Friday, June 26, 2009

The Reasoning of the Spirit

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching lately about my writing and where it ought to go. I came up with ideas that really seemed great. I told my crit buddies about them and they thought the ideas were great too. Everything seemed to say "this is the way you should go."

Until I had the opportunity this week, to resubmit some of my work to a publisher with only a few changes to the original manuscript.

I honestly thought my answer would be "no thank you," because the new ideas I'd had for my work made so much more sense. I could go on and on about the why's and wherefore's of my ideas and how they would benefit my book.

Nevertheless, it was a big decision (as in: Do I stick with my new plan and burn the bridge with that publisher? Or do I throw away all the good ideas I just had--and that sounded so darn good--in favor of giving this publisher another shot?) so I thought I ought to ask Heavenly Father about it.

I have found that the best and most reliable way to receive answers in prayer is to go with your decision already made, and then ask to know if you have made the right decision. I laid it out for Father, then told him I had decided to kindly pass on the opportunity and stick with the new changes I had been outlining.

And He disagreed.

At first, I thought maybe I'd misunderstood the answer as I felt it. But the next day, I continued to feel good about working on the changes the publisher had requested. I saw in my mind how the book could be improved, and more importantly, how the story, while less tantalizing perhaps, would have the potential of more clearly delivering the story I wished to tell. And, the more I tried to think about the changes I had just the day before loved, the more I found them hard to hold on to--they just wanted to slip from my mind.

I prayed again, just for clarification, and was relieved to be well and truly educated about the best path for this book. I had thought, previously, that the best path was the one that would lead to higher readership and sales. And boy, that sounds good, doesn't it? But now I know that success can be measured in more than one way.

So now I have to go to all my friends and take back everything I said about why I needed to change my story. I got the advice from the one Person who's opinion really matters and I'm going to go with what He said. So there.