In late March, I started writing a military suspense. If you know me, you know this is way, way different than anything I've done before. I started the book because my awesome agent asked me to and, after prayer, I truly believed it was the right thing to do. Actually, that sentence shouldn't say "was the right thing," I still fully believe it is the right thing.

I got halfway through the book. That's when it all fell apart. I went back to revise the first half and realized this is the worst work I've ever done. The characters, while alive to me, lay dead on the page. (And not because somebody murdered them. Okay, one of them was murdered, but not the important two.)

What happened?

Because of some pretty intense personal things, I took a couple of days off writing. And in prayer time, God let me know pretty heavy duty why things ran totally off the tracks.

I sat down every day to write a book for my agent, for my audience, for an editor, for my husband (who is pretty excited about this one...). There was not one single day of that writing when I sat down and made God and what He wanted the priority on this book. Not one. With the other two books, I sat down every day and said, "God first, everybody else second." When it came to this manuscript, after He gave me the go-ahead to write it, I never thought of Him at all. God gave me a talent and an idea, and I took off running without Him.

So what do I do? First things first... God and I had a long talk. This is His now. Second, every morning I sit down to write, I talk to Him about it first. This has to be for Him first, and then for Sandra and editors and other readers. If He isn't first, there's no point in starting at all.

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." -Colossians 3:17 (NASB)

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