I had the privilege to have been one of the contributors in Light for the Writer’s Soul – 100 Devotions by Global Christian Writers, recently launched at Littworld 2015, the world conference of Christian Publishing held in Singapore last week.
Children’s Picture Book on friendship, sacrifice and self-acceptance
My devotional article “Struggle with the Word” (under the Theme “Inspiration”) was about how I wrote my second picture book The Tale of Rusty Horse when I was at the crossroads at the end of a gap year where I was in between jobs. I grappled with whether I should continue trudging forward in writing children’s books (through the tough Singapore publishing market) or beg my ex-bosses for a job and return back to my seemingly glamorous life in the luxury hotel industry.
At that time, I struggled to find the ending to my Rusty Horse manuscript, only to realise that I had turned into Rusty Horse, the old rocking horse who was concerned about crowd approval. When I decided to stop galloping in circles of self-doubt and stay true to that nudging that was in my heart to write, I made peace with Rusty, the dark horse, and completed his story. As if in divine encouragement, The Tale of Rusty Horse won the Moonbeam Gold Medal and was singled out for special mention in the Awards announcement. Many readers have since shared how this book resonated deepest because they felt Rusty’s struggles.
I’ve been flipping through this Devotional book over the past few days and of those I have read to date, a few devotionals jumped out at me:
A Writer in Wonderland by Ivanova Nono Fotso from Cameroon (under the “Trust” theme)
“…Some people say to me, “You write for children? It’s a good start. Keep working, you will soon be able to write for adults.”
They don’t hear the little girl in me chuckling. She knows she will always be ready to dance, skip and wonder…
Jesus said,” Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14)
I too have received similar comments in the past where people have not taken children’s book writing as a real vocation and dismissed it as child’s play. But like Rusty Horse, I have since galloped forward, refusing to be stumbled by crowd opinion.
Clinging to the Dream by Doris Hoover from U.S. (under the “Perseverance” theme)
“…God planted a dream in my heart, the dream of writing devotions about the messages of God through nature…(But the editors) Their rejections slapped my spirit. Like the tree’s roots, my heart hung exposed and vulnerable. I questioned my ability to achieve my dream…Then I understood: as long as I cling to my dream, it will survive.”
For us writers, writing is like a dream, but in the words of my author friend David Seow, “Writing children’s books is no fairy tale.” It is something we need God’s strength to cling on to even when we feel dry and depleted at times.
Writing and Waiting by Marlene Legaspi-Munar of Philippines (under the “Patience” theme)
“…Waiting is part of the writer’s life – waiting for the big idea, waiting for a manuscript to be accepted, waiting for the first book to be published, waiting for a wounded ego to recover from rejection…”
I’m grateful to Media Associates International and Armour Publishing who co-published this book for launch at Littworld 2015. This book of 100 devotional articles by 80 contributing writers from 27 countries, each in 400-word portions, will serve as a writing friend inspiring and encouraging me, when I need a word for my down-days in writing.
And so, I like to encourage 1 person in the creative arts person with a FREE giveaway of 1 copy of this book!
Just tell me:
(1) What area of creative arts you are in?
(2) Why you think this book will be helpful to you?
Leave your comment on this blog or Facebook (if you are linked to my Facebook post) by Sat 21 November to qualify. Since I am sponsoring the book, I will decide on the prize winner (haha…the benefits of sponsorship) :).
- Only for those living in Asia for postage reasons!