- couer et les os -

On the night of the full midsummer moon, as I tried to out-race pain in the bones of my smallest finger, I finished writing my novel. It was a big moment, at least according to my daughter and facebook friends, but my own feelings were so tangled up with doubt, worry, hope, and of course wondering what to write next, that I could not really acknowledge the achievement. I may have written three other books, but the novel is a very old dream I had long ago let go, letting god.

Oh, but my god has a wicked smile and a determination to cross me when it comes to every abandoned hope, every shrugged-away dream.

The next night, for all my typing, I paid the price of considerable pain. For sure, I'd hurt all through those three months, but that was heart-ache. It was worry and doubt, and being poked in the ribs by uncertain words, difficult grammar. This now was the deep bone-ache that my smallest finger had been murmuring.

I went to bed contemplating what sort of post I could offer to share My Lessons on Writing a Weekly Serialised Novel. But the raw and unrelievable pain of fibromyalgia carried me far beyond thought. And so this morning I have only three pieces of advice to share on how to write a serialised novel. And how to cope when your god is hauling you back into hope.

Open your heart to the pain and doubt, the pointy pieces, the silences. Say it right out loud : I don't think I'm worthy. Feel the fear, but nevertheless, and with wild and ferocious trust, let yourself get carried away.

I promise, all the pieces will fall into place as you go. Decisions I made late in the story were supported by things I'd written earlier, as if I was telling the story backwards in memory. You will always be given what you need, even if you don't recognise it until much later.

And offer your bones. Writing is a physical act. It has physical consequences. I am fragile, my bones hurt, and yet still I will go on writing, because it is where the magic and the mortality meet in me.

Know your frailties. I knew my heart would ache, and I knew why. I also knew all that typing would lead to problems. I wasn't surprised when the pain hit hard. Being aware of the risk meant that I could consent to it. I think that's something often left out of messages about God's intervention in our lives. We get to say yes or no to the promises of Love and its risks. Saying no is okay : every heart grows in its own time. Saying yes opens us to the potential for pain.

But Love is worth it. I don't just have a novel written (for better or worse). I have proof that my god will not just leave me sitting forlorn and wordless in the scrappy wishes of a lost hope. That's worth everything.

(I took this post down for a while. I'm putting it back up again because ... well, I don't want to tell you why because. I know why, and I hug me for it.)


  1. So many wonderful words from you here. I don't know where to begin. Congratulations on finishing the book! There are some very specific words here that mean something very special extra super duper important to me. More on that later. Just. For now. I send peace and love. :D

  2. Thank you for these words, especially the ones about opening your heart to the pain and doubt. I feel those every day I sit down to write.

  3. Thankyou for your gentle and moving words.
    Jess x

  4. Congratulations on finishing, on never giving up and pushing through despite everything.