Monday, September 20, 2010

Guest Blog by Joyce DiPastena

Joyce is the author of two Medieval Era historical fiction books. I loved both of them. Joyce tries to make her books as accurate as possible when including historical events. There is plenty of action in both these books, and they kept me on the edge of my seat. If you like mystery, suspense, and romance you need to read these two books.

Loyalty’s Web is full of treachery, assassination attempts, threats and touching moments that kept me turning pages.

Her next book, Illuminations of the Heart is also full of adventures and romance. Triston is a man of quiet honor and courage, but the guilt he carries for the death of his late wife, Clothilde, has left him numb and hesitant to love again. Worse yet, Siri bears an uncanny resemblance to his lost love.

Joyce lives in Arizona with her cats. She keeps busy giving piano lessons, watching movies, reading, and buying clothes. I bet she spends a great deal of time in front of her computer writing.

Now we'll hear from Joyce.

There are times when I feel myself seized almost with terror when “the hour to write” finally rolls around each day. The cold glow of the computer screen stares at me with a sneering challenge. “I dare you to write. I dare you to write. Ha ha! You see? I knew you couldn’t do it!”

Courage, I tell myself. I need courage to overcome my doubts and plunge in and, darn it, show that computer that it’s wrong!

But trying to “prove myself” by some act of courageous determination doesn’t always work. Instead, I feel my tension rising and I freeze up, and then when no words come, I sag a bit and think, “Well, I guess the computer was right after all.”

After too many such defeats, a thought finally occurred to me. It’s not courage I need to write. What I need is faith.

It says in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

A more accurate translation from the Greek for the word “substance” in this verse, is “assurance”, so that the verse might be read:

“And now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Instead of fighting my fears with a me-centric “courage”, I need to surrender my fears to the Lord, sit down with a quiet “assurance” that my “hope” to make progress with my story will be fulfilled, and trust that when my writing time is over, I will have “evidence”—new words written, new ideas expressed, new scenes, new dialogue—that I could “not see” with my fearful mortal eyes when my writing session began.

In short, I need to have faith that I am, in fact, in a writing team with the Lord. It is not me against the computer and my own fears. It is me and the Lord, developing the talent He has given me. Because faith is an action word, I have to do my part. I have to “exercise my faith” by sitting down even when I’m scared no words will come, face that old computer screen, and type. Something. Anything. Just type, as an act of faith that if the Lord has given me a talent, He will help the words to come.

After all, “Faith precedes the miracle.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)

And in the end, isn’t that what writing is for most of us? A miracle?


Rhonda said...

Beautiful, Joyce!

Miss Mae said...

It is definitely a miracle with me, Joyce!

(I think your and my computer must be Siamese twins!)

Joyce DiPastena said...

Thank you, Rhonda!

I'm so sorry to hear that, MM. LOL!

kbrebes said...

Thanks for a beautiful message, Joyce. I'm going to remember that!

Laurean Brooks said...

It works, Joyce. Sometimes it's the ONLY thing that does. Been there, done that.

Thanks for reminding us that the Lord is working alongside us.

Joan Sowards said...

Thank you Joyce for putting writing in perspective with faith. Great thoughts.

Michael Knudsen said...

Joyce - at least you make it to the computer screen before the fear strikes. Sometimes I don't even get that far. But every time I do break through and get some pages done, I always wonder why that fear is still there. We just need to trust the miracle.

flsongbyrd said...

Michael you are so right. I want to write so much. I have the ideas in my head and they come so easily and quickly, but getting to the computer to put them down is where the fear comes in for me. I know that if I just put my trust in the Lord and ask His help I could do it. "Faith" and "Trust" why are they so hard?

RaShelle said...

Thanks Joyce, for the inspiring words. Believing that He wants us to succeed and wants our happiness helps me too. =D