The Writing Journey for Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant  

Posted by: Lynnette Bonner in ,
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It’s been said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” While I understand the sentiment behind the phrase, to me it somehow lessens and negates the other millions of steps taken in any journey. Yes, there has to be that first step, but sometimes the real effort comes in later steps after the excitement of embarking on the journey has worn off.

For me, life is not only a journey, but a series of mini-journeys. And for authors, each book is a journey all its own. For my novel TEXAS ROADS, the journey consisted of both an inner personal trip as well as the outer steps needed to produce a work of fiction. Let me begin by giving a little background to help you understand my trek into the world of writing TEXAS ROADS

I’ve always longed for one little corner of the world to call my own, yet for many years my family and I seemed destined to travel from one small Texas town to the next. Just as we’d start to feel at home in one place, God moved us on somewhere else. Finally I reached a breaking point. If God loved me so much, why wouldn’t He give me this one desire of my heart?

Hindsight makes comprehension so much easier, doesn’t it? I now see that through this part of my life journey God was gently revealing that He was my home. Only He could fill that home-sized hole in my heart. That quest and discovery of true home became the spiritual journey for my heroine in TEXAS ROADS. From outward appearances, Dani Davis has it all—wealth, social status, a fulfilling career. But on the inside she knows something is missing. She feels empty, and wrongly assumes that it’s because she’s never felt like she belonged anywhere.

When she stumbles upon Miller’s Creek, Texas, with its quaint country charm, quirky residents, and business potential, it seems like the perfect place to start over. Small town life comes with its own set of challenges, but she quickly adapts. Then malicious rumors and a devastating discovery cause her dreams of home to slowly crumble and begin to fade away.

My writing journey has been much the same. Only when I lost what I thought was rightfully mine was I able to embark on the journey God had planned for me—that of becoming a writer. My first single step was a two-footer as I jumped in with both feet, eager to test my wings. Those first steps weren’t tentative for me, but more like an excited skip down a new pathway.

After an extensive pre-writing session where I filled out lengthy character charts and wrote a synopsis that was more like a novella, the first draft of TEXAS ROADS flowed easily. Then the challenge of the journey threatened to stop me in my tracks. The problem came from my own na├»ve assumption. As a newbie, I thought the book would be written in that first draft. You can imagine my disappointment in reading over the story. Maybe writing wasn’t my thing. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to take this road. My steps slowed. I looked back.

I’d already come so far. I’d spent hours reading craft of writing books and more hours of applying what I’d learned to my writing. I’d invested money, time, sweat and tears on the journey. And if I stopped now, what would I do? Like the gentle Shepherd that He is, God nudged me to take another step. Only His constant nudging pushed me up the mountain of edits and revisions. He provided a whole host of friends who were brutally honest and helped me shape and polish the story. Finally I made it to the mountain top. Ah, at last! I was skipping down the road again. The story secured some recognition in the ACFW Genesis competition and provided momentum to push me up the next incline.

Then I came to a fork in the road. One path was filled with people just like me—those who wanted to make a difference in the world through the stories they told—some who’d already cleared a few obstacles in the path toward publication and were quickly becoming known as storytellers.

The other path was a little shadowy and very narrow—the path of self-publishing. From where I stood, it looked rocky and steep. Many fellow travelers had only made it halfway up the mountain where they now congregated in an attempt to catch their breath. To make it worse, some of the people from the first path jeered at them.

How was I supposed to know which way to go? In all honesty, neither path looked appealing. I sighed and followed the majority. But the further I traveled down my chosen pathway, the less right it felt. So I did what I should have done in the first place: I stopped and asked God what He wanted me to do.

He motioned for me to backtrack, and then started leading me up the narrow path. “Lord, I don’t think I can do this.”

“You’re right. You can’t. At least not by yourself.”

My pulse thundered in my ears at the implication. I knew I needed to trust Him more. “But Lord, the success rate isn’t too great on this road.”

“Whose success are you after, yours or Mine?”

His words sliced clean and deep, removing the vanity and pride that had built up in my heart. I grabbed hold of His outstretched hand and began to climb.

So far the journey of writing and independently publishing TEXAS ROADS has taken three years, but just because a book has been published doesn’t mean the journey is over. I’m currently learning to take the difficult steps of getting the word out about the book.

Why stay on this exhausting road? Because it’s His story, not mine.

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Click on the cover of the book to be taken to the Amazon page. Or download a Smashwords e-book here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/8963 . Connect with Cathy on her blog, WordVessel.






This entry was posted on Monday, May 03, 2010 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

2 comments

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Cathy. I'm honored to have you here today!

The honor is mine, Lynnette! Thanks so much inviting me.

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