowed me access to worlds in which I was not painfully shy or always the last kid picked for kickball during recess. Books allowed me to sleuth several dozen mysteries, ride bareback upon a wild, gleaming black stallion that no one but me could tame, and have the most loyal canine companion in the world. In the fifth grade when Mrs. Matthes showed me how to write a story, writing gave me access, not to the world of another, but to the world of my own feelings. For the first time in my ten-year -old life, I had a voice! Now, I write to change lives like my life was changed, one small story at a time.
Why do you write?
See Rachelle’s blog for more stimulating discussions and invaluable information about writing