My reading choices include a variety of genres. In non-fiction I read Bible studies and Christian living books. When I find a book that can apply to more than one area of my life, I am particularly intrigued. A resource of this nature is one that will remain on my shelf and be re-read and highlighted for future reference.
When I read Destination Hope, A Travel Companion for When Life Falls Apart by Marilyn Nutter and April White, I knew I had found a publication I could rely on frequently.
As I read the stories in Destination Hope, I saw a correlation between navigating the hurdles of our human pain with the barriers we face as writers.
Wordcraft is difficult. The population of non-writers may read a book and think the author sat down and penned the words on the page in a matter of hours. They are not aware of the frustration, rewrites, editing, and explosions of “this will never work” a writer endures.
Marilyn Nutter and April White captured how the challenges of life are answered by the anchor of hope. We need this foundation to hold on to as much in journalistic endeavors as we do in everyday living.
One chapter of Destination Hope discusses triggers. Emotional pain can overwhelm us when a tragic memory surfaces.
What triggers the obstacles to our flow of speech? A past rejection or bad critique? Not winning a contest?
How do we manage these roadblocks? The key is to focus on the reason we live and the reason we write.
Struggles in our personal relationships can hinder our ability to communicate. But when we depend on the power of God and refuse to give up is when we reach a successful pinnacle. And success in verbal expression may not mean a contract or award. Success is when we reach our writing goal and push forward through the doubts and insecurities.
Another chapter discussed soulish detours—those things that blindside us and make us feel as if we have no options. A scribe’s mission is paved with detours and changes. If we allow these transitions in direction to guide us past an event we perceive as a failure, perhaps God is using this detour to redirect us to another adventure. It could be a different idea for an article or devotion, a new critique partner, or guidance toward a publisher.
All these obstacles are overcome by the starting pistol of hope. We hear the burst and take off because we have a goal. In our physical and emotional existence, we want to heal from illness, grief, and disappointment.
In writing we also want to overcome grief and disappointment while we complete an assignment. Expectancy is the catalyst that pushes us forward past the potholes and dangerous curves of rejection, anger, and hurt.
Destination Hope is one book that meets the criteria of what I search for in a non-fiction book—great advice I can refer to over and over. In this case optimism for life and vision for my writing journey.
Barbara Latta is the author of God’s Maps, Stories of Inspiration and Direction for Motorcycle Riders. She has contributed to several anthologies and writes for online magazines and devotional websites. Her column, “Navigating Life’s Curves,” appears monthly in the Pike Journal-Reporter in Zebulon, Georgia and is modeled after her blog by the same name. Barbara and her husband enjoy riding motorcycles, visiting historic sites and spending time with family. They are the parents of two grown sons, two spoiled dogs and are enjoying their one and only granddaughter.