What it’s like when I write nonfiction

Nov 12, 2010Write!

I’m writing a challenging book right now–a spiritual warfare book for women. I don’t feel equipped to do so, and most of the time I feel inadequate. But I’m researching like a crazy woman, gathering stories, and praying. I have a team of people praying too.

This is what my desk looks like when I write nonfiction:

Yep, that’s my life with nonfiction. Research. Disarray. Outlines. Confusion. Chaos. Sometimes clear thoughts. Prayers. Sporadic ounces of genius (emphasis on sporadic), lost of musing and talking and mulling.

It’s an entirely different creative process than fiction. For fiction, I get some characters messing with my head, talking to me (yep, I’m crazy), and a general (emphasis on general) idea of the story. Then I sit down and write that puppy. No research. No outlines. No nothing.

But with the responsibility of nonfiction, I have to understand and research and feel led by the Spirit. (I’m sure He leads me when I write fiction too, but I feel the need more keenly when I’m interpreting the Bible.) This book, too, is different than any other nonfiction I’ve written in that I’ve prayed every single day, “Lord, send the manna.” Every day He gives me something to write.

Yesterday I attended a Veteran’s Day assembly, and while at the assembly, God gave me an amazing metaphor and strategic point for the book.

So I may be in chaos. I may need manna every day. But I’m learning to trust God in this process.


If you were to write a nonfiction book, how would you go about it?