Friday, November 25, 2011

Novel Writing and Homeschooling

by Suzanne Hartmann

Homeschooling and writing a book are both time-consuming activities. Yet that’s what God has called me to do. I’ve questioned Him over and over, but He leads me to the same conclusion every time. Why would He ask me to add a second all-consuming project to my already busy schedule? I still don’t know the answer; I just know I need to obey.

The next question becomes, “How do I do it all, Lord?” The simple answer is that I don’t. I’ve had to learn to relax my standards and let go of some of the tasks that I think are important. Although I still make lists (I love lists!), I seek God’s guidance each morning, and pray, “Lord, what is it that You know I need to get done today? Direct my thoughts to those activities and chores.” I’m far from perfect at sensing God’s guidance, but I have found that when I actively listen for Him instead of worrying about how I’m going to do it all, things seem to get done. I’m not sure how, but they do.

I thought my plate was already heaping with homeschooling, writing, blogging, networking (it is necessary for authors to have an on-line presence), then a publishing house offered me a contract on my first book, PERIL: A Fast Track Thriller. That added a third time-consuming activity to my schedule: marketing. I tried to do it all, but it only led to frustrations and tears. 

I finally went to the Lord (which I should have done from the beginning). This time I didn’t ask how I could do it all; I confessed that I couldn’t do it all. God reminded me that His timing is perfect. My children are older now. They don’t need my constant involvement or supervision. There’s no way I could have accomplished writing and homeschooling, much less networking and marketing when my children needed me almost every single moment during schooltime.

Once I finally realized I couldn’t do it all myself, God directed my attention to Matthew West’s song, Strong Enough. I now think of it as my theme song, especially when it comes to marketing. The first few lines really say it all.

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God calls each of us to do things that are beyond our abilities. My call is to write Christian fiction, but there are as many calls as there are people. What is God calling you to do? He promises that He will equip those whom he calls, and I have seen that time and again throughout my writing journey. The fact that I am now published is a testament to His faithfulness, not my ability. Whatever the call on your life, say yes to God. It may seem insurmountable to you, but only in your own strength. When we lean on Him, we can truly claim the promise in Phil. 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

Thank you for hosting me today and letting me share my story. I hope it has been an inspiration for your readers. For those who are interested in reading PERIL, I challenge you to find the name I gave a minor character which most homeschoolers will recognize (although I changed the spelling). I also hope you enjoy reading about a main character who homeschools and homeschooling being presented in a light where it is a normal, natural part of the character’s life.

One last thing. Please join me in celebrating the release of  my debut novel, PERIL: Fast Track Thriller #1 by entering in my KINDLE GIVE-AWAY from Nov. 18 – Dec. 16 To enter, click here: WIN A KINDLE (

            Suzanne Hartmann is a homeschool mom of three and lives in the St. Louis area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Composition & Linguistics from Western Illinois University. When not homeschooling or writing, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, and Bible study. PERIL: Fast Track Thriller Bk. #1 is her debut novel.
            On the editorial side, Suzanne is a contributing editor with Port Yonder Press and operates the Write This Way Critique Service. Through her blog, Write This Way, she has become known as an author who can explain writing rules and techniques in easy-to-understand terms. Her popular Top 10 series of articles formed the basis for her e-book on the craft of writing, Write This Way: Take Your Writing to a New Level

PERIL: A Fast Track Thriller:
A top secret agent with enhanced strength must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments when she escorts the first Muslim king to convert to Christianity to the White House and a NASCAR track. When unwanted publicity and the attention of a NASCAR champion threaten to expose her, she herself becomes a terrorist target, with danger surrounding her on all sides.
“Plenty of action and unexpected twists.”
Foreword by Jimmy Makar, GM of Joe Gibbs Racing
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