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 1:12Linking with Jami
The Blog Book Tour Continues! Check out Ruthie’s review and giveaway HERE.