I’m a little late getting my New Year’s Resolutions written. 2016 is almost two weeks old, and I am still struggling to find words to express my goals and hopes for this year. It doesn’t help that I haven’t blogged at all in a month, or that I have been thinking about giving up writing (again) and wondering if anyone would even notice if I did.
I wanted to be a writer way back in my college days. I wanted to be an attorney first and then get married, have a couple of kids, and take some time off to be a mom and write a few novels. I did become an attorney, get married, and have two kids, but when I took time off from the practice of law I never went back. Being a wife and mom was more demanding than I expected, and more rewarding in many ways, and I couldn’t imagine being any good at it if I was working 50-60 hours a week as a trial attorney.
I tried writing my first novel when my children were still in preschool. It wasn’t very good. I wrote a second novel, went to some writers’ conferences to learn how to make it better, got some good feedback on it but no publishing contracts, and eventually self-published it. Promoting it was a lot harder than I expected, and I wasn’t very good at it. Or maybe it just wasn’t a good book. Either way, I sold few copies of it.
Several years later I decided to give non-fiction a try. I felt that God had given me something to say about a difficult issue – the intersection of religion and politics – and I thought it would make a good book. The publishing agents and editors disagreed, and I ended up self-publishing a second book. A third self-published book followed, but by then I was growing discouraged. Self-publishing can be expensive, and self-promotion can be overwhelming, especially when few results are seen. I prayed for help, for guidance, for encouragement, for anything to keep me going, but nothing could overcome the feelings of failure and despair I was experiencing. So I quit.
Until last year.
About half-way through 2015, I felt a great urge to try again. I believe it was a call from God. I had a very specific desire to spend a year and a half doing all I could to get into the business of writing again. I decided to rewrite and republish my two Christian non-fiction books and then write a third book. I decided to update my website, start a blog, go to a writers’ conference, get all the mentoring I could, write and submit articles to Christian magazines, and find ways to promote my writing. I taught a women’s Bible study class using one of my books as I updated it and prepared it to be published anew. Standing Firm: Are You Ready for the Battle? became available for purchase at Amazon.com in October. I also started rewriting One Nation Under God, updated my website, posted 2 or 3 blogs a week from September through November, and registered for the Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference coming up in March.
December came with a family situation demanding much of my time and attention. The book rewrite was shelved. The blog stopped. I had been getting fewer and fewer comments, likes, and views of my posts, and I wasn’t sure anyone was finding any value in them, so it was easy to let it go for a while. I wondered if people didn’t care about what I had to say or if I just wasn’t very good at saying it. As 2015 closed, I had to make a decision whether to quit again or to persevere for the full 18 months I had given myself to try again. It’s 2016 now, and 12 months is a long time to work, and write, and raise my voice if only a few (or none) are going to listen. But I still believe God told me to do it, and so I will.
Today I launched a new Facebook page to promote my writing. I’m posting this blog, and I will post another in a day or two. My calendar is freer now than it’s been in a long time, so I can finally get back to my book. So I invite you to come back, read the blog, comment if you care to, buy a book, write a review, send a note of encouragement, and recommend me to your friends. I’m praying for God to give me words to write in 2016 and to increase my readership. I have 12 more months to go on this journey, and I hope many of you will go with me. Then I’ll see where God leads from there.
Happy New Year!
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Romans 5:3-4
What is my mission as an author? It's a tough question, but I believe the goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they really believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.