Hashtaggery, Never, and God

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hello, Bree's blog friends!  You may be wondering who in the world I am, this person who's writing on Bree's blog.  Well, the truth is, I kidnapped Bree and held her for ransom, tortured her blog password out of her, and am now sabotaging her corner of the internet.  Mwahahahaha!

No?  You aren't falling for it?  Aw.  It was a cool story!

Actually, I'm Bree's Twitter friend, J. Grace Pennington.  She asked me if I'd guest post here while she's NaNoing away like a crazy little writer, and I heartily agreed!  I mean, who doesn't want a chance to take over a friend's blog for a day?

Bree and I connected on Twitter 'cause we're both writers, and have some of the same writer-friends.  It's an awesome community, wherein most of the tweets consist of 140-character-excerpts, the woes of not being able to find the right word, and hashtags such as #amwriting, #amediting, #ampublishing, and #NevertheNovel.  Things like that.

What, you're not familiar with #NevertheNovel?  Sorry.  For me it comes so naturally in line after the others, because I've written, edited, and now #ampublishing this particular novel called Never.  Publishing it on the twenty-third of this month, in fact.  So it's very understandable that a great many of my tweets these days contain that particular hashtag.

Never may seem like a bit of an unusual title for a book.  Fact is, when I went to title it, there was nothing else that fit it so perfectly.  You see, the theme of the novel is "never."

How can "never" be a theme?  Well, it's not, all on its own.  But when paired with words like "compromise" or "give up" or "stop fighting," it becomes a very strong theme.  That's the theme that #NevertheNovel tackles.

But you know the funny thing?  I wrote this particular novel exactly two years ago, for NaNoWriMo 2010.  I don't know what drew me to this message at the time--it just sortof came to me.  I had to tell this story, this story about never giving up.  I didn't think much of it at the time.  I just wrote it, then set it aside for about a year and a half.

Once I was persuaded to try to publish it, I started work on it again, about five months ago.  Since then, I've gone through confusing and conflicting feedback, rewritten the entire thing, and edited it more than half a dozen times.  At times during the revision process I went through long periods of spiritual battle, I watched half my friends suffer from depression, anxiety, illness, and more, and I'd find myself crying as I wrote along, as my mind linked portions of the book with people I knew who were hurting.  The editing and publishing process has been so intensive that I told people a number of times that I didn't care about the book, and didn't want to ever think about it, let alone work on it, again.

Is it any coincidence that the object of all this toil was an emblem of the message "never give up"?

Each time I was low, and sick, and so weary of this story and of working on it, I'd come upon a passage where one of the characters struggles not to give in to torture, weariness, or fear.  And then I'd remember the reason I was writing this.  It's for every one of my friends who has suffered these past months, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  It's for those I love, both family and friends, who struggle every single day against not only flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world.  And ultimately, it's for the only One who can give us the strength to press on when the world is falling down around us, when we're consumed by the darkness, and when we feel we can't go on a moment longer.

The strength to say "never."

I didn't know any of this when I was madly typing away at my 50,000 words in the fall of 2010.  I didn't know how hard the publishing process was going to be, or everything that would be happening at this time in my life.

But Someone Else knew.

All the hastags I've tended to use for this project have highlighted my part in it.  #amwriting, #amediting, #ampublishing.  But the truth is, not one of those things were ever in my control.  To be more accurate, the hashtags should reflect that the story is not in fact mine to write, edit, publish, and do with as I please.

Instead, #NevertheNovel is #HisStory.

10 comments

  1. Wow. Tis all I have to say.

    Great post.

    -Jess V

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    1. *smiles* I'm glad you liked it, Jessie. :)

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  2. Great post, Grace. I, of course, am loving the last part especially. :D Great job! ^_^

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    1. Thank you, Jeremiah! I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  3. *chuckles * This certainly has a Grace flair. :D I can't wit for Never to come out. :D

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    1. *wonders what exactly a "Grace flair" is* o.O ;) Thank you, Kaitlyn! :D

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  4. This is amazing! I am a writer too! :)

    Love,
    Hannah

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    1. Thank you, Hannah! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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