For the first time since starting this blog in 2012 I took this past month off from my regular schedule of blogging. Maybe you noticed; maybe not. It felt weird to me to forego this regular habit that helps me process my thoughts. However, this hiatus was a needed break from pressure I put on myself – primarily so I could relax during our vacation without having as much hang over my head. But the break was also necessary in order to devote what time I did have to work on my second manuscript that is due in August while also preparing for the release of my first book Get Your Story Staight: A Teen’s Guide to Learning & Living the Gospel in October.
Throughout this publishing process and as October 12th nears, what I have decided is the path I am on is much like one of the hikes we just did in Colorado called Conundrum.
I don’t know if the reason it was name that is what I suggested, afterall a “conundrum” by definition is a problem or puzzle often too tricky to figure out, but I speculated it was because of the constantly changing landscape that left us unsure of what the next curve of the path would bring.
At points we were in the forest and then we would come out in a valley of flowers before ascending up over rocks to the next view. Every segment was different so we never knew what to expect. Some portions were harder or longer than other parts, but there was always surrounding beauty if we just stopped to take it in. And at some places the path was fairly visible up ahead while in other spots determing how to proceed was less clear. This pretty much describes where I have been and where I am going with my writing. When I decided to lead a group of sixth grade girls in a Bible study seven years ago, I had no idea it would lead me to writing curriculum and especially not a book. I am not one of those people who has always wanted to write a book, but I am someone that saw a deep need and developed a growing passion for teens to know the God who loves them and is well-pleased, not because of their performance or perfectionism but because of His Son’s.
So I got on this unexpected path of becoming a published author without having any clue what that looked like. Now I know and when people ask, “What takes so long?” I know that answer too! I’ve learned having a publishing contract and a manuscript submitted does not mean the book is done! Actually, I think it just means things are getting started!
During the many months of the editing process, sentences, paragraphs and pages get scrapped or changed which means rethinking and rewriting. Initially seeing the red editing marks and critiquing comment bubbles on the computer screen panicked me. I wasn’t sure how I would be able come up with a better way to say what I thought I had already said well. But through the pruning process of being stretched in my writing, I feel confident the book is better for it. Now I’ve entered the final stage (I think, at least) for this book. This is when the marketing begins and what you will be seeing lots more of in these months surrounding October 12th. Going hand in hand with the promoting and becoming a published author, I will be unveiling my new website – hopefully as early as next week! At that point this blog will be merged into the website and I will give you a new link. If all goes as planned all subscribers to this blog will automatically be subscribed to the new site and will then have the option to also receive my future monthly newsletter.
Again, a curve in the path. Not sure of all the details or what it is going to look like. Nor do I have any idea what this book or the next will lead to, though I am fairly certain I can expect things to continue to change. A conundrum that could make someone like me, who likes to control and know what’s ahead, crazy! But one of the biggest things God is changing in me is the ability to be at peace on the journey. To actually stop and smell the roses. To not try to sprint up ahead to see further up the path. And, to trust that the One who laid out the path and can see over the mountains and past the valleys will give me just what I need to follow where He leads. How thankful I am He is in the business of growing us in grace. For our good and His glory!