Or so I thought. I stood in that phone booth and cried. Frustrated, the tears felt like defeat in a sea of have-dones. People shuffled past me carrying completed manuscripts on their way to meetings with publishing houses and yet, I stood in the corner; on the phone with my mother-in-law, who was just meddling in my business. “I don’t write other people’s books,” I touted, smug and arrogant.
“Well, just give her a call,” she said with so much patience and hope I felt guilty.
“Fine. I will when I get home.” We said our good byes and I hung up the phone.
B-lining for the bathroom stall, I hid there and let the tears freely flow. Something was burning in my soul in ways I had never felt before. I had only been blogging for less than a year, yet I knew it in the marrow of my bones.
I was born to write.
But I wasn’t the one on my way to a book contract. Storming to the next conference session, I mumbled under my breath, “I don’t write other people’s books; I have glory stories all my own.”
I sat down in the last available seat just as the presenter was taking the stage. A burly looking guy with a long grey ponytail took the podium without a single note in his hand. “Who is this guy, again,” I thought as I thumbed through my conference packet.
Oh right, some amazing author who’s published over 150 books. Yes. You read the right, OVER 150 books. Even so, at first impression I’d decided this session wasn’t for me.
I won’t lie, I was angry and wasn’t really paying any attention. Naturally, I blamed him. “He is too disorganized as a presenter, I can’t even follow what he’s saying.” “This doesn’t apply to me.” “He’s not making sense.” All horrible things I thought as I stewed in my chair. I doodled. I checked email. I thought about what I wanted for dinner.
And then he said, “I had the distinct honor of writing someone’s biography. And it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. Not because it was someone famous, but because my life was forever changed through the process.”
I looked up.
I wrote three little words and nothing else for his entire 45 minute session. Three little words: “think about it.” This author had made millions on the books he sold. For real, this dude wrote for a LIVING and was living a real life while doing it. He’d already “hit it big”, and yet, writing someone else story was “the most amazing thing he’d ever done.”
But not to the presenter. I listened to what God was whispering through the details of this burly, white-ponytailed author. Each one of us has a story to tell. We’ve all walked a journey of wonder, of tragedy, and of triumph. All of our stories are places of splendor and wisdom; of depth and glory.
But glory isn’t found where we think it should be. We think glory is something to own, to hold onto. We think glory is in the ending—when in fact it is in the process. Glory is something revealed and set free to shine.
Sitting in the audience of that New York Times Best Selling Author I didn’t hear tips on how to co-write or even how to ghost write. Nope.
I heard wondrous tales of mining for glory.
And over three years later I have written someone else’s book.