I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Writing Stars from God

Just when we think we've "got it" all figured out, we realize that we need to be diligent about the areas of our lives that are not as we would like? OK, I'll be a little more transparent. I love, absolutely love, to write! Anything! About anything! I also love to read and blog and surf the net. When you're a writer, especially a Christian writer with a definite call on your life, these activities can vie for time and attention, can circumvent my creativity and wisdom, and worse of all distract me from what God desires me to be doing with the gifts He gave me!

So it's a bit ironic that I'll be speaking about "Your Idea to God's Plan" at the end of April, don't you think? There is definitely an irony in that and I will certainly share that at the conference:-) While I'm being completely transparent, I will confess I have a competitive streak. No, I don't care if I win a game of scrabble or monopoly. I just fight my perfectionism and so if I fail in a goal or a plan I can really get aggravated with myself.

I started writing at helium.com a long time ago. I've written articles on all kinds of topics and made a little money in the process. I'm talking pennies, well . . . maybe quarters:-) When helium.com switched over to a new system of calculating their payout system, the rules became a bit more stringent and they now require writers to maintain a peer rating above a certain percentile, submit a certain number of articles to certain categories, and also peer rate others' articles.

Do you see where I'm going with this? I worked really hard to rate enough articles to get a "rating star." Since I already had a "writing star" I didn't bother to submit anything. Well . . . last week my writing star went away because eventually everybody "falls from grace." I had to fight hard my desire to just throw a couple of well-crafted articles up there so I could get my star back! I really didn't have time, but I really, really wanted to get back that star!

Now . . . God doesn't really care how many writing stars I have at helium.com or anywhere else. I know that. I understand and accept that if I had time, it would have been a fine use of my skills and abilities. But I am working on some freelance writing for pay, promoting my book and attempting to write some God-inspired pieces.

Chatty Kelly addressed this topic in her blog this morning. Her areas of temptation were different than mine, but Satan uses her 'growth areas' just as he uses mine to undermine our efforts to live rightly and do what we know we must do to please God.

So I'm not going to even visit helium.com this week! Well, that's a bit cavalier. I probably will visit, but I'm going to just do a check in to see if I get that star back:-) I promise I won't stress about it:-) OK, even that's not completely truthful. I promise I will try to not be distracted by the things of this world. I'll let you know how that goes!

for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. (2 Titus 1:7 RSV)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Taking My Show "On the Road"

A few days ago I registered to be a vendor at a Christian Book Summit (conference) in Orange, VA. I have heard the sponsor, Eugene Williams, Jr. with Wise Educators speak at a Christian writer's conference last year and really liked his presentation (and him). I also was excited to see the summit because Renee Bobb is the keynote speaker. She has become the "self-publishing guru" to many and has built a thriving business by sharing her own experiences, then helping others achieve their goals.

I called the information number because I wanted to be sure I didn't also need to pay for a ticket to attend some of the workshops. When I received a return call, the coordinator asked me if I would also like to speak at the summit!! I am so excited to have this opportunity! What a wonderful chance to tell my story of the journey to having my book published and to encourage other Christian writers!

The Summit is at the end of April, so I'll plenty of time to prepare marketing materials and print of sets of my Scripture cards, order copies of the book and copies of my blank journal as well. The other really great thing is that one of my Christian sister/writer friends is going to go with me! We're both really pumped up and just brimming with excitement to have the chance to minister to other writers

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My First Speaking Engagement to Discuss My Book

I have been invited to read an excerpt from Woman at the Well, and talk about my ministry at a prayer shawl retreat on February 28!

I am very excited to have this chance! There will be members of several churches in attendance, and I hope to have the opportunity to connect with them and be invited to speak at their churches or small groups as well!

God continues to bless me beyond anything I ever imagined! I honestly ordered 10 copies of the book, believing that they would be adequate inventory for several months. Now I have a total of 35 books in inventory and I am seriously considering ordering more.

Not only that, I received this invitation in response to my offer to donate a copy of the book for a door prize! Also, a dear friend has offered to post a link to the book with the offer for an autographed copy so potential buyers will be directed to the book.

Now that I have finished my Faith Development course through BTSR I'm going to get busy with some article writing for several publications and will begin working on a developing a study guide to go with Woman at the Well!

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14 NIV)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's Almost Valentine's Day! Need Some Gift Ideas?

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Another Batch of Books and Writing Issues

For some reason, I have sold out of my current small stock of books! I say it just this way because I honestly figured if I had an "inventory" or 10 books, it would last me for several months! In a way, I guess that's a sinful attitude because I know God blessed me and my book and I should have stepped out in fatih and ordered 100 right out of the gate!

I want to keep this attitude, though and not become conceited. I have worked very hard to acknowledge that any encouragement, help, guidance, etc. I might offer to others is a direct result of the same having been offered to me. It is from God and for God. It only took 52 years to be able to say that with complete integrity!

My next venture is to begin a blog that offers free book marketing for Christian writers. Another Christian writer friend and I are discouraged by the lack of a free networking system for Christian authors so we are taking matters into our own hands! We will be co-bloggers and once we work out all the mechanics, we'll have a big announcement.

The next project I'll undertake is to make my Introduction to Journaling course into an e-book. I don't know if there will be enough registrants for the Journaling course through the Adult Ed. Dept. to make. There weren't for the January session. Honestly, I don't mind because I don't know how I would have fit it all in! God knew I couldn't add that to my plate right now, I guess!

So . . . Keep writing! God will bless our words if they are the words He has given us.

I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, `Seek me in chaos.' I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right. (Isa 45:19)

And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. (Exodus 25:16)

The tricky issues for writers series has turned out to be quite a lot to keep up with. I will probably only post items periodically. Besides, that post on commas could last someone a really long time!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Book Selling and Other Joys I Never Thought I'd Have

Today I sold 1 copy of my book at church and I have sold two copies from the lulu.com site:-) OK, my Dad bought them to give to two of his brothers! Still . . . I'm excited! Another friend from chuch has said she wants to buy one later this week when we are at book group meeting together.

It's still a bit surreal that I actually have a beautiful, professionally published book!!!! Woman at the Well should hit amazon.com and some other sites in about 6 weeks.

Our Minister of Adult Discipleship at my church has suggested I order some more copies of the book and she will "market" them at church as great Mother's Day gifts. I feel so blessed to have such supportive family and friends who continue to bless me with their encouragement.

For anyone still "in process" with their writing, know that you will reach your goal! At several points in my years-long process I felt as if I was "done" with the book. At each point, though, God intervened either through an insight or idea, through the involvement or interaction of a person, or through an event or series of events that led me to "wait."

That is not easy for me! This was an exercise in obedience -- God wanted me to publish this book! It was also an exercise in waiting on God. Both of these areas were and continue to be growth areas for me. I sincerely believe God brought me through this process so I could learn to trust in Him more and "wait on Him" in other/all areas of my life.

I know that as I work to market the book, God will be in charge. He will lead the way and provide opportunities for me that I cannot even dream of today!

and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; (1 Kings 2:3)

Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong, and of good courage. Fear not; be not dismayed. (1 Ch 22:13)

He who gives heed to the word will prosper, and happy is he who trusts in the Lord. (Proverbs 16:20)

so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

All Scripture is Revised Standard Version