It’s the first week of a new year. Several times on social media in the past week, I’ve seen the question posed: What is your word for this year? In other words, what one word describes your goals, hopes, or mindset as you look forward to 2020?
The first thing I thought of when I saw this question was a short phrase – two words instead of one – Dive in! Once I realized that 2020 is a leap year, I changed it to one word: Leap! I’m changing my Facebook cover photo to reflect my new word and posting my word on Instagram today, too.
Why choose leap for my word of the year? It expresses how I feel right now and what I may be doing the rest of the year. I have reached a high-point in my writing career, which is good, but there are no easy paths to get where I need to go next. There’s a chasm at my feet. If I’m going to move on, I’m going to have to leap and hope I make it to the other side.
Writing as a career is not for the faint-of-heart. There’s a lot of rejection involved. There’s a lot of hard work involved. There’s a lot of disheartening news involved – like, if you want to get an agent or editor to accept your work, you need to be reaching at least 5,000 people with your platform (names on your e-mail list, social media contacts, and people who attend your speaking events). I have fewer than 300.
But God has his own way of doing things, and sometimes miracles do happen.
After self-publishing three books, I have found a traditional publisher willing to take a risk on my new fourth book. I first got the news in mid-November and signed a contract by the end of December. I also had a friend recommend one of my self-published books to a company that publishes and creates electronic tools and resources for Bible study. That book will be soon be offered for prepublication orders through their online bookstore.
This is amazing news, but it’s also terrifying. Having books available in bookstores and with online retailers doesn’t mean anything if no one has heard of the books or the author. Publishers do very little marketing for new authors. The authors are expected to find their own readers through social media, book reviews, speaking engagements, and word of mouth. I don’t have those readers yet. I have a chasm at my feet, and it’s going to take a lot to get to the other side – like a huge leap of faith.
Not all leaps are frightening, though. There’s another kind of leap I intend to take this year, as often as I remember to do it. I’m going to leap for joy remembering that I am not alone in this journey. I’ve been called and given a purpose, and God will see me though.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
Have you chosen a word for 2020? Share it in the Comments section!
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What is my mission as an author? The goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.