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Bumps in the Road

When I first started writing my book proposal in January 2010, it was because I felt God finally give me the go ahead. At the time I was working as a full time high school English teacher and feeling unsettled, unhappy, and unfulfilled. I’d been wanting to write a book since I was in grade 8 and had even started several times, but it always felt forced. When God finally gave me the okay, there was an ease to the process, but it wasn’t always easy.

It took almost 6 months to write the proposal and another year to complete the book. I didn’t actually write all year long though. I got lazy, and after a solid week of writing in the summer of 2010 (I wrote 1/3 of the book in a week!), the manuscript was put aside. Between July of ’10 and March of ’11 I wrote another 1/3 of the book and completed the last third, basic editing, and organization in the final months of my pregnancy with Cohen.

Completing the manuscript was so exciting, especially because I finished it just in time to enter a publishing contest through Word Alive Press. I had high hopes. Shortly after entering, Cohen was born and the book was put on hold – still nothing but a file on my computer. As I awaited the contest results I couldn’t help by hope and pray that I’d win. But later that summer the finalists were announced and unfortunately, Dream Big had not even placed. It was a huge blow to my confidence. What if this book really wasn’t any good? What if I’d been fooling myself all along?

A few months later I decided to go ahead and continue pursuing different publishing options. I found a freelance editor, connected with a publisher, and continued on the journey. The editing process was tedious and by the end I didn’t want to read another word of that book, ever again! And as exciting as it was to receive my proof copy in the mail, it was also overwhelming. Now what? How do I get this thing out there and not just end up with boxes of books in my living room for the next ten years?

Since releasing the book in March I’ve sold nearly 200 copies, but the process has been very slow and a lot of hard work. I really didn’t have any idea how many books I’d sell, but I’m sure every author hopes their book will sell thousands, even tens of thousands. Not for fame and fortune, but so that people can benefit from the message. That’s why I wrote it in the first place, to help others along as they pursue their big dreams.

The best moments are those when someone reads the words God gave me to write, and is blessed by them. One reader wrote,

“I am very glad that I know you Heather It is because of you and your book that I am finally pursuing my dream of speaking. You inspire me so much! I have a relationship with God that I have never had before. I actually take the time to stop and listen to what he is saying to me. Its amazing how you can hear him when you actually listen!” 

Words like this make the bumps in the road seem so small and insignificant.

I’m writing this post because I want you to know that the path to our God-given dreams isn’t always easy, nor is it without challenges. It’s hard not to look at people like Ann Voskamp and Kelle Hampton and hope our first book will be a best seller like theirs. But the truth is most of us will have to push through, working hard, persevering and faithfully taking the steps God lays out for us. There will be moments of breakthrough and celebration. But there will also be times where we sit in our living room, looking at boxes of books and hoping our dreams won’t stay locked up in cardboard forever. Praying our hopes will escape the confinement of our imagination and make their way into reality.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

Linking with Jami

 

The Blog Book Tour Continues! Check out Ruthie’s review and giveaway HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Bumps in the Road

  1. Heather,

    Thanks for sharing some of your experiences over the last while. It’s been tough for me as well, but we have to continue to hope and pray that we heard God’s voice clearly and the message He wants us to share. I’ve always said that I feel called to be an author, whether that means it takes 1, 10, or 30 years to get published. Whether or not I sell dozens, hundreds, or thousands, I can only hope that the stories I’m writing has an impact on at least one individual. If they do, then it was worth it.

    Also with books in boxes,

    Paul

  2. Thank you for this encouraging post! I’m working on a book proposal right now and am rather overwhelmed by the process. I too work in bursts – a big chunk of writing gets done in a short amount of time and then I sit on it for a while before working on another chunk. I don’t have books in boxes yet, but I hope to soon!

  3. You know I like this.

    My personal road to my “dream” has been full of heartache, pain, hard work, disappointment and confusion.
    What I’ve learned is that the dream is always Him, you know? He invites us into get to do the cool things and plants the desires and the passions and He brings them to fruition in His time, but we always end up with our dream – despite the bumps in the road, maybe through the bumps in the road!, when we seek first the Kingdom.

    Love your heart:)

  4. Hi

    The bumpy road – for sure. Thanks for being so honest.

    Unless we take “me” out the equation it will be really bumpy – right? I am happy that your book is doing okay – it is a hard road. Let us keep praying that God will lead those who need to hear His words through you to buy this book.

    Those encouraging words from readers – such blessings from God.

    I have printed 6 copies of a children’s book to take to Write!Canada this year. Are you coming? I am “testing the market” at the conference.

    Thank the Lord that you were bold, that you persevered and that you took that step. May He bless your trust in Him and take your marketing to a higher level.

    Dreaming big for you.

    Blessings and peace,
    Jan

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