i can write to me all day - putting thoughts on paper, making notes, forming ideas. but this is different. always. it is writing to you - in book or blog - that demands an assurance from the Holy Spirit that is His leadership and my obedience.
if i might encourage those who are writing, want to write, dream of writing. for me, on my writing journey, i am thirsty for knowledge of how others are writing and succeeding, pushing through, staying focused, and fulfilling their call to use words to bring about life change.
i've shared how i get to write a book and how i am writing a book and want to tell you what happens in the book process. one that is still ongoing. one i'm in the thick of and am loving! i'm a fan of timelines and bullet points that get to the point and make it easy to follow. but i greatly appreciate the stories that give depth to the timeline.
so here's my timeline and bullet points with the story woven in...
September - i signed a book contract with Revell Books. the manuscript due in February. (for reference, i do not have an agent and have worked directly with an editor for this book)
it was a quiet few months. i'll be honest - i expected some pep rallies from the publishing team. (as if i was the only author they had to work with! as if our work comes with constant milestone celebrations and daily pats on the back! as if this was the only way i knew they were for me. and yet, i have had amazing access to my editor who has become a constant cheerleader.) i stuck to the outline i submitted in the proposal. i worked to establish a rhythm of me and the words i was attaching to the page. this became an intimate weaving between soul and screen.
November - i asked close friends (beta-readers) to read tidbits and forming chapters. i was hungry for feedback.
December - i reached my goal of having the manuscript complete before Christmas break. (note: kids in school and proposal gave way to a faster writing process) i took time away from the every day writing, but it was never out of my mind.
January - edits. this was harder than i expected. we are our worse critics, are we not? editing felt like a starting over because it is a starting over. editing is answering the question, "how can i make this stronger and better?" i heard back from my beta-readers and made some changes with gratitude for their insight. it was starting to look like something i could be proud of while still having to fight insecurity and procrastination and doubt and negative self-talk. my friend, christine hoover, had told me to submit it just like i'd want it read. such good advice.
February - i read the manuscript aloud over 2 weeks. to honor God and to work through the manuscript in a different way.
My prayer on February 6: I'm desperate for You - to hear from You - to see You act in accordance to Your will (there is no other way). i die to myself, my desires, my flesh, my wants. i surrender. i lay this book down. i lay it all down. i want Your will and Your way. There is no doubt in my mind You deposited this book into my soul last April. You wowed me as I drove, jotted down ideas on post-it notes, got it to the editor and then got a green light from the team. this came from You. as i am close to sending it in, show me anything i am to remove. show me Your delight and approval. i will read it as an offering to You - my audience of One. and i trust You to deliver it across the city, nation, and world. to raise up Your church, to equip the saints, to refresh those in hard places, to speak to the younger generation, to save souls, to call us back to You. may Your Kingdom come and Your will be done. in Jesus' Name i ask, amen.
i submitted a few days early. with several trials that started off our year, the manuscript was safer in my editor's hands than mine.
in one week, i received my first round of edits. changes were tracked and edited through a word doc. the edits were then accepted by my editor. it was saved as FINAL manuscript.
January - March - the publishing team emerges! they were names on an index card for a while, now they were emailing me in regards to cover design and title. i started to see the team effort in the book process. we landed on a title that i'm excited to share! Love Where You Live: How to Live Sent in the Place You Call Home. i'm grateful for everyone who has their hands on this book!
April - writing partners look different now. i'm in conversation with those on the publishing team with marketing, copy editing, cover design, catalog content. i am now extending the final manuscript to potential endorsers. i'm making big asks and am hearing yeses and nos. you're tapping into your network, your husband's network, your friend's network, and anyone you think would help elevate the message of your book. it's a vulnerable place to be, but when you believe in the message, you want to recruit a team of people who will hold it up. i still meet and learn from my supper club -writer friends. (note: we all need a supper club.) they're not just for the start of your writing career or in the midst. they are creatives, supportives, dreamers, encouragers. rachel dodge in the supper club has her first book coming out in october and she pushes me to do everything i can to be ready for where God will take this book.
presently - i'm cleaning closets and purging the junk drawer. those tasks neglected during the manuscript process. i'm spending time around the table with women in ministry, in writing, in leadership and counting down the last 6 weeks of school with the kids. i'm always journaling and and would love to connect more with you. my email is on the connect page or you can comment on this page.
coming soon - i can't wait to see the cover and show it to you right here first! i'm also honored to be a guest on christine hoover's podcast and will share it with you here.
every day has the potential to be a step in the right direction. i'm cheering you on. i'm grateful you do the same for me!
what are you learning as you write? i'm happy to answer your questions about the process. this is how i learn too!