Thoughts on writing a book.


I was home alone, except for my dog, when I shouted it. A goal — a dream, really — had been handed to me by an editor at Ave Maria Press, the publishing house that reviewed my book proposal and invited me to write the book I pitched.
A miracle. Truly.
I screamed and danced with my dog, who wasn’t as excited as I was, and I called my mom but she didn’t answer, ’cause she was in a meeting.
In the quiet that followed my response to the news, I sat at the kitchen table, suddenly aware of what the news meant:
I have to write a book.

It was joy and fear, probably like becoming a parent, or something. Like, I want this, this commitment I am getting into, but I tremble humbly and am periodically terrified when I consider its magnitude — when I consider that I am being entrusted with this, that I am responsible for something that is going to affect people.
It is so scary. And it is so exciting.
As of Christmas week, the book’s first draft is done. The work, however, isn’t. I am in round one now of revisions, and am to turn a second draft in on Jan. 13. What is important to me now, as I tweak what I have so far and add to it, too, is this:
the right words.
The words readers need to read to get what they need when they read it.
Every day between now and my next deadline, I will be in the book. My hope is that while I am in the book, you will be in prayer. I will start a novena tonight, to St. Francis de Sales — patron saint of journalists and writers — for the right words as I write. If you’ll join me, in prayer generally, or by committing to a novena, I will be eternally grateful.
Other novenas:

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  • You CAN do this Arleen, take courage. This book is an answer to a long standing prayer and I have ALL faith God will grant you His strength and wisdom to see it done!

    “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6

    I have no doubts.


  • I’m so proud of you, and I can’t wait to read the finished copy. You can do this!!!! I am definitely praying that God helps you find the right words. 🙂

  • Keep fighting the good fight against yourself.
    “More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.” ~ John Irving, writer

  • Congrats, and happy revising. You’re an inspiration!

  • Great job, Arlene. I’m at about the same point in the book I’m writing on trusting God–two-thirds done. You pray for me and i’ll pray for you. Deal?