Detours on the Journey

I was getting excited. I finally figured out exactly what I was going to do next. I had been sitting on my manuscript at a loss of what to do. It had seen so many rewrites and edits, I’m not even sure it works anymore. I’m ready to be done with it. But is it done? Is it ready? Is there still hope for it or should I move on? These questions nearly stinted my creative juices until last Sunday. My hubby and I were talking about the direction of my writing career and from there, I just knew what my next step would be. It’s been at the back of my mind for awhile, but now, I was going to do it. So I figured I’d better recheck  everything and make sure it all lined up. And guess what I found? A big detour sign.
 Argh. What has me chuckling? This isn’t the first time. So now, I’m back to square one. What to do with this manuscript…

Have you had detours in your life? 

When my husband and I were first married, we decided that since we weren’t promised tomorrow, we’d go ahead and start our family. Oh, how naïve we were. I wanted to be homemaker, stay at home and take care of the family, but for seven and half years we didn’t get pregnant. Big detour. I went off to a junior college and rediscovered my dream of writing. Whoohoo. I was figuring stuff out again. I became a little OCD and walked around with a color-coded weekly schedule. And then we got pregnant. Ha! Detour. Now, I’m living life balanced between reality and dreams. Isn’t it lovely? There are good days and not so good days, nevertheless I keep plugging on.

Several years ago, I had thought I knew exactly where I wanted to send my manuscript. You guessed it. Another detour. What’s with all the detours?

Oh man, we’re on the wrong mountain.

Some of us might think these detours are doors closing on our dreams. Doubt whispers in our ears and we lose our vision, our compass. We begin questioning our sanity for pursuing our dreams in the first place. No matter where our thoughts take us, it’s what we choose to do that will determine whether the closed door is the end of a dream or simply a detour. It may be that we aren’t quite ready yet. And as we let go of our impatience and just be faithful in the little things, we will find the road we’ve traveled, detours and all, might lead to some place greater than we ever imagined. And when it does, we’ll be ready for it.

What say you? What kind of detours have you faced or are facing right now?

Here’s a great post on closed doors, Writing in the Dark by Author Morgan L. Busse.

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8 thoughts on “Detours on the Journey

  1. Gabrielle Meyer says:

    Great post, Jennette. I’ve had many detours. Three years ago I thought it was time to start my writing journey, then we found out we were expecting twins! Big detour. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know that you’re right, God’s detours are not the end to our dreams, but a different way to get there.

  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    Totally agree. I think writers should focus on being flexible and know there is another story in us after this one.

  3. Oh yes, I do know about those detours. Sometimes they seem so awful in the moment but they do seem to have a way of forcing us along our true path. At the very least, they can be great fodder for our stories.

    It might be time to set aside your manuscript (just for now) and work on something new. Every story we write, whether it “succeeds” or not teaches us something.

    By the way, I picked up a copy of Writing Fiction for Dummies. Am digging it so far. Thanks for the suggestion. 😀

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Yea! I am so glad you like Writing Fiction for Dummies. After I’m done with The Art of War, I’m thinking of using that for Yo Ho a Writer’s Life for Me next year. We’ll see.

      I’ve set it aside & started working on something new, but I’ve been brought back to it again. I can’t seem to let go of it. 🙂 I’d like to get it evaluated so that I can know what works, what doesn’t work, and know exactly where to improve. Which would also help my other writing as well, because, you’re right, no matter what we are learning something through each book we write.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  4. Linda Ellis says:

    I like detours—different scenery. Never know what might catch your eye. Enjoyed your website!

  5. J. L. Mbewe says:

    Thanks Linda! That’s a good point. For one, we’ll grow and learn with the detours and be richer for it. Thanks for sharing!.

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