The Art of Being Still

God, Life and Happiness, Writing

A few weeks ago, I attended a writing conference. I was not truly interested in hearing one more workshop about story structure, plot devices, or how to brand myself or sell my books. What I needed was time to write. And I needed something to jump start my creative juices.

Every day I’m on the go. I have a list beside my laptop of all the deadlines I need to meet and the people I need to touch base with. This list also contains items that I need or want to work on like this blog or a leadership course I’m taking as part of my DAR membership. I also have a goal sheet above my desk that outlines all I’d like to accomplish this year.

As a result of all these lists, I find myself without much down time. So when I was at the writing conference the workshop “Creative Nature Walk” seemed to appeal to me. I was ready to just be with nature – God’s creation – and let the muses speak to me. And I was not disappointed!

The leader of our walk wasn’t just there to lead us in the way we’d walk around the gorgeous Grove City College campus, she was there to lead our writing as well. She started with a few Bible scriptures about Truth, Peace, Righteousness, and Mercy. She said that we’re so ingrained in our society to look down (at our phones, our laptops, etc.) that we forget to look up. That was the purpose of our walk – to look up, away from the tasks of the day, and to see God in our surroundings.

When we got to our first “station” on the walk, she indicated benches and luxurious, green grass on which to sit and invited us to simply take in our surroundings. Journal, take pictures, draw … whatever. We would have ten minutes.

I dug into the exercise and began journaling, breathed in the fresh air, soaked up the warm sun, and snapped a few pics on my camera. Done! I completed the task! Just like I do every day in my real life. Except … our ten minutes wasn’t up. Others were still writing, enjoying the sun, and taking photos. So I wrote some more in my journal. But the time was still not up and I found myself becoming restless.

How hard was it for me to be still! Ten minutes doesn’t seem like that long of a time when we are faced with so many chores during our day, but when faced with nothing BUT time … it can be a long time to bear! I began to contemplate how hard it was to be still and yet how essential it really is in our daily lives.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” How often do we do that? I know I’m rarely still. I even have trouble sleeping! I have a long list of to-do items, after all! But God tells us to truly know Him, we must first be still.

I figured maybe this stillness was what I had been missing in my life. Since that day during my writing conference I am striving to find a bit of stillness in my every day life. It might just mean a few minutes of quiet on my patio or a short walk without a podcast or music playing in my ear. Sometimes it means just taking a deep breath and feeling God’s presence beside me.

I have been able to write more since that time and I feel a sense of peace in my life now. I know it was exactly what I needed to learn during my writing conference adventure.

I hope you will seek out a moment to be still today. While you do, give up your thoughts to God. Feel free to write what comes to your mind in a journal, but don’t feel like you HAVE to write or do ANYTHING during this time. Just … be still.

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A Rough Start

God, Life and Happiness, Writing

Last week I spent some time at a writing conference. It started off rough. You see, my low self-esteem started to drag me down. Since I hadn’t been writing much, I didn’t feel qualified to be there. All too often we can let the enemy direct our paths because we listen to his lies inside our heads. So, I wanted to write down some of my experience in the hopes that it would help someone else.

****

Day 1 at St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference: I shouldn’t be here. I’m not a writer. I don’t belong. Let me hide away. Let me shun these creative types. They don’t want me here. I’m doing nothing with my words. (And I did hide away. I kept to myself in my room.)

Day 2: This is wrong. I do not fit in. Why am I here? *crying* How can I put myself within these same criteria? I’ve squandered my time, wasted my words on unproductive things, and called myself, mistakenly, a writer for too long. (I spent a large portion of this day feeling sorry for myself and believing the enemy’s lies.)

Later in day 2: Had conversation with another “writer.” She said she shouldn’t be here, she doesn’t fit in, she isn’t a writer…. How could she think that? I’ve read her writing. She SHOULD be here!! She needs to be refreshed and she’ll feel differently. (Funny how I thought this about her, but not about myself.)

Still later on day 2: More conversations. More writers express their insecurities and failures. Realization hits. We’re all feeling the same way. We all doubt ourselves.

(Thank you to Fara and so many others who expressed their fears to me, were transparent. I know it was God working in each of us to say, “Yes, you are a writer.”)

