Skirting Insanity by Staci Stallings

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I’ve learned a lot of things about myself by being an author. Some of them are good things like I can start, stick with, and finish long projects. I can do multiple projects nearly simultaneously with little trouble. And I can take the smallest grain of an idea and have the trust to give it to God to see what He will do with it.

While all of those are wonderful, I’ve also learned a few more disconcerting things about myself. When I’m writing, I sometimes completely forget there’s a reality to attend to. Writing tends to take over my sleep patterns as well. In fact, for a while early on, I had to literally make myself not try to think the story at night because my dreams ended up sounding like this:

“Please don’t go,” she said, holding his hand and knowing if he took even one more step she couldn’t go on living.

No, seriously.

When your dreams start sounding that way, you know you’ve been writing WAAAAY too much!

I think one of the more disconcerting things I’ve learned about myself as a writer is that there seems to be a… I don’t even know what to call it… level, dimension, something like that… that I can access not so much by willpower, but ironically by letting go.

Weird. I know.

I believe it’s what some people call “flow.”

What I have learned further is that accessing “flow” is not just about a particularly lucid moment of capturing a scene that is only in your head (which is another cool component of flow). It is also about accessing a “wisdom” in the “flow” of life as well.

I’m going to TRY to explain that using the book that is coming out in June in the “Whispers of Love” collection. The book is called “Flight 259.” This book, probably far more than most of the others, is a lesson in the “flow” of life that I’ve found is accessible only by totally letting go.

First of all, had I been operating on my agenda only, this book probably never would have even been written. You see, I had just started writing 17 years ago, and the book I was writing I had every intention of completing before I started another one. In fact, many writing teachers would gasp in horror at the way I write (another point of my insanity that I’ve learned not to let bother me too much).

In short, I do not write one book at a time. I write six or more, and I go where the Holy Spirit leads when He says to go that direction. But “Flight” came along before I knew that about myself. I was happily writing the other book, and then I had this very vivid dream. By the next morning, I knew most of this story. Not wanting to lose it, I got up and wrote down the pieces I knew. I think I wrote for about an hour—just outline stuff and in no real coherent order.

My plan was to hold onto those notes and write “Flight” when I finished the other one. Well, a day went by and “Flight” was eating at my soul to write. Throwing “how it’s done” to the wind, I sat down and wrote. “Flight 259” was the first full-length novel I ever finished (unless you count the one I wrote longhand in 8th grade!).

And then I went on to write other books. Lots of them.

“Flight” sat on my computer and got transferred and then lost for a while, and then found and reclaimed by buying a floppy disc reader—yes, that’s how old it was! At first, I sent it to New York (NEW YORK!) to be edited. That was before Christian fiction was much of a thing if your name wasn’t Janette Oke, and let’s just say the editor in New York, who charged me $3,000 for the edit, didn’t really “get” the whole Christian thing.

So I put the printed out, marked up pages in the back of a drawer, and I kept writing. I wrote six books before I published any of them. By that time, five years had passed. I revised the others, and although “Flight” got a few attempts at revisions over the years, nothing really came of them. It always went to the back of the “drawer” on my computer and stayed there.

But you see, that’s how this insanity of surrendering your life works. Things often only make sense when you look back on them. Rarely do they make sense looking forward.

So, completely out of the blue, a few months ago I was approached about being in a new collection of books. The catch was it had to be a completely new, never-before-published book. And what book came to mind? “Flight 259.” The book that had laid in drawers and collected cyberdust on my computers for 17 years!

Strangely, I can see that it simply wasn’t ready before now. I can’t explain that other than to say in the “flow” of this version of writer’s insanity, it’s time.

I know God has great things for this story in His Plan because clearly, the writing of it and the releasing of it where formulated in His Plan, not mine. So, I hope all of my readers will buy the collection it’s in because in God’s Plan and mine right now, it will only be available for a limited time in that collection. Then, it won’t be released as its own title until mid-to-late 2017.

I don’t know why. I just know that’s where God is leading, and often that feels very much like skirting insanity!

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2016

Whispers of Love

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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