Major Changes in Life! (I Deleted My Manuscript)

All right, guys.

I meant it when I said this post will be brutally honest. And to start, I’ve got to tell you that I’m freaked out to finally be writing this post. I’m about to be very vulnerable about a lot of things, and I’m scared for that. Admittedly, that’s part of the reason I’ve held off on this. Yes, I needed time to figure everything out, but I was also scared to reveal what’s been going on.

Y’all know that for weeks I’ve been mysteriously referencing a sort of crisis in my life in regards to The Apostle’s Sister and The Anointed. But really, it’s so much more than just with my novels themselves. I need to share what’s been going on.

And about the title… I know some of you might have been quite startled when you read it. Don’t worry, I am absolutely not clickbaiting you – I did delete my manuscript, or rather, manuscripts. I’ll get to that in a bit.

First, let’s kick this off with an announcement. I’m sad to be making this announcement, but at the same time it’s freeing, and I hope y’all will understand.

Story Sundays are coming to a close.

The sad news is that Story Sundays are coming to a close.

I’m sad about this because I’ve immensely enjoyed the weekly discussions. It’s so much fun to give you guys updates, write the diary entries, and discuss! Your responses to the Discussion Questions are always enlightening and brightening for me to read. I appreciate the support you all have shown for this story and these characters.

I’d like to take a moment to give Madi’s Musings a special shoutout. She has taken the time to regularly read Story Sundays and share with me some wonderful, long, in-depth thoughts. Thank you, Madi! Your comments have opened my eyes to so many things. I’d like to thank her specifically, but all of you have taught and encouraged me.

I’ve learned so much from Story Sundays; the diary entries and discussions have really helped me to gain a much better understanding of my story and characters. But I had to make the decision to discontinue them, and I know y’all will understand.

I don’t have the time to put these out weekly. Oftentimes I find myself scrambling at the last minute to put them together, staying up late to be sure I get it out on Sunday. And it’s been a joy. But God has impressed upon me that I need to slow down and get some of the pressure off myself – both pressure to give updates on my writing and to complete a diary entry each week.

So I will no longer be doing Story Sundays. I’m really going to miss them! I hope you guys loved this series as much as I did. I’m sad to be bringing it to a close, but at the same time I’m relieved that I’m no longer making that an expectation of myself.

I know this was probably unexpected news, and I sincerely apologize. Thank you so much for always understanding and supporting.

And remember that all Story Sundays will always be there for you to read and discuss if you’d like!

What happened to The Anointed?

You may or may not have noticed that The Anointed is no longer listed under my Works in Progress. This is because I will no longer be working on that novel.

This decision came with a lot of meditation and prayer, as I make it a rule never to decide anything on a whim. I have had it impressed on me that this novel wasn’t quite right. And when you ask God for guidance, you’ll know in your heart that he’s leading you to start a certain thing, continue with it, or stop it. I knew God was giving me this feeling that something wasn’t quite right, and as things became clearer I knew I was going the wrong direction with The Anointed. I hadn’t been listening to God’s voice, and that had to change before I did anything else. So I deleted the manuscript – I believe I had about fifty or so pages written.

I don’t regret the decision because I know it was the right one. In fact, I believe it’s been over a month already since I deleted that manuscript, and I’ve never felt anything but unburdened. I’ve never once regretted the deletion.

However, guys, don’t get discouraged, because I’m certainly not discouraged! I am absolutely not giving up on Seth’s character – God is not giving up. I’m excited to see what direction God will take Seth. He’s such a crucial and important part of Paul and Temira’s story, and he needs infinity times more attention and depth. And he’s going to get it – I can promise that and never break that promise. Trust God, not me – and God says it’s going to happen. So whatever direction he leads me, do know that he has amazing plans for Seth, and everything will turn out incredibly. I know that, and I want you all to know it, too. Even if we don’t know how God will do it, we know he will.

That’s not the only manuscript I deleted.

Now we get to the part I’m sure may come as a shock to many of you. And this is also the news I’m most nervous to give.

I deleted my entire first draft manuscript of The Apostle’s Sister.

I actually did this only last Friday, and I can’t begin to describe how freeing it was. And still is.

So why did I do it?

