The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.
Often these days, as I look back over the last year, that little song from The Lord of The Rings has been going through my head. In February of 2014, Jenny’s Choice, the last book in my Apple Creek Dreams series for Harvest House reached print, and it arrived just in time for a huge drop in the publishing business that saw major publishing houses dropping their fiction departments and jettisoning new authors.
My agent had my latest proposal, the people who read my first series gave me wonderful feedback, Jenny’s Choice had a 4.8 star rating on Amazon, but I still didn’t have a new contract. In the midst of that, I had been working full time and getting ready to sell the home that I had lived in for fifteen years while preparing to move to another state. So by the time I would finally sit down to write, my mind was la table rasa, the blank slate. Oh, it’s not that I didn’t have any ideas for books; it’s just that with everything that was happening I just couldn’t put my stories into words.
Has that ever happened to you? So what’s the solution?
When I signed my first deal to write the Apple Creek Dreams series, the road to that event was totally engineered by the Lord. I really didn’t do anything except listen to Him and go where He directed. And of course I had to write the books. But here’s what I discovered. If you are a Christian who loves to write, that is a gift from God. After all, He is The Word, and He communicates to us through His written word. So when we write, we are living in His image. And we have to remember then that what we write is from Him and it is to be used for His purpose, in His time, and for His glory. That takes a real load off.
A good book is not about fame and fortune, even if your mind is demanding recognition. For a Christian, writing should be about presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that impacts the spirit and soul of those who read your book. And that could be millions or maybe only one. But that one person may find eternal life in the words you write, and that is reward enough.
So I just kept writing, and finally the next book began to take shape. In June of 2015, I put “The End” on the story of Rachel Hershberger, The Amish Heiress. I am self-publishing the book because I believe it is a story the Lord gave me to write. And if I never get another contract, I will keep writing, because that’s what the Lord has for me.
So, going back to the little song: if you have a story, you are on a road that is going somewhere, even though you may not know where it will lead. So keep writing, be strong, fear not. For the Lord is with you and you must follow, if you can.
Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States. In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. The books are historical Amish fiction and the first book, A Quilt for Jenna, was released February 1, 2013. The second book in the series, The Road Home, was released September 1, 2013. Book number three, Jenny’s Choice, came out February 1, 2014. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first book, The Amish Heiress, will be out in August, 2015. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.
Where can readers find me online?
Where can readers purchase the Apple Creek Dreams Series?
The Amish Heiress will be available in August on Amazon, B&N and GoodReads.