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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Week Twenty Two: Donna Bolk

One Step At A Time

His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thous thither again? Jesus answered. “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, he stumbleth because there is no light in him.”
John 11:8-10 (KJV)

One of the wonderful things about the Bible is that we can all read the same passage and get different meanings. For me this passage is very straightforward. The darkness is a mental not a physical thing. And the light is our faith. Faith in God. Faith in self.
Faith in the people and things we love.

At one time, I considered myself to be a head cheerleader, the first to grab my pompoms and do the believe in yourself cheer. A series of stumbles landed me in the dark and I packed away my pompoms. The darkness hit me a few years ago, with the publication of my first novel. I thought I was walking in the daylight, on the right path, no stumbling here. I had written a fantastic novel. I sent it off, and received the standard number of rejections, and then (enter giant ray of sunshine) I found a publisher. I was on a sunny path, dancing in the daylight, rejoicing in my good fortune.


The publisher turned out to be not right for me and I had to face some honest truths about myself.After all my years of struggle, I had lost a very important part of myself. I had reached the point where I sought the glory of being published. I wasn’t being true to God or to myself. I lost sight of my goals and beliefs, and in doing so, took for granted all that God blessed me with in regards to being a writer.

I’m red-faced to admit I was a slow learner. I blamed my writing woes on everyone, from the editors I had submitted to (who I swore had no idea what a good novel was) to the publisher who didn’t work out for me, to the dog who barked too much and broke my concentration. When in truth the blame landed squarely on one person.

In time I realized I had to see not only through the darkness, but also through the false light I surrounded myself in. My biggest revelation was that I didn’t need to be published. I didn’t need to validate myself in anyone’s eyes. God already believed in me which was all that mattered. I had to go back to my writing roots and embrace the fact that it was from Him I was given my gift of writing.
And yes, I totally believe it is a gift. When I am writing, I’m on a different level. I go to a different place outside myself. I see and feel and love and hurt what all the characters I create go through. There is no other feeling to compare with being in the writer’s zone.
My second novel will be published in a few months, which is very nice, but it’s not that big a deal. What is a big deal is that I’ve dusted off those pompoms. I’m once again a head cheerleader. I’ve come to realize being a writer isn’t about being published, it about loving what I do, and never again taking for granted God’s gift to me.

I gave up on me, but God never did. And because of His belief in me, I can now walk both in the daylight and the darkness.

Will all my travels be stumble free?

Probably not. But that’s okay, I’m not afraid of stumbling. God is with me, whether I’m in daylight or darkness, all I have to do is take His hand.

Donna L. Bolk, Award winning author, makes her home in
Maryland with her husband Kevin. She is the proud mom of three
sons, and several little fur kids.  For more information visit Donna on the web at

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