• Dana L. Butler

Out of the Closet [Gulp!]: Letting You in on My Secret Project

Well… [Deeeeep breath, Dana.]   Here I go: I’m writing a book. There.  I said it.    Whew. It’s been in the works for a few months now.  And I’ve found it to be an incredibly intimidating, vulnerable thing to say: “I’m writing a book.” Intimidating because – WOW – the scope of a project like this is just incredibly massive!  Figuring out what exactly you’re trying to say and what bits of info should be grouped with what OTHER bits of info and what order all the pieces should go in.  Breaking it all up into chapters with subheadings and good GRIEF it’s a lot of work!!  And THEN you’ve actually gotta WRITE it! And vulnerable because by saying “I’m writing a book,”  you’re actually (usually, if you’re a believer) saying “The Lord’s put something inside of me that I believe would be beneficial to a large number of people and I feel confident in my ability to put it all together and articulate truths and engage people’s hearts.  And I feel like the Holy Spirit will use my story and my writing to touch and change people’s hearts.”  What a CRAZY thing to say!  It takes such CONFIDENCE and TRUE humility and I SO still struggle with the false version! [Side note: True humility = ACCURATELY viewing yourself, your gifts and abilities. Agreeing with God’s perspective on yourself.  False humility = not viewing yourself accurately, diminishing what God’s put inside of you, magnifying your own weaknesses over God’s ability to use you, to be glorified through you.] And then there’s the whole fear of man factor, the “What will so-and-so think if I tell them I feel called to do this?” factor.  Combined with the voice of the enemy whispering, “Who do you think you are?  You can’t pull this off!   And what good are your words anyway, to anyone?” Man.  Sometimes all of it put together feels insurmountable. I had NEVER DREAMED I’d write a book.  I had never had the desire to do so.  In fact, I’d specifically had the desire NOT to do so.  Haha. 🙂  Funny how God switches things like that around in our hearts. Sometime this past fall I started to feel these nudges, these tugs on my heart.  And all these puzzle pieces of different truths that the Lord has burned in my heart through my various life experiences, they all started falling together in my heart, the different trickles of revelation and freedom all merging together as one river that actually made sense, all together.   I was stunned.  And I don’t know if people will think I’m crazy for saying I really feel like God has called me to do this in this season, but I really do.  I think He has. And in early December, I started writing. I’m so thankful for Stan’s support in this.  Some days I think he’s more excited about it than I am.  I’m thankful too for the handful of close friends who have encouraged and supported me in this in varying ways. But I’ve continued to really limit those who I’ve let in on this thing, mostly out of fear, I think.  I kept thinking, “Well, I’ll wait till I get an agent and a publisher and THEN I’ll tell people on a bigger scale.”  

And recently, I’ve felt the Lord asking me, “Where’s the risk in that?  Where’s the letting-people-in-on-your-process-with-ME?” So, here I am, letting you in.  Telling you that really, there are days when I doubt my ability to do this.  But then I remember, “Oh yeah, I CAN’T do this.  It’s His strength in my weak places.   He’s the one who fills in my gaps.  Right.”  And I keep moving forward, keep putting one foot in front of the other, leaning into Him. I have my book proposal about 85% finished, down to the chapter-by-chapter summary with paragraph descriptions of the content of each chapter.  (That’s the part I was most intimidated by.) I’ve written 6 chapters, 5 of which still need significant editing and adjusting.  I’m mostly stopping on the writing of chapters for now, getting my proposal up to par and working on the couple of “sample chapters” that will be attached to it when I submit it to agents for consideration.  That’s pretty much the status of the project. And, to be honest yet again – even though I have moments of doubting that I can pull it off?  I’m also super excited about it. 

And I’d love your prayer partnership as I am in this season of writing and editing and about to step into querying agents.  And, in my heart, really being tested and having to surrender at new levels to the Lord on the things I’m writing about.  

Wow.  And that is a whole ‘nother blog post right there.  Maybe one of these days. 🙂 Blessings and love to all of you, my friends.  Forgive the bit of extra silence around here in this season.  Now you know the reason why! 🙂 image credit: supremacyandsurvival.blogspot.com

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