My life in 8 words: “A relentless pursuit to fulfill my life’s calling.”

From my new official author page on the Simon & Schuster website:

My life in 8 words: “A relentless pursuit to fulfill my life’s calling.”

Even though the official release of Darkroom is still about 6 months away, I’m finding it immensely exciting to see that my publisher has already set up an author page on their website.  Sure, there are hundreds of authors on this site, but it’s very cool to see the names of other bestsellers like Stephen King, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, and so many others whose writing a respect and admire on that same site.  It’s a dream come true for me, a person who never imagined he’d see his work swimming in the same pool as these writers.

Honestly, I’m still stunned.  However, with each day that passes it’s becoming clearer to me that everything we face in life–be it victories, defeat, challenges, good news or bad–is an opportunity to reveal our character.  In fact, it’s a chance to determine our future by our choices.  When I look at the “achievement” of having my book published by a major publisher (Simon & Schuster is considered one of the “Big Six”) I find myself at something of a crossroad:  I can sit back and let it get to my head, slow down and think, “Yeah, I’ve made it.” Or I can be real with myself and ask myself a few questions such as:

  1. What does this really mean?  Am I a different person now because of this?  (Not really.  This too shall pass.)
  2. Is this it? Have I made it?  Not really, it’s just the beginning.  I’ve got a long way to go before I reach my goals.
  3. How did this happen, really?

Here’s the question I’d like to examine in some detail.

What really happened?  After all, the odds of an debut author getting picked up by a Big Six Publisher are very slim.  I had listened to some good counsel from other experienced professionals, but so many people do that and don’t get such results.  I had written Darkroom as best I could, but still, many do that without the same results.  Bottom Line:  In the months leading up to my sale, I had really prayed a lot and focused not so much on getting this book deal for the common reasons such as making money, getting recognition, personal satisfaction.  I prayed and asked God for this so that I could give Him the credit and glory.  And I meant it.  By the time my book sold, I had completely given the matter up to The Almighty.  And while I did my due diligence of continuing to write, market Beyond Justice, and query editors, I had become immersed in the study of scriptures and prayer.  What I wanted most of all was to be able to know what it meant to have a personal relationship with my creator.  Even now, I see this book sale principally as a result of divine and unmerited favor.  I am quick to take any praise I receive for this book and turn it over to God, whom I know gave me the ability to write and continues to give me direction and inspiration.  Everything I write is because of His grace, and to reflect His glory.

“I’m not a religious person, but I am spiritual.”  That means different things for different people so I won’t get into the details here.  But one thing I will say: Through my relentless pursuit to discover and fulfill my life’s calling, I’ve found The One who gave me my calling.  As a result, I’ve found a peace and hope that transcends all circumstances, and I’ve found the power and source of seeing myself and the world in which I live from a perspective that has increased my appreciation and gratefulness, during times when I could easily have chosen despair and cynicism.

Now, when challenges come (and they always will), rather than feeling like a victim, I can confront them as opportunities to determine my character and ultimately the destiny for which I was created.  Will that be writing for the rest of my life?  I honestly don’t know, it could be just for this season in my life, or it could be for the rest of it.  But whatever it is, I know that if I’m walking in my life’s calling, I’ll be productive, effective, and fulfilled.

Joshua Graham is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, winner of the International Book Award and Forward National Literature Award. His thrillers include DARKROOM, LATENT IMAGE and BEYOND JUSTICE, and TERMINUS. Graham's works have been characterized as thought-provoking page-turners.

Legal Notice: All information on this website and blog are from Mr. Graham's personal experience and insight and should not be viewed in any way, directly or inferred, as qualified professional advice.

All creative writing on this website or Mr. Graham's books: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. (novels, short stories)
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