Before I tell you guys why I did it, I want to immediately explain something first. I AM CERTAINLY, UNQUESTIONABLY, UNWAVERINGLY STILL WRITING THE APOSTLE’S SISTER! DON’T EVER FEAR THAT I WILL EVER STOP.

I apologize if that sounded like I was screaming internally, LOL, but I just had to capitalize and bold that statement. I am not ever giving up on The Apostle’s Sister, because my Jesus is not giving up on me or the novel. He’s given me this beautiful passion, purpose, and calling in my heart, and I’ve got to do what he wants me to do. He wants me to write The Apostle’s Sister. So I’m going to do it.

Like the decision with The Anointed, I did not make this decision on a whim. It was something I came to realize God wanted me to do, after much meditation and prayer.

Now to explain why I deleted my entire manuscript. And to be honest, I’m just not sure how to explain so you will understand. Perhaps you won’t understand this, and I’m fine with that. I don’t expect you to. This is something that only God and I will always understand best. I know you all will support me and cheer me on, and that’s what I need.

Why I deleted my first draft manuscript of The Apostle’s Sister:

I didn’t take the novel in the direction which God wanted. Like with The Anointed, I wasn’t listening to God’s voice when I wrote the majority of it. There were some parts of it that showed I had been following Christ’s guidance as I wrote them; but sadly, there were many more parts that showed I hadn’t been giving ear to his wisdom. I was grieved over that. God gave me an incredible calling, and I treated it lightly. I asked for forgiveness, and I deleted the manuscript. God gave me an incredible gift – the gift of knowing St. Paul as a real person and writing his beautiful story; and consequently, the gift of opportunity to draw closer to Jesus. And I treated that lightly. I never want to do that again. I want to start over, taking everything in God’s own time, prayerfully and seriously. Still having fun, of course, but not taking lightly his holy calling. I deleted everything except the few snippets I’ve shared on this website and a couple on Kingdom Pen. I also kept the first four chapters, which I have transformed to be truly God-honoring.

I want to ask forgiveness of all of you as well if I have ever shared anything at all on this website that wasn’t truly God-honoring, or if I have ever acted like I am a perfect Christian writer. This is very humbling for me to admit.

God has laid The Apostle’s Sister on my heart, and I believe in my heart that the story is inspired by him. I’ve finally realized that this gift is not to be taken lightly. I’m amazed that he’s given me this and entrusted me with this, even while knowing how broken, proud, reckless, and ungodly I am. I’m amazed that in his mercy, he is still saying to me, “I want you to write The Apostle’s Sister.”

I am so grateful.

I’m going to get closer to Jesus. I’m going to strive to be a better Christian. I’m going to strive to be kinder, more compassionate, gentler, quieter, more loving, and more caring. I’m going to write the Word on the tablet of my heart. That’s what I’m going to focus on.

The truth is that where I am right now, I don’t have much of the spiritual maturity needed to write this incredible story. I need to grow in my faith. I no longer want this novel to be published before high school graduation, because I know I won’t be ready. I won’t be ready for a long, long time. I’m in this commitment, this covenant, for the long haul. We’re looking at ten years at least. Maybe I’ll still be writing this story when I’m thirty. Maybe forty. Only God knows. I’m willing to do that. I’ve already made my vows to Jesus. I’m going to do it. What I do know is that this story will be published one day, and when it is, there will be nothing in it that is not God-honoring and spiritually mature. There will be nothing in it that I regret. Oh, how joyful and rewarding it will be the day I see it published, all because I know I kept the faith while working so hard on it! I’m so looking forward to that day – but just as much, I’m looking forward to getting incredibly close to God all these years I will be writing it.

This story has captured my heart because God commanded it to do so. I’m not overwhelmed or even disappointed when I think of the years of work ahead. I’m joyful and excited and honored that God actually trusts me with such a calling. He could have given it to anyone else, but he chose me. I just can’t get over that. Now I know more than ever how Paul felt when he thought with amazement and gratitude that God chose him for the apostleship, despite all he had done.

This story is my statement of faith.

And y’all? I have so much peace in my heart.

I can’t wait.

So lead me, Lord Jesus!

Love and blessings to you all.

And, of course, you know the drill – eat, pray, write, repeat!


