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I started writing this post, and just like my “Why Don’t You Just” series, I got so lost in it that it ended up being way too long. So stick around for the next few weeks to learn why my lifelong amateur writing career culminated in a life-changing breakthrough last week about learning to love myself and the projects I take on with God. This has helped me in the process of writing “A Saviour’s Path,” and solidifying why I really believe in these books, and why I think you or someone you know will believe in them too.
If you’re reading these out of order, I encourage you to read the other posts, as well!
Do you ever stop in the middle of a project and think: “What on earth am I doing here?” I get that a lot. Especially when I’ve been going round and round with a problem in my head and I don’t know where to turn. Especially when my self-esteem dips to below zero and I’m left wondering whether what I’m doing will really make a difference at all. But every now and then, I get this little nudge reminding me why I love writing and why I love books. Last, week, I got to have a nice long chat with some mentors from my church’s evangelism group, and I was left with that pilot light relit and the flames of my passion rekindled.
It’s so incredible how similar Marc and Michelle are to Ben and Lanie. I really think God put them into my life for a reason. I was in a bad mood (borderline anxiety) when I first met Michelle during my first official time at the evangelism meeting, but she was so loving and kind, explaining things to me and guiding me through. Still, though, I planned to go to a small group that involved sitting around the fire and getting warm, even though I felt the nudge to go with Michelle to serve outside one of the homeless shelters. But as I was waiting to leave with the group that would be warm and seated and singing songs, there was a call specifically for volunteers to go with Michelle’s group – and I knew I couldn’t ignore it. And ever since, it’s been an incredible journey, even if it’s frightening sometimes.
And wow! When I first saw Marc, I was struck by how much he looks like I imagine Ben in my head. They aren’t the same ethnicity, but the same build, the same smile, the same work ethic. I didn’t say anything though, until a couple of weeks later when there was an incident that had me shaking and crying, and Michelle was there with open arms and a shoulder to cry on. That’s when she revealed to me that she and Marc had some very specific trials in their lives that are JUST LIKE Ben and Lanie. I told her how funny it was that Marc kind of looks like him too, and I asked to interview them one day for my series. The interview happened last Thursday, and the similarities kept going on and on. We were so excited about the discussion that I’m planning on turning the 4,500 word document into a series of posts in the next month or so, and a YouTube Video series, and I’m so excited about that.
But right now I’m just amazed at how full I felt after that talk. Remembering the why of my book has helped me to have a much more global view of what I’m doing. It’s so hard to feel sometimes like no one will ever read what I write. As many authors do, I dream of hitting it big with a book deal and making millions and adapting a TV show and going on tours and being invited for interviews and webinars and being famous and all that. So of course I’m disappointed in any negative feedback I receive from anyone, or when someone isn’t interested in it at all. Why hasn’t my blog taken off? Why won’t my social media posts go viral? For a long time, fame was one of my top “whys.” Not at the very top, but definitely top five. And that makes it hard.
But over the weekend I’ve had time to really have a hard look in the mirror and think about what it is I really want, and how other writers approach their work. Some write just for fun – they have a cool original or fanfiction story that they just put to paper, and they happen to be in the right community who will appreciate it, and they make it big. Others write something as a present for someone in their circle, and then they get encouraged to turn it into something bigger. Others spend all their time and energy crafting a masterpiece in the same way I’ve been doing – with the intent to sell and make a living off if, and hopefully get rich and famous. But I’ve come to realize that just because of some constructive negative feedback or lack of an enthusiastic response, doesn’t mean my message won’t reach people.
One example that comes to my mind is JK Rowling. I haven’t actually researched this and don’t know if I’m remembering this right, but I heard from a friend that when she wrote Harry Potter, she took the manuscript to some 70 agents who all rejected her. And then a child of a publisher just happened to pick it up and take it to his dad, insisting that he wanted it made into a book. And bam, history. She’s a multimillionaire now, and she’s got licensing and movies and fanfictions and fame galore. Everyone knows her name. But the thing is, not everyone reads her work or reads her stuff. I, for example, do not. I think I read one of the Harry Potter books and watched a few of the movies a long time ago, but it’s not my cup of tea. But I’ve watched a LOT of YouTube videos about the series, both books and movies, and for some reason, that’s the kind of content that I connect with. Maybe someone won’t like my book, but they might like the reviews or other content that people make based on it.
Whether or not that story is true, I’m coming to realize that the less than dozen people who’ve read a few chapters of my work so far might not be hooked on it the way someone in the next dozen will be, or maybe the next hundred or two hundred. I dream of just one super fan who is hooked on every chapter and wants to keep reading more and more, and talk with me about the backstory and my inspiration and all the little details that I love about the series so much. I long to find someone who “gets it” and is sparked by it as much as me.
Then I remembered that I DO have that person! My favorite backseat driver, the one, the only….Jesus!
Thanks for Stopping by!
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13