Keynote on day 2: (Paraphrased) “You can not be a professional writer if you complain about your life. Your life is the fodder for your stories! Your story is trapped within until you let it out. Your story is clamoring to get out! The idea is the easy part! Find hope in God’s purpose for you!”

God, pick up the pieces.
Put me back together again.
You are my praise!
(Jeremiah 17:14, MSG)

That second night, I wrote in my journal and I started this blog. As the week went on, I was further encouraged by my friends. One told me I was a good listener. Another said I was her “hero.” Another said I was an encourager of others (even when I wasn’t one for myself) and I was an integral part of the conference.

Sometimes when we’re feeling low that is what it takes – the ability to encourage others. I wonder why it’s so easy for me to encourage those around me, yet so hard to encourage myself sometimes. But I’m glad God put others in my life to be an encouragement to me as well. We work together in that way. We love one another, share each other’s failures and successes, work for a greater good, and strive to do our best. And we need each other to do so.

I’m so thankful for my time at conference and I do feel refreshed. I pray I can continue this momentum as I continue to write a new novel I’ve been working on. On the days I don’t feel like a writer, I’ll look back on this post. (I hope you will too.)

 

God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. (1 Cor. 12: 4-7, MSG)

Taking Time To Write

Life and Happiness, Writing

I’ve started writing a new novel.

Don’t get excited just yet. I started it once, revamped it, started over using some of the previous text and am now on my way. I think. The first try had over 10,000 words. The second is creeping just up to the 7,000 mark.

Writing can be frustrating, but I keep at it. I’m not the type of writer who has dozens of ideas in my head for novels. And I’m often so caught up in editing for clients that to write a novel of my own seems too daunting a task. Most days I don’t get two words written because I’m so overwhelmed by words that I can no longer put them together in a sentence.

Some friends and I discussed that I should write in the morning. That way, I get my words down before I submerse myself in someone else’s words. But I’m barely awake in the morning. And the muse is usually still asleep.

Ideas come to me at night. Right before I fall asleep. I try to write them down sometimes, but it doesn’t always work. And, in the morning, when I see, “car trip fighting romance?”, it doesn’t always connect with the grand idea I had the night before.

But in next week I’m going to be at my favorite writing conference. I’ll be surrounded by people who write every day. I’ll have time to write! (Maybe.) I hope my own creative juices flow and I can get at least over that 10,000 word mark while I’m away.

My goal is to have this book written by the end of the year. Because goals are important. And so is prayer. So I’m asking each of you to pray for me when you think about it. Pray that God will give me the time and the word and the motivation to get it done. Pray that the book will hold an element of Christianity that I can share with the world. Pray that His words will be spoken.

Thanks, friends. Have a great week.

Is the work you do important?

Life and Happiness, Religion, Writing

Recently my friend Tracy directed me to this awesome podcast, “The Next Right Thing.” I’ve listened to a few of them and I simply can’t get enough. Emily P. Freeman – the host – describes the podcast as a place “for the second-guessers, the
chronically hesitant, or anyone who suffers from decision fatigue. If you’re in a season of transition, waiting, of general fogginess or if you’ve ever searched ‘how to make a decision’ on the internet, well, you’re in the right place.”

Can I see a show of hands for everyone who NEEDS this podcast? Ah, yep. I thought so. You can all put your hands down now.

The other day, I listened to episode 8: Expect To Be Surprised. In this one, Emily talks about a singer that kept working at her craft even when it didn’t bring fame and “success.” She also discusses how we often put pressures on ourselves every day about what awaits us in the future.

So much so, in my opinion, that we often forget to live in the now. We miss out opportunities to love each other, lend a helping hand, or even simply sit and listen because we’re so focused on tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

“How can I be successful?” “How can I make progress?” “Where is this leading?”

There is a constant overwhelming of our senses that tricks us into thinking there is always something MORE out there to achieve and obtain. There is always the hint on the horizon that if we just do X, we’ll achieve Z.

But it never seems to come, does it? Does Z – the end zone we’re so fervently striving for – ever come? How do we know when we’ve arrived?

Here’s something else Emily points out in this episode: ALL the work we do is important.

So what if it’s about the middle, not the end? What if what you’re doing RIGHT NOW, is what it’s about? What if your actions, your work, matters in the NOW.

