I’ve always been an avid reader and my imagination took me to faraway places to meet fascinating people. After closing the pages, the characters stayed with me and as a child I invented new things for them to do and say. Somewhere along the way, my writing dream took root in the form of “someday I’d like to write a book of my own.”
Even though life has a way of stalling the pursuit of dreams, small shoots continued to grow. There were the busy school years full of academic papers and activities … and angst-ridden poetry in a journal. Followed by the crazy days as a young mother with two toddlers underfoot juggling personal health issues and a special needs child … while scribbling down story ideas and filing them away for a future date when the kids were old enough for school.
In the fall of 2004, with a new surprise toddler underfoot and the dream still on hold, God used a timely sermon to deliver a message. The time to pursue the dream and climb the mountain was now. (Since I was singing in the choir during three services that morning, God had multiple times to pound His point into my thick skull!) I hurried out to my car, pulled out the bulletin, and prayed for God to show me what I was supposed to write first.
Within fifteen minutes I had written down the title and outline of a non-fiction project complete with creative alliteration. The only problem was that this idea was as far from what I wanted to write as it could be. I tried procrastination and then tried starting a fiction project, but by mid-2005 I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had asked God for an idea and I needed to be obedient. Week by week and chapter by chapter, God brought fresh insight when I needed it most and by December, I had my first complete manuscript.
Now what? Stumbling around in the dark, I submitted the book to a service that send summaries to multiple publishers at once. I got a call … from an online newsletter asking me to write an article. That article led to the recommendation of a writer’s conference, another divine appointment over dinner for a paying article assignment, enrollment in a writing course, getting a mentor, and so on.
My first book, Pigskin Parables: Reflections of a Football Widow, was published in 2007. Five years later, I acquired the rights, rewrote sections, reformatted it as the eleven-week devotional it should have been all along, and self-published it as Pigskin Parables: Exploring Faith and Football.
The journey continues as I learn more and more about the craft of writing, the publishing industry, platform-building, and marketing. I’m still pursuing the dream … and someday soon hope to incorporate the first of my scribbled ideas into a novel.
To celebrate the anniversary of my kick-in-the-pants nine years ago and the re-release of my first book last year (and because it’s fall and football season!), Pigskin Parables: Exploring Faith and Football is on sale through the month of September.
While you can find the print version for $9.99 and ebook version for $2.99 using the links in the sidebar, the sale price requires a special coupon code. The print version is 50% off using coupon code 5VR769CG at www.createspace.com/3971784 and the ebook is now $.99 using coupon code MZ87P at www.smashwords.com/books/view/218471.
What about you? What journey are you on? How far have you come? What are you doing to celebrate?