Writer’s Desk with Tricia Goyer
Tricia Goyer is a USA Today bestselling author of seventy-five books and more than 500 articles. She is a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award finalist. She won the Retailer’s Best Award in 2015 and has received starred reviews from publications such as Romantic Times and Publishers Weekly; she is also a member of the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites. In addition to her roles as wife, mom, and author, Tricia volunteers in her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana and currently leads a Teen MOPS group in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is also the author of this blog.
Q&A with Tricia Goyer
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
I love watching America’s Test Kitchen. It’s my favorite cooking show, even the episodes from fifteen years ago.
TG: Why did you write Heart Happy?
I had planned to write a book on generosity and hospitality, which got shelved because of Covid. As I prayed about what to write instead, I saw that so many people struggled with trying to find happiness amid chaos. During the pandemic, we had so much stripped away. No longer able to cover my unhappiness with busyness, I was forced to find ways to nurture my soul. As I dug through the layers of pain, shame, and regret, I realized that my busyness had allowed me to keep God at bay. As I searched to discover my heart happy, I found tools that I believed could help others too.
TG: Did you have any surprises or learning moments while writing this title?
I was surprised that there were so many layers that had kept my heart unhappy. Each chapter was formed as I considered what keeps our hearts separate from God.
TG: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
I hope readers will see that the most important thing we can do each day is getting our hearts “happy in the Lord.” Even in the middle of chaos, we can pause and find God there. I need to find my “happy heart” before the day starts. If I don’t, my whole family suffers, and I do too. If I rush into my day without spending time with Jesus, worries, fears, and frustrations are quick to overwhelm me. If I don’t take time to fix my thoughts on God, my mind jumps from disturbances to distresses, and soon it becomes too much.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
I love to wake up early. I get up and make a cup of coffee or tea, and then I sit down with my Bible and a devotional book. Then, after reading, thinking, and praying, I pull out my writing. When my heart is full of God, then the writing flows. Sometimes I’ll write for one or two hours and then even go back to bed.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
Before I fall asleep, I think through my writing priorities for the next day. It’s then that I set my goal for my actual writing. Then, because I already know my priorities, I work on that first the next day.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
I love earl gray tea. I also love coffee and a bit of creamer. I drink hot drinks when I write all year long.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
Please don’t be mad, but I don’t struggle with writer’s block. With a house full of people, every moment I have to write is a gift, and I see it that way. There’s always something to write. And if I do get stuck with specific words, I pray.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer, or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
I write very messily to start. I’ll note whatever thoughts come into my mind. I don’t judge them. Instead, I write them down. I write for the first few months, moving around the book, and adding ideas here or there. Then, when I have about half of the book written in chunks, I go back to the beginning and fill everything in.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
The most common mistake is that writers give up too soon. They get discouraged and don’t keep going. I write for many months before I come up with anything worth sharing. I believe new writers think that everything needs to look fantastic right from the start. I’ve learned that it isn’t the case.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
It takes 20 years to be an overnight success. Agent and publisher Steve Laube told me this about thirty years ago. It was a great reminder not to give up. Good things take time.
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More about Heart Happy
This hope-filled guide will inspire you to stay tethered to the Lover of your soul. By taking time to make your heart happy in the Lord, you’ll grow closer to the Heavenly Father, fostering true transformation from the inside out. Heart Happy will help you discover the beautiful life you’ve always hoped for through a connection with God that never seemed possible … until now.