“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.” John 14:26 (NIV)
If I’d known how much I had to learn, I may never have started my first novel. But, full of naiveté, I plunged into the process, asking the Holy Spirit to lead me. The first draft was fun to write. I couldn’t wait to get to my computer to see what would happen next. I laughed and cried as I typed away, causing my husband to shake his head in disbelief.
I wrote that draft during every spare minute I could find. My husband graciously took all four children to baseball practices that summer, giving me precious moments alone with my book.
Concerned it might become an idol to me, I knelt and asked the Lord if I shouldn’t be talking with Him or reading my Bible during alone times instead of rushing to the computer. I felt Him whisper
to my heart, “I thought we were writing this book together.” Joyful, I turned on my CPU. I finished my first draft, all 130,000 words, and bravely attended my first writer’s workshop where I learned a whole list of things I needed to do to improve my book. Excited, I went right to work and applied what I’d learned. During that second draft there were incredible moments of inspiration when I felt the Holy Spirit combine my life and my writing, whispering His truth into my book.
Months later, a second draft complete, I attended another seminar. I learned some technical things I’d done wrong and called my husband weeping. I’d have to rewrite the whole book to fix the problems.
After the initial emotion, I felt encouraged. The Holy Spirit had taught me, inch by inch, exactly what I needed to know. If I’d been given all the teaching in one big lump, the task would have been too overwhelming.
Incrementally, the learning continued.Another teacher helped me find my own style. A book pointed out the mistakes that made me look like a beginner. A professional came alongside of me when I lost heart, helped me contact editors and pointed out ways to improve my book and proposal. At a conference a famous author took a red pen to my first chapter, showing me little things, nuances and pacing, which improved my story.
Sensing God’s involvement in my life has made the writing process worthwhile, whether or not I ever become a best selling author. I’ve felt Him stir my heart as words pour onto a page and
can catalog His tutorage. He never sent new information before I could receive it. But, He always gave it just in time. While learning to be a novelist, I’ve discovered something even more important: the Holy Spirit is my Teacher, ever near, ever involved in my life.
Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets. Her first novella, “You’re a Charmer Mr. Grinch,” included in the collection Postmark Christmas, and her first historical novel, Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal, released in 2012. Paula serves as Colorado Coordinator for ACFW. Visit her at www.PaulaMoldenhauer.com.