My little group of friends (we get together every once in awhile to encourage, share philosophies, and sometimes we write) talked about this the other day while discussing how to reach our audiences – how to BUILD our following. One friend just sent her manuscript to her agent to start marketing it for a publisher. She’d love to know the future. Will it be published? Will it reach thousands of people? Will she make money? But I said, “What if it was just meant to reach me and a few other people? What if it never sees any other light than that? Would you still count it as success?”

Her answer was yes.

So why worry about the future? It may have already lived its purpose. Writing the book changed her. The few people that have already read it have been affected. She talks about it – affecting others. She’s accomplished all this and it isn’t even printed yet.

ALL THE WORK SHE’S ALREADY DONE IS IMPORTANT.

That smile we offer to a lonely person. That conversation we start with a new member at church. That old man we help across the street. That blog we write that only a few people read, but they connect with it and it changes their perspective. IT ALL MATTERS.

I’ll leave you with a bit of the end of Emily’s podcast (but you should listen to it or download the transcript and really think about it for yourself).

“Jesus often works in small surprises in the midst of the long haul. But he doesn’t do it in empty rooms, he does it through people, through connection … We make our decisions and choose our next steps, but we get scared when we can’t see
the future. … What if we see God in the yes we say even though we feel scared?
To see him in a random phone call, the kind invitation, a gentle nod. … If we insist on holding on to control, we just might miss the story happening on the other
side of the window.”

This week, think about small things that have happened in your life that affected you forever. Start taking notice of those things on a daily basis. Start living in the now.

God bless.

 

Spring Cleaning Writer Challenge

Life and Happiness, Writing

Greetings for spring! (Although it’s still cold here in PA and I’m sick of snow “squalls.”)

I was tagged by the quirky and amazing writer, Carrie Anne Noble for this springtime challenge! And I thought maybe it would spur me into thinking warm and colorful thoughts.

Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

I’ve been stuck on trying to reorganize and firm up my editing business. So much so that writing has fallen a bit off the radar. I have a book “outlined” (in MY way of outlining) and I’d like to get started on it within the next month or so. I had intended to write during April for Camp Nanowrimo … I guess there is still time.

Which Stage Are You At? Expound!
a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

Welp. I guess remodeling the layouts since I haven’t actually written a single word yet. And remodeling is my least favorite stage to be in….

Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

From What You Think You Know:

I swing my now ripped flannel pant leg over the fence and drop down beside her on the slick, dew-covered lawn. Reaching down, I try to feel how extensive the tear is…it’s bad. My favorite Hello Kitty PJs are now hanging off my leg at a weird angle. Several of the kitties seem to have shredded faces and half of my granny-pants underwear is probably hanging out. Thank God it isn’t quite daylight yet. Maybe we can get this over with and home before I have any embarrassing run-ins. Plus I can feel a bit of warm ooze trickling down my leg. Terrific, now I’ll have a bona fide reminder of this stellar evening—a scar. Note to self: check date of last tetanus shot.

From Summer’s Refrain:

She stopped her pacing and looked at the old woman. Her heart pumped hard against her chest as she considered the man she’d left, unwillingly this time, behind. How many times had she treated Lou this way? How many times had she shut him out? Even today, she’d been about to…. No. This had to end.

She stepped in front of Maude. “Take me back to Lou. Now.”

Maude sighed and lowered her gaze to the floor. “I’m sorry, love, but we’re not done yet. Come.” She held out her hand again for Summer.

What more did she need to know? She wiped her brow and looked at Maude from under lowered eyelashes. She must be insane to keep following this woman, but, yet, without her, how would she ever get back home?

She reached out her hand and felt a spark of electricity as it connected with Mrs. Delwich’s fingertips.

Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (And share a picture!)

I have no idea what this means, but here’s a spring-y photo:

As part of this challenge, I hereby tag K.M. HodgeJoanne Groff, and Jill Thomas! Do as you will, friends!

Here are the rules:

Rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Share the picture
3. Answer the questions below (naturally…) or even pick and choose which ones you answer
3.5. Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them (via comment/message/email or hey, even carrier-pigeon or smoke signal; I’m not picky)

Questions:

1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)
2. Which Stage Are You At? Expound!
a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)
3. Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)
3.5. Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (And share a picture!)

