When Hope is Wishful Thinking…
I welcome my writer friend, Janell Wojtowicz, to my blog.
When Hope is Wishful Thinking..
By: Janell Wojtowicz
Have you ever wondered where authors get the titles for their books? Some are obvious: “War and Peace.” Others at first glance have readers scratching their heads: “Of Mice and Men.” Many books go through several titles until they settle on one. “Tomorrow Is Another Day”, “Not In Our Stars”, “Tote the Weary Load”, and “Bugles Sang True” eventually became “Gone With the Wind.”
My novel, “Embracing Hope,” went through two titles: “A Match Made in Heaven” and “Between Loss and Hope.” It was “hope” than an editor latched on to, and I began evaluating the word.
I always saw hope as the dictionary defines it: a feeling of optimism or a desire that something good will happen (noun); the action of wishing or desiring that something will occur (verb).
But my publisher helped me develop the concept that hope goes beyond the passive sense of desire and wishes.
During Bible study and research on hope, I felt it was overlooked in what I call the Big Three of First Corinthians 13. Faith and love get most of the focus. Millions of sermons, books, websites, and Bible studies are devoted to the various types of love. And we all know that faith is the foundation of our relationship with God. But what about hope, and why is it important?
Based on the dictionary definition, we often see hope as wishful thinking or dreaming; sitting around and waiting for life to improve or for dreams to come true. Yet hope is tangible: touchable, palatable, physical. It requires goal-setting, taking steps to achieve those goals, counsel from a trusted advisor or friend, and communication with God through prayer and Bible study.
In my book, the hero took steps—fearful and reluctant at first—to find hope. Those steps included mentoring, a gritty missions experience, bravery in a crisis, and forgiveness that seemed impossible. He had to look beyond himself. The result was he gave tangible hope to others, he discovered what God wanted him to do with his life, and he found hope through the love of a strong woman.
I’ve had to put steps to hope many times. I hoped to find another job after a layoff. I didn’t sit around waiting for one to come to me. I had to work for it through job applications, networking, and a lot of prayer. When the full time job didn’t happen, I didn’t give up and wish for something else to fill my days and bank account. I sought hope through freelance, which I’ve been blessed with. Last year, my hope was to publish. Again, I had to work for it, as we as authors are so familiar with. And, thanks to taking proactive steps to pitch to publishers, and ultimately God’s will, “Embracing Hope” was published in November 2016.
What have you hoped for recently? Are you sitting around waiting for it, wishing the hours, days, and years away? What actions can you take, and will they take looking beyond yourself?
Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing. Much of it has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel. Janell is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law and three step-granddaughters. “Embracing Hope” is her debut novel.
Here’s a blurb about Janell’s Book!
Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring.
He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper.
The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?
Buy Embracing Hope here:
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/682248
Checkout Janell on Social Media Here!
Twitter – https://twitter.com/janellwoj
Author Facebook – www.Facebook.com/janellbwoj
About Kristen Terrette
Kristen is on fire for Christ and loves to serve Him when she has the opportunity. Whenever she’s not blogging or writing books, she spends time with her husband and two children. She also serves on the Ladies Leadership team at her church.