29 thoughts on “Major Changes in Life! (I Deleted My Manuscript)

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  1. Thank you for sharing, JC. ❤ I completely understand and will be rooting for you as you soldier on in this journey! The writer life can be tough–and it’s definitely important to make sure that what you’re writing falls in line with what God wants you to write, which is something I’ve been wrestling with a bit lately, too. I commend you for the courage to say no to things that were holding you down and look forward to seeing what God has in store for your life and your writing moving forward! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Allie! This means the world. I appreciate your sharing that it’s something you struggle with, too. I hope we’ll all learn to focus on our relationship with God, more than we focus even on our writing. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so overwhelmed with how difficult this must have been! I’m only a here-and-there kind of writer, but I had almost all my WIPS deleted in a computer breakdown and that really hurt, so I am amazed at your commitment to your faith in order to purposefully delete your own and start over! I totally get it, what you mean about “knowing” you still have a ways to go to be spiritually mature, but I just wanted to encourage you that this decision that you made; this deletion of your own will and opening yourself to God’s will; is a huge sign of some major spiritual maturation in your life! So wow, I look up to you for this! Keep doing what you’re doing – striving for spiritual maturity! XX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, that sounds terrible. I’m so sorry you had to go through that kind of loss – it must have been beyond disappointing.
      This whole comment is a huge encouragement to me! I never thought of it as deleting my own will and growing in spiritual maturity. Now that I know that, it’s going to be such a comfort as I continue to navigate this time.
      Thank you so much! 💗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Aww, absolutely!! Yep, it was pretty tough, but in a way I’m glad, because it felt like some of those drafts were kind of holding ME back, so I guess it was God’s way of sparing me the difficulty of deleting them myself! XD I hope you have an amazing day!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Girl, I LOVED how you ended this, how you’re so focused on doing exactly what God has called you to do. It’s very inspiring!! YOU GO, GIRL!!!!!! Keep on pressing forward, the Good Lord has got you and as always, you’re in my prayers. 🙏🙏🙏 I can’t wait to see where God’s going to take you and this beautiful story of yours and I’m so honored to be walking this journey with you. And I just want to tell you I’m so proud of how you’re letting God lead your story. (Also, I know it’s two very different situations, but I almost deleted my manuscript for Into the Lamp one time so I really understand a lot of what you’re going through. <33 Cheering you on all the way!!!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thank you! Really appreciate the prayers; they are needed. Praying for you as well! And it’s a sigh of relief to know I’m not the only writer who has deleted a manuscript. Cheering you on, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!! Well, I’ve never actually deleted a manuscript (though I have thrown away the ones I’ve written by hand before) I was just saying that I almost did it. <333

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m really glad that you’re not entirely giving up on those stories, and I’m proud of you for making an ultimately beneficial but undoubtedly difficult decision. Progress is not always linear, and sometimes you have to backtrack and undo things to really move forward. I wish you all the best as you rewrite these stories and make them what they’re meant to be. It can’t be easy writing this sort of book, especially with all the weight you want it to carry, but in time you’ll be able to do it!
    In terms of abandoning your “published by high school graduation” deadline, I get that. Back in middle school I said, “I want to be published by 16!!!” But that didn’t happen, and in retrospect, I’m glad, because at 16, I was only just starting to grasp my true goals as a writer and how to make it happen. I wasn’t ready then. And I’m still not ready now. And while I’d love to send my first query letter out by college graduation, I can’t say for sure if I’ll be ready then. If I am, great! But if not, then I’m not sending it out just to send it. Publishing young is cool, but you shouldn’t rush yourself just to say you did it if that means sacrificing the book’s true potential. You’ll get these books into the world one day, when they’re the best they can be. In the meantime, just keep putting the work in, and you’ll at least be on your way to that great someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this entire comment!
      Oftentimes I’ve struggled with that goal, thinking that to say it’s not my goal anymore is to give up on myself. (If that makes sense. XD) I’m so grateful to you for sharing your own experience with it. You put it perfectly – I’m only just starting to grasp my true goals and my future as well. Ah yes – we definitely don’t want to send out queries just to send them! We writers shouldn’t sell ourselves short. And it’s understandable that at fifteen (my age right now) I don’t know a whole lot yet.
      Aw, thank you so much! Your support to me and my stories means the world. 💗