 

Free Editing Is Not Free

Editing Advice, Writing

I’d heard a lot recently about some websites that proclaim to help authors with editing. These sites apparently use algorithms and other software to help authors “edit” their work. 

As an editor, it concerned me because I know there are a lot of nuances when it comes to editing the written word. Although there are a lot of standard writing rules, all too often these rules can be more of a “suggestion” and need to be carefully examined in context before making a decision.

For example: One website said that only 44 words in the English language follow the “I before E” rule and there are 925 exceptions to the rule!

And it also concerned me because these sites are proclaiming to be the “best” editors for your work. But I know that there is only so much a program can do. (After all, even Word doesn’t always catch all the misspellings or missing punctuation in a document.) So I decided to check out a few of these sites to see how well they actually edited a piece. What I found frightened me.

In all fairness, most of these sites are about “proofreading” a written piece and usually about nonfiction articles – not full-length novels. Proofreading does typically come at the end of the editing process and is meant to pick up minor errors like missing punctuation. And articles are typically shorter pieces that do not need the detail of a manuscript editor. However, if an author is unaware of these facts – many people interchange the words “editing” and “proofreading” and not all the sites make it clear that it does not work well for novels – then they may run their piece through one of these sites and find only minor errors when there are larger mistakes looming.

One site, touted as the “Best Free Grammar Checker,” did not even point out plagiarism to me when I blatantly put in another author’s work. Nor did it find anything except two misspelled words when there were many comma and punctuation errors (input by me). 

In fact, most of the sites I checked missed major errors. However, if you are a habitual bad speller, these sites would be a good place to start. Finding spelling errors seems to be the bulk of what these sites can do well.

However, what about slang words? Dialects in your character’s dialogue? And we haven’t even begun to consider where a paragraph should begin, how the timeline works, or if you’ve completly forgotten to change the name of your character in all the right places. Bill and Jill are both fine names to these editing sites, but if you changed your character from one name to the other – you better have done it throughout the entire piece (including changing “he” to “she”) or your readers will be mightily confused! These sites will NOT find these errors.

What I’m saying is this: Don’t let these sites replace real, live editors. They simply can’t. There are so many aspects to the English language that it is impossible for an automated machine to catch it all. I mean, some of us human editors don’t catch every error!

When you have spent months and months, or even years, writing your manuscript, do not throw all your hard work away by only using these online editing programs. Seek the counsel of a professional editor instead. 

If you want to learn a few ways to self edit your novel, check out my eBook: Edit Your Novel for Less!: Tips and Tricks to Save Money During the Editing Processhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B3XMGRS

 

 

 

 

The Author/Editor Relationship

Editing Advice, Life and Happiness, Writing

Last week, a potential client asked me, “Can you please tell me a little bit more how you work with a new client?”

It was something that other potential clients had asked me and I’d always found it a bit hard to answer. I edit. That’s it. Isn’t it always the same? I look for punctuation and grammar errors. I point out inconsistencies, etc., and I use Word’s Track Change feature to keep track of it all for the author. But after I had taken a Editing Boot Camp a few weeks ago, I realized that not every editor works in the same way. Some ask questions of their author and try to offer instruction (that’s me!), and some simply change whole sentences and paragraphs without any instruction (that’s NOT me). While others seem to only want to completely change an author’s words altogether.

After I had thought about it for awhile, here is how I chose to answer her:

“My motto is: I don’t change voices. I make them louder. It’s more than a gimmick to me. I strive to not change the voice of the author, ever. I want to understand what their goals are for their work and what they are trying to convey to their reader. Very often what I will do in my editing work is leave comments asking the author questions about their piece. This way, the author can scrutinize the sentence or paragraph and determine if it truly is what they intended or if it doesn’t quite work.

I try to approach the content/substantive part of the editing process as if I’m the reader. If I don’t understand something, I point it out. If something conflicts with what I thought was happening, I point it out. If a character seems – well – out of character, I point it out. Very rarely do I change whole sentences or rearrange things without giving the author a firm reason for the change. In the end, it’s YOUR work, not mine. I only want to point out to you what may or may not work. My authors and I often have small debates and, sometimes, they convince me their way is correct. I like to make friends with my authors, but that doesn’t mean I’m lenient! I push my authors in good ways to make their work better. 

