This Waiting Season with Candy Arrington (Re-Air)

16 February 2024

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How do you respond when things don’t go the way you expect them to? Do you throw in the towel, or try to force your desired outcome anyway? Or do you keep moving forward one step at a time and trust that God will make a way for you?


This week’s Publishing Secrets guest, Candy Arrington, is a living example of the phrase “expect the unexpected.” Candy had ideas and plans for her writing journey, but God showed repeatedly that His plan and timetable were very different from hers. Listen to Candy’s story about waiting and watching for God to work, and let her challenge you to examine all the times God has helped you — even when it seemed as though none of your plans were working out. 


In this episode, you’ll also hear:


  • How Candy came to write and publish a book dealing with a very difficult subject, despite people telling her a publisher wouldn’t want to pick it up
  • What Candy has learned about waiting well — and why waiting doesn’t have to be negative
  • How to tell if you have enough material to write a book rather than an article
  • Tips on blogging consistently
  • Candy’s advice for the writer who wants to land a publishing deal

Finding Inspiration to Write

Candy Arrington says she has always enjoyed writing. As a child, she constantly made up stories for herself, and she chose English as her college major. But it wasn’t until much more recently — while on a church retreat with her husband — that she decided to write a book. 


“The Lord woke me up early, one morning, and I just had words swirling in my head,” Candy recalls. “I got up and grabbed my journal and began to write.” 


Later, Candy shared some of what she had written with others at the retreat. To her surprise, multiple people asked for a copy of her words to take home. “That was my first indication that perhaps writing was something that could minister to others, not just a personal way of processing emotions and thinking about things,” she says.


Candy’s first book, Aftershock: Help, Hope and Healing in the Wake of Suicide, deals with a heavy but important topic, and it was born from personal experience. 


After a traumatic experience involving an acquaintance, Candy collaborated with a Christian counselor to write the book — and, in the process, learn to better understand why this kind of tragedy happens and how to deal with it. Through Aftershock, Candy endeavors to dispel common misconceptions about suicide and to offer hope and healing to those who have lost loved ones in this manner. 

Trusting God to Bring it All Together

When it was time to find a publisher for Aftershock, Candy explains that God opened all the right doors at just the right times. 


While attending a Christian writers’ conference, she knew she would have to act fast to secure a meeting with the specific editor she felt drawn to. There were hundreds of fellow writers at the conference, and that particular editor only had three meeting slots available. It seemed impossible that Candy could make her way through the crowd in time, but God had other ideas.


“As I walked across the room, it was like the parting of the Red Sea,” Candy says. “Everybody just moved aside, and I could see this editor’s name on the table. And I just stepped right through that opening and put my name on the last appointment on that list.” 


Although the editor turned Candy’s book down, she pointed Candy to another agent, who invited her to share her book idea at breakfast the next day. Candy was disappointed to see that she wasn’t the only person he’d invited, but she gave her pitch anyway and handed over her book proposal. 


Then something amazing happened. Each person at the table shared how their lives had been impacted by suicide. Even though the agent had intended to reject her idea, the stories that the other people shared convinced him that there was not just an audience for Candy’s book, but a need for it to exist. 


“If I had tried to orchestrate that breakfast table, it would never have happened,” Candy says in retrospect. But because she trusted God enough to keep going when things didn’t turn out the way she expected, God rewarded her by pulling it all together in even better ways than she had planned. 

Learning to Wait Well

Candy’s latest book, Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well, also deals with an important topic: having patience and trusting God when life isn’t going the way one wants it to. 


Periods of infertility and financial insecurity tested Candy’s patience over the years, and she admits that during many of these times she did not “wait well.” But one morning, while reading the Bible, she came across the words “Thus far, the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). 


“I started thinking about all the thus fars in our lives,” she says. “And in doing that, I realized that this waiting season didn’t have to be a negative thing, that it could be a time when we benefited from just watching for the Lord at work. Not feeling like we had to make something happen, but just trusting and waiting.” 


In our fast-paced society, we’re often taught that if we don’t act quickly and make things happen, we’ll miss out. As a result, waiting can feel scary and frustrating. But the more we focus on God’s faithfulness, the more we can learn to let those fears go and trust that God will come through yet again, in His own perfect timing. 

Learning from Experience

Alongside learning to wait well and trusting God to provide, Candy’s publishing experiences have taught her several important practical lessons for success as a writer. 

Create an Annotated Outline

In Candy’s experience, many aspiring authors have a great idea — but their idea doesn’t include enough material to fill an entire book, at least not yet. Starting with an outline helps you determine how much material you have to work with, and how easy or difficult it will be to expand that material into book-length. Sometimes, what you think is a book idea would work much better as an article instead. 

Be Flexible

We may have a plan for where we want to go with our writing, but God may have other ideas. It’s important to be open and listening for His direction, because He may lead you in a completely different direction than you expected — and inspiration may strike anywhere, at any time. 

Maintain Consistency

When Candy started her blog, she committed to posting once a week, no matter what. Sometimes, it can be tempting to let that commitment slide, but with God’s help, she always finds something to write about. The key is to always be on the lookout for ideas and to ask God for help, especially when it gets hard. 

Making the Right Connections

With God’s help, Candy has achieved many accomplishments and gained valuable experience in the publishing industry. For aspiring authors who dream of having their book picked up by a traditional publisher, Candy’s #1 piece of advice is to attend a writers’ conference. Not only will you gain valuable insight and have the opportunity to connect with editors and agents, but you’ll also be able to connect with and learn from fellow writers. 


“Often, you can learn as much from other writers as you can from editors and agents, especially if you’re just starting out,” Candy explains. “If you can decide to be teachable, and decide that you’re going to learn from people who have a little more knowledge than you do because they’ve been in the industry a little bit longer, then I believe that you can experience success.” 


Meet Candy

, This Waiting Season with Candy Arrington (Re-Air)

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, and speaker. She frequently writes on the topics of faith, health, personal growth, and methods for moving through, and beyond, challenging life circumstances. Candy’s publishing credits include other nonfiction books, including Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well, and hundreds of articles and stories in numerous print and online outlets including: Focus on the Family,,,,,,,, and Writer’s Digest.


Candy gains writing inspiration from vintage photographs, historic architecture, nature, and the application of scripture to everyday life. She enjoys teaching at writing conferences, guiding writers in how to best craft their ideas to experience publishing success.


Candy and her husband, Jim, live in upstate South Carolina and love their roles as Glam-Glam and Bop to their three precious grandchildren. Visit Candy’s website. Connect with Candy on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook.

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