Monthly Column

How Do You Get There?

By Pam Thibodeaux

How do you get through that (those) difficult scene(s) or chapter(s)? I’m sure every writer has their own unique way of getting there. And I’m sure they all have merit. My way may not be the best way, but it works for me.

Everyone expects romance to be light and entertaining despite the “black moment” that is a part of every story. Even in Inspirational romance. For me, the “inspirational” part is very important. Faith issues aren’t always light and entertaining. They can be (and usually are) difficult. How else is our faith going to grow? The Bible says to ‘count it all joy…for your suffering brings about patience.’

YEAH, RIGHT! Easier said than done.

The book I’m currently working on is a difficult piece. The heroine is a recovering battered wife. In three short chapters her mother (also a battered wife) dies from the latest beating after nine days in intensive care. The heroine is faced with the issue of forgiveness when her step-father shows up at the funeral home. She loses her job from missing too much work, and out of anger and despair, she shares some of her deepest, darkest secrets with a new friend (someone she barely knows).

So, how do I get through that difficult scene or chapter? You may think my answer is pat: I pray. Not necessarily so.

I procrastinate; make the bed, clean off the desk, read (for research of course), clean the house, etc., etc., etc. You get the picture. I find all kinds of excuses not to sit down and write. Sometimes I sit down with every intention to write, and, in a panic, get right back up again.

I whine. After all, I know what’s coming and I know what it’s going to do to me. Any writer knows that when you write, you pull something out of yourself. It’s not always just a “creative flow;” you actually feel what your characters are feeling.

I argue with God. Lord, I’m not the right person to do this. I’m not strong enough! I can’t do it right! How am I going to get enough emotion across so the reader understands (and believes) that the heroine has been a victim? No matter what I’ve experienced, it’s not as bad as what she’s been (and going) through. How am I going to show Your unconditional love and forgiveness (and make it REAL) when anyone with a brain knows that it’s IMPOSSIBLE (for mere mortals) to forgive something like that? And I wish I were writing ANYTHING but Inspirational romance. But that’s my calling and I’m called to do it with excellence.

So, how do I get there? You’re right, I pray. Not just some honey coated words like, “Lord help me.” But, hard! A deep heart-wrenching cry: “God, You know I can’t do this without you. I know I can’t do this (and get it right) without you! You’ve got to get me through this!”

I get someone to pray for me. Sometimes more than one person.

And, finally, I follow the advice of the Nike Corp: ‘Just Do It.’ Just get it down and edit it later. Get the ‘meat’ of it down then take a break. Reread it after the emotions have calmed. Look at it with a jaundice eye (later) and listen to your heart.

In an episode of Touched By An Angel, Monica (Roma Downey) said to a song writer (played by Wynonna Judd): “Inspiration is when God puts into our spirit what we couldn’t come up with ourselves.” I believe this is true in any form of writing, in any vein of creativity. Whether what you do is considered “Inspirational” or not by the market.

I use these words for encouragement myself, trusting God to put into my spirit what He wants to say to get His message across. I open my heart, clear my mind, and let the words come. And, most of the time, when I go back to read and polish, I can’t believe the words came from me. It honors and humbles me because I know that they didn’t really come from me but through me.

The Bible says that God is faithful. I can testify to that. I know He gets me through some of the toughest scenes and/or chapters, and I grow in the process. As a writer and as a Christian.

Author Bio

Born May 19, 1961, Pamela Thibodeaux is the mother of four children (two by blood and two by marriage) ranging in ages from 17 to 22. She works part time as a full-charge bookkeeper. Pamela has been writing for several years and is a member of Coeur de Louisiane and RWA. As a member of Coeur, she won the 1999 “Diamond In The Rough” award, the “Ruby” award in 2000, and is currently serving as Contest Chair and Publicity Coordinator for the organization. Pamela has a short story Angel of the Day (November 2000) and an Inspirational Article entitled: Perfect Love (Feb. 2001) published in The Romantic Bower Ezine at: Pamela has also written a novel, ‘Tempered Hearts’ published by Writers Exchange Epublishing


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