With all that said, I hold firm to many writing rules and I use the Chicago Manual of Style or the Christian Writer’s Manual of Style as my guides. These don’t affect the overall plot, but things like ellipses, punctuation marks, and spelling out of numerals – things like that. I like to instruct. I’ll tell you why I’m suggesting a change (usually based on these style guides) and encourage you to learn about this rule to apply it to future works.

I’ve worked with one author for over five years. She writes romance – which isn’t my first pick of genres, but I’ve grown to enjoy her books. We’ve created such a great relationship that I can tell what she means to say even when she says it “wrong.” For her, I often will just fix things and she accepts them because she knows I know what she means. But that’s rare and I only start doing that once I’ve worked with someone long enough to know their style and voice.”

After that, I pointed her to the testimonials page on this website and said I hoped I had answered her question. In fact, because I thought it was such a good response (for once!), I chose to make it this blog post in the hopes that others would read it and want to work with me.

When I say I don’t change voices, I mean it. I know how hard it is to write and I don’t like it when someone tells me to rearrange my whole story. They don’t know what’s in my head – only I do. And I don’t know what’s in my client’s heads either. But I want to learn and I want to help. I want their story to get OUT of their head and onto the paper in the most pleasing, and engaging way.

So there you have it. It’s how I work and I’d love to chat with you about how you work too. Drop me a message or leave a comment below. I’m looking forward to working with you!

Oops. I Failed.

Fears, Life and Happiness, Writing

I find it ironic that I’m about to write this post. My last post, Don’t Let The Gray Get You Down, talked about ways to help avoid the winter blahs. So now, this post, is going to tell you how I failed at my own advice.

I have this biblical quote on my wall: “God is within her, she will not fall.” (Psalm 46:5)

You may have seen this quote before and a LOT of the time, you may have seen it quoted as “she will not fail.” When I bought this wall verse (it’s one of those stick on things), I bought it from a girl on Etsy. And she had it listed as “she will not fail.” I looked at several Bible versions and I couldn’t find a single one that said “fail.” Many of them use “can not be moved”, but none, that I could find, said “fail.”

So I made the vendor change it before I bought it. I wasn’t about to have an incorrect Bible verse on my wall! I’m an editor for crying out loud.

I look at it every day and think, “Yes. God’s got this. He won’t let me fall.” And I truly believe He won’t.

BUT. He will let me fail.

Which leads me to how I failed at my own advice.

I let the gray get to me. It overwhelmed me today and I wallowed in it for hours. You see, work has been slow lately. Really slow. It happens sometimes, but this has been an extended lull and I’m starting to let me old worrisome habits come to the surface. Last night in Bible study, I asked for prayer about it. I said I was in a “time of waiting.” (Don’t you hate those?) But I realized it was a time of learning, too. I know God is refining some things, sanding off some rough edges (I really, truly hate those times) and just making way for other things in my life. I can see where progress has been made.

But I am not good at waiting for work and when it doesn’t come, I feel worthless. I’m not good at filling my time when there isn’t work to do. And when I have extra time to think (never a good thing) then I start to think negative thoughts, like, What if I never get work again? or Why is God punishing me? My negative mind sometimes just won’t let me be. It keeps eating at me.

Finally, I said to God, “What is my purpose? If I have nothing to do, no one to care for or for me, if I’m not reaching anyone and there’s no reason to get up each day…what’s the point?”

I didn’t get an answer. I kept pouting about it. I don’t want to be here with nothing to do. I want to help others. I want to use my gifts. I want to utilize that which God has given me, but where do I start? Where do I find the people (mainly writers) who need my help, my services? I don’t want to fail, but it’s not guaranteed. And it hurts to think I have already failed.

As I lamented over this tonight, I felt a tiny urging to just pour out my heart here. We try so often to not let people see this side of us. We’re professionals. We’ve got it together and I’m energetic and happy ALL THE TIME!!

This is NOT the world I live in.

I think it’s more important to be real. And if no one wants my services because I am a broken human being, than so be it. (After all, aren’t most writers broken? Isn’t that why we write? If nothing else, this should prove that I’m one of you!)

Because I am a child of God, but even David, God’s most beloved son, was chased by 12,000 who wanted to kill him. Job lost everything and he was a man of God. Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers. Jonah was tossed into a whale. Paul was jailed.

