When Your Book Acquires Personality



Our daughter is a lovely, intelligent, spiritual, healthy, well-rounded young woman. It’s hard to believe that she had some major health problems when she was a child. When she was eight years old, she developed a rare malignant tumor, an eosinophilic granuloma, that made a half-dollar-sized hole in her skull.

Three years later, I began writing a book under contract to Zondervan about how to pray in a crisis, based on what I learned through that experience. Just as I was in the midst of writing the book, my daughter fell from a rope that broke, into a brick wall, and had a closed-head concussion on the other side of her skull. Then three weeks later my mother had a debilitating illness.

(My son asked me, “Mom, why do you think we’re having so many crisis things happen when you’re writing a book on crisis?” Me: “Maybe it’s on-the-job training.” Him: “Why don’t you start a book about getting rich?”)

Sometimes a book develops differently because of outside circumstances, as this one undoubtedly did.  I wrote in the last chapter of my own book, Crisis: Crucible of Praise:

From the beginning, writing this book has been like raising a child, a headstrong child at that.  I originally planned for it to be well-behaved, an example for others.

But as it matured, it proved to have a mind of its own. It has run off into places I never intended it to go. It has opened dark cupboards I had forgotten, and dragged out their contents. Instead of it being the reflection of the good qualities I wanted to pass on, it has, like all children, shown its parent to be weak, vulnerable, and prone to mistakes.

And nothing has changed since. My writing hijacks my life on a regular basis. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.




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