It has been a while since I sent out a newsletter about my book. Seems I have been busy. I just returned from the Write-to-Publish Writer’s Conference in Wheaton. It was a delightful week! I took a 4-day class on Characterization, which will help me tremendously as I write about the characters in my book. We wrote
some in-class exercises that gave me understanding and compassion for my step-mom as I examined her backstory. The events of her life set the stage for who she became before I ever met her.
I also took a class on Memoirs from an editor who works at Tyndale Publishers. The first thing she said was, “I’m sorry if you have had a traumatic childhood, but those books really sell!” Then she proceeded to tell us all the things we shouldn’t do when writing a memoir. I was encouraged because I wasn’t doing those things. Then she explained what we should be doing as we write our memoirs. I was reassured even more because I am doing those things. That class helped me know that I am on the right track.
In addition, I took classes on time management, how to tell a good story, editing, and realistic dialogue. I met new friends and reconnected with old ones. I talked to the editor of Home Life magazine about getting some parenting/single parent articles published. Last year after I left the Writer’s Conference, my goal was to get something published. By the Lord’s grace, I was able to accomplish that. This year my goal is to get something published and get paid for it. I was able to make some acquaintances that might help with that goal.
One of the most significant things that occurred was connecting with a professional editor about editing my book. I have a list of beta readers, but a professional editor will help me clean up the text as I learn more about how to write tight. She will also help with structure as I am still struggling with where to begin the story. I told her I would hopefully begin sending her chapters around Christmas, so I need to get busy!
The most meaningful part of the conference was on the last day during morning worship. We sang the song, No Longer a Slave to Fear. I have heard and sung that song many times, but that morning I was deeply moved by the lyrics: "I am no longer a slave to fear; I am a child of God." As tears flowed down my cheeks, I was unable to sing. I came to the realization that I have been a slave to fear. I’m afraid my book won’t be good enough to represent the Lord well. I’m afraid that I’m an unworthy vessel to share about what God has done in my life. I’m afraid that my book might actually get published, and then what? As I confessed these fears to the Lord, I felt His Presence fill me with peace and the words "I am a child of God" echoed in my mind. I need to put aside the fears I let distract me and allow the Lord to work through me. Apart from Him, I am unworthy to tell His story of grace. But, through His strength, I can and will represent Him well, for His glory.
I have no writing snippet to send you this month. Life has been busy as I was preparing for the Writer’s Conference, and as I help my youngest prepare for her Bat Mitzvah in July. But I have been writing. I am still working on the structure, and I am almost finished with it. However, I am stuck in the high school years and I am finding it difficult to focus. Who wants to relive the high school years? Hopefully, I can send you a snippet next time.
Please pray for me to stay focused and get through those high school years! And feel free to email me and let me know how I can pray for you.
Blessings in Messiah,