I’m delighted to have Rebecca Waters with me again today. Life events can happy which gets us sidetracked from writing. But it doesn’t have to be the end. I hope Becky’s story inspires you to press on and you discover a new author.
by Rebecca Waters.
It was October 2014. Breathing on Her Own, my first novel, was a mere seven months old when my husband died in a bicycle accident. For months I lived in a fog. Although I had several “works in the mill” at the time of Tom’s death, I lost all interest in writing. I have often thought of that season of mourning as the time when the ink ran out of my pen.
I prayed about it. I know our days are numbered and trusted this was Tom’s time. I found comfort in that bit of knowledge. I also know God can see around the corners. I was sure He had given me the opportunity to write and publish because He knew I would need a dream I could lean on, something to occupy me, after that horrible October day.
Before Tom left this earth, even before Breathing on Her Own was released, I crafted two more novels and started a third. But even months after Tom’s death, I couldn’t bring myself to write. I wasn’t interested in talking with publishers. I felt guilty. I thought I was letting God down. He had given me this incredible opportunity and I was doing nothing with it.
I muddled through.
Eventually, I moved. First to a smaller house, then halfway around the world to the tiny southeastern European country of Kosovo. I accepted the challenge of teaching
Albanian fourth graders at an American school. Living in a different country was interesting, challenging, and rewarding. Moreover, I believe it fast-tracked healing in my life. While there, I managed to write a short blog post every week. It was all the writing I could muster. I did it mostly to assure my family I was safe, eating healthy, and making friends.
I had been in Europe for nearly seven months when a writer friend emailed me. She said, “I’ve been reading your blog. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but you’re writing again! You have your voice back!” She convinced me to submit my work to publishers via email. Encouraged, I submitted Libby’s Cuppa Joe to a publisher. Before I heard back, another small publishing house asked me if I had a story taking place in Ohio. They were putting together a collection of stories by Ohio authors with stories set in Ohio. They wanted a novella. I cut more than forty thousand words from one of my earlier works–in-progress and submitted it.
In June, when I returned to the United States, it was with a full heart and two publishing contracts. The novella was released in an anthology called From the Lake to the River in the fall of 2018. Libby’s Cuppa Joe released in March 2019. I’m writing again. It feels good.
Now I understand. I didn’t let God down by not publishing after Tom died. I didn’t let God down when I didn’t feel like writing. He knew what was on the horizon. He knew I wouldn’t be able to write. He knew if I had forced myself to write during those early days following the funeral my stories wouldn’t be at all inspiring. They would be dark and sad so God gave me the books beforehand.
Libby’s Cuppa Joe has met with great success. It is the story of a young woman who opens a coffee shop in Door County, Wisconsin. But perhaps my favorite part of the story is the success of the Breakfast Cookies she serves at the shop. What makes those cookies special to me is that my sweet husband taste tested every recipe I tried. I know he would be happy I am once again finding joy in writing. Click here to buy.
Rebecca Waters Bio
Libby’s Cuppa Joe is Rebecca Waters’ second novel. Her first, Breathing on Her Own remains a successful stand-alone read. Rebecca has published several stories in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as three books for writers: Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing, Marketing You 101, and Writing with E’s. To learn more about Rebecca or to read her weekly blog, visit www.WatersWords.com.
If you have any questions for Becky put them in the comments.