Tuesday we kicked off the Author’s Open House with Rachel McMillan sharing about being a “real writer.” I don’t know about you, but I really loved what she had to say–great encouragement. Today we continue the month of Christian authors stopping by to share some thoughts on writing, reading, books, and more with Meghan Gorecki. (See the full line-up here.)
Meghan is every bit as sweet as her picture and has become a good friend to me on this journey of writing. Her debut Depression-era novel, God’s Will, recently celebrated its book birthday! She’s been a wonderful encouragement to me and I knew she just had to be a part of our little party here.
The door’s open…come on in, grab a seat, and let’s see what Meghan has to share with us today.
Never Give Up on Your Story
Hey everyone! I am so excited to be here thanks to our awesome hostess with the mostess, Teresa. Grab a cup of something hot, something cold, because I’m going to kick off my visit here with a story.
Once upon a time there was a starry-eyed hopeless romantic who fell in love with the Civil War era in fourth grade. Her mom read aloud Little Women that year in homeschool where they devoted the entirety of it to studying the Civil War. One assignment both for history and creative writing was to write a journal as if she were a Northern or “Yankee” belle with a cousin from the South during the war. Her sister was the Southerner. Well, this just took off and said hopeless romantic young miss (who was already reading Heartsong Presents novellas at that age) ended up at the family desktop computer to type out a story based on her school assignment. With help from her own dear “Marmee,” she titled it Amongst the Roses. Two accidental deletions, over a dozen illustrations and two years later—it was finished. And will henceforth never see the light of day from where it lies buried in my hopechest.
Upwards of eleven years ago I finished this incredibly sappy, poorly-written story filled with unwitting plagiarism from Little Women, Gone with the Wind—(yes, I had seen the movie at such a young age)—and also ample inspiration from Lynn Austin’s Refiner’s Fire Series. The title has remained the same, and about half of the characters retained their original first names—oh, and of course the era has remained the same. As I grew up, wrote, rewrote and self-published the semi-autobiographical novel of my heart God’s Will, I always knew I wanted to rewrite Amongst the Roses. And thanks to a community college course on Pennsylvania’s role in the Civil War in 2012, from then on my purpose was set. Two and a half years later I completed the first draft of Amongst the Roses and set about querying it—without editing or revising it one iota. Yeah—I don’t recommend that.
If I thought the two-plus years writing this Civil War epic (111K words, I kid you not) was hard—I had not a clue how immensely refining and painful it would be to revise and polish it. To go back and read what God had refined in my heart reflected in my fictional character’s journey. To see how much more I know now and have learned about the craft, about storytelling and telling my story well. And a part of telling our stories well is taking the time and putting in the work to make it the best it can be. And here comes the point of the rubber hitting the road of writing. Something that has taken me quite a long time to just begin to embrace and learn: making our writing a priority. Because it is a calling.
The Reasons to Keep Going
And even on the bad days—we love our stories at the end of the day. We wouldn’t have begun writing them if we hadn’t. Much like we revise our stories, have multiple drafts that uncover layer by layer of dress to reveal the gold—so the Lord does in our hearts. Oftentimes it is painful, and we resist and flail and bang our heads against the wall much like we can do in both the writing and the revising process. But…
we have to remember that,
just as God does not give up on us—
we must not give up on the stories
HE has put in our hearts.
Because, in not giving up, in persevering even when our rear ends fall asleep, our eyes cross, we want to hurl our laptops out the window—we are doing God’s work. The stories He alone has called us to write. Write. Revise. Repeat. Learn. Invest time, energy, blood, sweat and tears in your story. It is worth it—don’t give up. Take the time you need, (now I’m really preaching to myself here), to give your story its best chance. It takes mind over matter to do this day in and day out, but it is worth fighting for. Reclaim that joy, take heart, and know you and your novel will be so much better and shine brighter for all of it.
About Meghan Gorecki
Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction, a blogger, book reviewer and voracious reader. Taking her life a day at a time as God leads, she is pursuing a career in the publishing industry as an editor in training and as a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. A hopeless romantic, history and Marvel nut, she’s also a redhead (thanks to a box), who knows way too much trivia about movie musicals and the Civil War.
Buy God’s Will by Meghan Gorecki on Amazon
Authors’ Open House continues with Meghan Gorecki,
talking about never giving up on your story. — TWEET THIS!