WHY DID I QUIT MY DAY JOB?

Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to
fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma,
near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano
and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She
is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American
Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written 26
books and more than 200 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the
Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. You can find Darlene
online elsewhere at http://darlenehfranklinwrites.blogspot.com/,
http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/
and https://www.facebook.com/darlene.franklin.3

WHY DID I QUIT MY DAY JOB?
Lately I have been struggling with a
crisis about my calling to write. My pre-published friends wonder why I
complain. I am where they hope to be: writing full time, with close to thirty
published titles under my belt, and more books under contract. I am blessed. I
know that.
But doubts creep in when day after day
I struggle to write. My health is fair-to-poor, and the days I don’t feel 100%
far outnumber the times I feel well. I want to write more and instead have to
write less. Getting words on paper challenges me all the time, and it’s even
harder when my body seizes with pain or allergies clog my head.
So I found myself asking: am I truly
called to write? I know I can write.
I even know people enjoy my books. But have I made a difference? And if I
haven’t, why do I put myself through the hard work (some days it feels like
torture) of producing a quality book?
Recently I wrote the 100th
post on my new blog, http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/.
I reread many of my posts, and surprised myself to discover
I had written about God’s call to write—encouragement taken from the Bible,
Genesis through 2 Kings. Some of the lessons I had learned:
·      Write
all the words, sharply (Deuteronomy 27). What differentiates a writer from one
who wants to? A writer writes. Period.
Write from the heart, and hone my craft.
·      My
voice is unique (Numbers 18). No one else can tell my stories the way I will.
It is an exclusive calling; if I don’t write them—no one can and no one will.
·      Treat
God as holy by writing about Him and presenting Him artistically (Leviticus
21-22.) In my writing, I present holy (not perfect) people doing holy things—in
real life settings.
·      Exodus
37-38 provided a lot of lessons, including:
·      The
God who gifted to write romantic fiction may also lead me to write a different
genre, even nonfiction.
·      I’m
not a household name, but one of a group of largely unknown authors who write
Christian fiction.
·      In
My Daily Nibble, I seek the break down the law (both the Torah and all of God’s
Word) in bite-sized nuggets of understanding.
·      God
doesn’t call me to be anyone other than myself. My writing can’t and shouldn’t
copy someone else’s style.
·      Writing
is often an act of faith.
·      Whatever
God wants me to write, He won’t give up on me or leave me, but He will see me
through to the finish. (Joshua 2)
·      Writing
may/will move me out of my comfort zone. (Genesis 31-32)
At the same time, I spoke with a
supportive friend. She pointed out the obvious: “Maybe you are under attack.
Maybe God has something even bigger that you are or will be working on, and
Satan is trying to stop you.”
Oh. Suddenly it made sense to me,
especially in light of all the things God had shown me in His word.
If I needed any additional “signs,” God
gave me a three-book contract—while I was in the hospital for a week.
So I am once again doing the hard job
of writing and asking God for daily strength.
Many writers—so close to 99% I would
almost dare to say all of us—fight
self-doubt and discouragement. Visit the milestones when the call seemed the
most clear. Remind yourself why you started writing—why you should continue.
One final thought: The last time
(before now) that I seriously considered quitting was ten years ago. At the
time, I had no books published although I had been writing for over ten years.
I asked God, am I foolish to pursue this pipe dream?
The answer I got was—I don’t have to
know if God wants to write five years from now. I only need to know if He wants
me to write today, on this particular project.
Don’t worry about the rest of your
life. Ask God for wisdom for today.
Hidden
Dreams
Mary Anne is on the run.
Her father’s been murdered, and now the mob’s
after her, too. Leaving New York City behind is the only way to stay alive. Yet
Mary Anne Lamont finds herself stuck in Maple Notch, Vermont, when her car
crashes straight into Wallace Tuttle’s truck. Wallace and his family offer her
warmth and welcome, no questions asked. But she doesn’t dare give them her real
name—not without risking their safety too.
At first, Wallace chides himself for being
distracted by the glamorous flapper. Mary Anne certainly doesn’t fit his image
of a future wife. But underneath the bleached bob and big-city ways is a
courageous, caring woman. When the danger she’s been running from draws close,
Wallace must risk everything to prove his faith in Mary Anne, in God’s plan,
and the dreams they’ve come to share.