It’s hard to find a biblical character who didn’t suffer or have times of waiting. There are only a few who didn’t worry. But there are many who said, “Why me? Why now? Where are You?”

And that’s where I am. I’m hopeful it won’t last. But, today, I failed at my own advice. I let the gray get to me. I’d ask that you would pray for me. Not necessarily that more work would come my way, but that God would show me His purpose. That He would instruct my hands to do something. That I’d clearly see the direction He wants me to go in. That I’d know I am reaching someone.

I pray you are fighting the gray today and I’ll endeavor to do better tomorrow.

God bless.

Valuable Newsletters On The Horizon!

Life and Happiness, Writing

As some of you already know, I’ve started focusing a bit more on my newsletters. It’s one of my goals to provide my subscribers with at least twelve newsletters this year. That’s only one a month and seems like a reasonable goal. At this point, I have five written and scheduled – the first is set to go out to the subscribed “masses” on Monday.

It’s also a goal to not simply provide bland reading material for my subscribers, but actual valuable content. With that in mind, my newsletters will fit one of three categories:

Monday Motivation
These will include personal stories and encouraging things to help you get writing. A way to start the week off right!

Tips & Resources for Writers
These will include resources like which style guides to use, where to find additional writing help, and how to connect to other writers

Writing/Editing Exercises
These will include actual exercises to help writers spot what’s wrong within a short amount of text. Learning how to self-edit work is a great way to help save money during the publishing process.

In addition, each newsletter will include motivation or inspirational quotes, graphics and other fun items!

If you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter click here to do so and receive a free gift to boot! (Please note: If you subscribed awhile back, you may need to subscribe again.)

I’m excited that it’s February and I’m still working at achieving my goals. I can’t wait to see what else this year brings. I’m on my way to be consistent!

I hope you are doing your best to do the same.

God bless!

Catching My Breath and Moving Forward

Writing

It’s July, people! Where did June go? I learned so much from my writing conference the other week and met some really awesome new friends, but, oy!, I’m still catching up. Alas, we must move forward. Time marches on, as they say.

I talked with a friend the other day whom had also just returned from TWO conferences (No clue how she managed that.) and we agreed that it’s always a mix of 1) Catching up on “normal” life activities and 2) Processing all we’ve learned during our time away.

In fact, I was following up with her because I’m working on this nonfiction book geared toward negative thinkers and how we can use God’s words to refute the lies we tell ourselves. After speaking to a woman at conference, I wanted to get my friend’s take on it. The woman at conference seemed to think my book was ready to go – and that thought petrified me. I realized I was no where near ready to publish, but thought I better get the perspective of someone I know and respect and who has been through the traditional publishing process with a similar book. Our chat not only encouraged me, but continues to spur me forward. The book is NOT done, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do some things to start a buzz about it.

So, I’m working on my first ever book proposal and rewriting some of the book. I realized that the chapters are not “meaty” enough so I’ll be reworking some of them, combining some and writing more. It seems now like I truly have a foothold so I’m anxious to keep going. Your prayers are, as always, appreciated.

I’m working hard on setting goals for myself and striving to achieve them and here’s a few other things in the works:

  • At conference, I co-taught a workshop on “Essentials of Writing a Good Devotion” with my friend and mentor. We had good feedback and it stirred my teaching juices. SO, I just sent in my first submission to teach a different class at a one day conference in Virginia. I’ll also be working on some other workshop ideas to present to a few other local conferences.
  • Along with working on my nonfiction book, I’ve kind of come up with a new idea for a fiction book. It’ll be humorous – something I haven’t really written before. I’m hoping to get it done in a year’s time and self-publish it as I did my other novels.
  • The editing part of my work continues to ebb and flow. I have made a few new contacts and even started working with some new clients. I LOVE my long-term clients and wouldn’t give them up for the world, but it’s always exciting to get new writers working with me, too. In the end, it’s all about me getting to read a bunch of new writers and books before anyone else does and that makes me feel special. PLUS, I can help writers to hone their work so writers will flock to buy their books. I want everyone to succeed!

As we traverse into another week, in another month, that much closer to the dreaded winter (ugh), I’m determined to keep moving forward just as the time and the calendar does. It might not be huge strides I’m making, but it’s at least baby steps.

God bless and Happy Monday!

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