  5. I was so amazed while reading your post, JC!!!💗 Amazed at how you listen to God and do what He says no matter what, no matter how hard it is! Amazed that you are willing to be patient with TAS so that you will fulfill God’s plan for your life and your writing! Your humility when you asked for forgiveness truly inspired me. I pray that God will humble me as well and convict me of my wrongs so that I may not continue to do them and affect others. God has great plans for your life and your story!!! He is using you in AMAZING ways!!!! <33333 Already, I have been inspired by your humility, dedication, passion, and love for God!!! And I am SO blessed to be friends with an awesome daughter of the King!!!💗💗💗 Love you, girl!!!! <33333 *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you! Such a kind message. Pride is definitely a thing I struggle with, so little JC needs to be brought down more than once in a while. Good thing she has a good God to do that for her. (Why am I talking about myself in third person? XD)
      On a completely serious note, this entire comment is very encouraging to me. I don’t know if I deserve half the kind words y’all write to me on here, but I’m so grateful for them. You’re amazing and God will lead you incredible places as well! I’m touched that you care about me and TAS that much. *hugs*


  6. GIRL. I almost had a heart attack when I say this post’s title! All I could think about was you accidentally losing your manuscript. Been there, done that, didn’t want to learn that you have to experience the same heartbreak.

    Awww, Joy. I’m so touched. ❤ Your Story Sundays were wonderful and were great not only for drawing readers in, but conveying the heart and soul with which you write. Plus, you had some awesome conversation topics.

    It's hard to shelve a story – and completely eliminate the manuscript. Still, you're doing the right thing. You recognize that you're not in the right place spiritually to write The Anointed, and that's quite mature. Some of us would go down kicking and screaming if God impressed upon us to set aside our WIPs (yours truly included). Obviously, for whatever reason, you're not ready to go further with The Anointed. God will impress the need and drive to write it at His exact time, and when He does, you'll rock the world with it.

    We write to touch others, but in the process, we ourselves are changed. I've come from writing two books in particular that've helped me battle through some tough emotions and life events. I definitely think writing The Apostle's Sister is growing, stretching, and altering you according to the will of God. It's both funny and sobering how He uses the gifts, desires, and abilities He's given us to change us so we can help reach the world for Him.

    In the right time, when you're in the right place, your books will be published. God's timing can be difficult to understand, but He has a plan for you and the stories you've wrought – and will write in the future. Keep writing and keep us updated! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oof, I’m sorry I almost gave you a heart attack! And oh goodness, I can imagine how heartbreaking it would be to accidentally lose a manuscript.

      I’m so glad you think so! Once in a while I will share a snippet or an extra scene here and there, or a quote or something, so you’ll hear more from my characters. 🙂

      Thank you so much. I honestly wasn’t sure in my mind if it was the right thing to delete my manuscripts, but in my heart I knew it was, and your heart is right when you listen to God. So I’m glad I did listen.

      That’s awesome! The Apostle’s Sister has already helped me through so much. I relate to Temira on so many levels, and Paul’s love for her means even more than just a brother’s love although that is so powerful. It means that if he would pour so much of himself into love for random people, he surely loved her, and everything he said and did was built on tenderness. It means we can trust his words. (If anything I just said makes any sense, lol.)

      Thanks again! I will! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You made a very mature choice Joy!! It must have took a lot of courage and God given strength to press the delete button. I understand the struggle of being burdened with a challenging story, and deciding to just kinda put a pause on it. I hope you continue to grow closer to God and I pray he’ll continue to guide you with this awesome story you have!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Joy! Wow, I’m really proud of you for making that decision. I know I wouldn’t have the strength to do something like that 😂 so kudos to you. I’ll definitely be praying, and I totally understand what you mean about wanting to become more spiritually mature… I’ve been kinda going through the same stuff in my life right now. Please know that you’ll always have my support throughout your entire journey of writing TAS and with everything else. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks, Kadotake! Yes, it’s important especially for us teens to grow spiritually as well as physically and mentally. Thank you for always being in my corner! I am in yours as well. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, Joy, *HUGS* this was so very brave of you to post! I know this is an old post, but still, I am so very proud of you for doing what you believe God has called you to do. I pray your writing is going well and that you are blessed by honoring Him with your writing. You’ve led me to take a closer look at my own writing and ensure I’m honoring Him with my words. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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