Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Testing Faith

by Laura O'Connell

Have you ever had a book that you started a long time ago that you’re wondering if it will ever be finished? You’ve revised it countless times, some parts of it more than others, and still you’re not happy with it?

I have one such work in progress that has had its fair share of revisions with three different plots, all with countless re-writes. I just can’t seem to get my head around where I’m supposed to be going with it. I started this work when I was working full-time, in my other life fifteen years ago. I’ve been fortunate to have critique partners who have looked at the work and given wonderful constructive criticism. However in each of those critiques, I found different ways of telling the story and how it might be told. All wonderful and inspiring ideas: thank you critique partners!

The writing of this manuscript is tough. At the moment I’m wondering if I should delete the work from my hard drive and forget I ever thought about writing it. What will this achieve? No more manuscript, great, but the memory will still be there lurking in the shadows peering into the light every now and then to remind me it’s still there. I have to deal with this manuscript in a positive way. I’m not one to run and hide when challenges arise. I looked at this one and asked what my motivation for writing this story is?

What a surprise and the Lord has definitely been doing some work in me! I wrote it thinking it was going to be a bestseller. That no one had ever thought of this plot and I was the chosen one to tell this story. I was in my infancy in my walk with Jesus and believed this book would change the world. Certainly, I needed a reality check and a good lesson in how to be humble. This is at the basis of why it has taken me so long to get this work finished.

Back at the drawing board, I sent my ego packing and asked the Lord to check my heart and erase this false motivation and find the real answer to why it should be written. Not only has the writing of this book tested my faith, but my patience, and the acceptance of where I’ve come from. What a journey! So another draft to write and then maybe another and another. However long it takes, I’m here for the long haul and may the story be better than I could have imagined and more importantly, I will become a better person through the experience.

I want to encourage you today: if you’re finding the writing task difficult, take the time to examine why you’re writing that project. You might be surprised at the journey you’ve been on to get this far and that elusive worm that’s holding you back may work its way through your work to surprise you.

Laura O’Connell lives with her husband, Frank, in tropical Queensland, Australia. She writes women’s fiction that inspires and challenges. You can connect with her at her website at Her next work, Web of Lies is currently being edited and a release date will be advised on her website and Facebook page as soon as the editing is finalised.


  1. Hi, Laurel. I can certainly identify with rewrites and struggling to find the real story in the jumble of characters and plot situations. I urge you not to delete. Someday it will fall together in your mind. Or not. There is nothing wrong with a story that is only yours. All the best to you on Web of Lies.

  2. I can identify too, Laura. I wrote my first non-fiction work last year and whether it ever gets published or not, the journey of writing it was invaluable to me. I hope you can move through this final editing phase as painlessly as possible though!

  3. Hi Laura, thanks for visiting with us today :) I'm so looking forward to reading the published version of Web of Lies after watching this story evolve.

  4. KEEP WORKING on it girl! I can't even remember how many times I rewrote my first book. I dropped off the first two chapters, changed the hero and finally added a prologue and epilogue.

    I also written two other unpublished books from which I've taken scenes and even a character. It's a bit like quilting...using up colourful extra pieces. So be encouraged.

  5. Thank you fellow authors for your encouragement. I won't give up on this story. I appreciate the work our saviour has had to do in me to get this far. Blessings, Laura

  6. Sometimes we just need to wait for the final piece or pieces to a fall into place that will make the whole book come together.Hang in there Laura.

  7. Laura, your walk of faith is inspiring. Keep going on your story. I would love to read it one day.

  8. Thanks for your encouragement, Dale and Malvina, it means a lot to me. :)