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