I get asked all the time to write a “behind the scenes” blog about how my writing works. I suppose that I get so used to the deadlines, the juggling, and living in the publishing world that sometimes it’s hard for me to put it into words. It’s easier to explain when someone asks me direct questions. It helps me to know what others really want to know about this crazy writer world that I live in.
This interview took place over a year ago, but while the number of my published books has changed (47!) the basics are still the same. I hope you are blessed by it!
THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT FROM AN INTERVIEW BETWEEN AND TRICIA GOYER.
Justin Blaney: You have written what 30, 33 books?
Tricia Goyer: Yes, 33 that are out.
JB: In how many years? Fifteen years or something…?
TG: About ten years.
JB: That’s incredible!
TG: Yes, that’s a lot of work.
JB: One of the things that I do is I pray in the morning and ask God, “What do you want me to do today? This is your time. If you don’t want me to write today, if you want me to focus on this or that…” Like for example, I just went down to San Diego, and my friend was coming in from somewhere, South Dakota, and I was going to stay at his house. I was supposed to have three or four hours before he was going to arrive, and I thought, “Great! I’m going to sit down and do some writing for 3-4 hours, and then I’m going to go see him in the evening.” Well, he called me and said he needed me to come pick him up in Orange County. So, I spent four hours driving through LA traffic instead of writing. And I thought, “Well, I guess you wanted me to not get any writing done today, God.” You just have to let it go right? Does that resonate with you at all?
TG: Yes and I think it absolutely does. There’ll be times my grandmother’s with me too, so really we have this huge generational thing going on in our home. There are times when I have a book due in two days and I was thinking, “I just need to sit down and have a whole day writing,” then my grandma would want me to go to Walmart. I remember one day, a couple of years ago, when I was with her at Walmart, and it’s not a fast thing when I take her to Walmart. It’s like an hour and a half that were wandering around and looking at everything, and I was just so frustrated. I probably had been waiting for 30 minutes at the end of the checkout line. I’ve got all my stuff so I was just waiting for her and just feeling this tension going inside. Then, it was like the Holy Spirit was saying, “Your grandma is just as important as that book deadline,” and it was like a stab to the heart. You know, I was getting so frustrated because know I was thinking that my writing is so important, but no. My grandma is important, and the kids are important; and sitting down to read stories to my kids, and putting a nice dinner on the table is important.
And so many times, I think we let our priorities come from the world, like USA Today Bestsellers logo on my book, or whatever, and that’s what the world says is important. It’s just like going back to God daily and saying, “God, just show me what’s important. Show me who’s important.” I don’t want to be this bestselling author, but then have my family saying, “Yeah, but she never spends any time with us.” That would be such a waste, and so it is. If we’re tuned in to God’s spirit, I truly think—I truly know that He just lets us know when we’re like “Ok, take a step back. Your book will be done even if you have to ask for a couple more days.” That’ll be fine but it’s definitely tuned in to the Holy Spirit and letting God’s word speak to my heart, and letting His Spirit speak to me and then listening to that still small voice and saying, “You’re right, God. I’m so sorry that I was getting frustrated with my grandma. Just give me peace and patience.” Then I turn in over my day to Him.