It has taken me three years to write the title of this post on my computer screen.  Writing these words makes it real, something that I can't hide in the secret space of my home office.  It is admitting that I would one day like to be a published author.  This journey to publication has many parts that are still unwritten, but I'd like to share with all of you what I have learned so far. To begin a journey, truth must be admitted by the one partaking in the experience.

You might be on a journey similar to this if:

-You want to announce to the world like MLK that you, too, "have a dream"

-You get all squirmy just thinking about what life could be like if that dream became a reality

-You want to discover your purpose in life

-You daydream

-You doubt and feel overwhelmed.  You don't know if you have the strength to actually do it.  But, you still want to.

-You have this idea that just won't go away

-You have been asking God to grant the desires of your heart

My journey to publication began in 2007 when I was living in Birmingham as a happy newly-wed.  As I watched Beth Moore light up the boxed-television screen at Dawson Baptist Church, I thought about how much fun it would be to have her job.  She was so engaging and she was really helping people.  Not only that, but she was leading and growing women in their walk with Christ.  What an honor.  What a gift.  Driving home each Wednesday night, I couldn't help but wonder...could I do that?

While living in Birmingham, I became a small group leader for Donna Greene's Community Bible Study for Girls.  That experience fueled my desire to encourage other young women in their walk with Christ.

p.s. - this picture was taken after a  Christmas pajama party so I apologize for the snowflake shirt

Thursday morning, I would brush the thought to the back of my mind as I got ready for work -  a real job that I loved and was pretty darn good at.  A job that helped people and made a difference to society.  But, I couldn't help but this what I was meant to do in life?

After Raleigh graduated in May 2008, we moved to Montgomery.

The dream died down a bit as I transitioned to a new job, new house, and new town.  As the year continued, I experienced a major trial that forever changed me.  It challenged me and literally had me on the floor in prayer and tears.  This trial made me re-evaluate my life and how I was living it.  It made my walk with Christ stronger than it ever had been before.

As y'all know, the blog began in 2009.  It came after a summer of much healing, thought, and decisions.  After years of writing in a journal and having my nose in books, the blog was the start to my life as a writer. It was a humble beginning and I didn't want anybody to know about it at first.  I guess I was embarrassed.  I certainly didn't think of myself as a writer or even a blogger - it was just an idea that I thought was worth trying.

During my blog's first year, I would wander into bookstores and look at all the different publishers in the Christian marketplace.  I had no idea where to get started.  One day, as I was scanning the rows of motivational books, I stumbled across Delatorro McNeal II's book, Caught Between a Dream and a Job.  I had never heard of this author but the title jumped out at me.  I purchased the book and began reading about how to leave the 9-to-5 behind and step into the life I've always wanted.  He gave good advice and challenged me to start the process of writing now, while I had a set income.  As I answered the questions in his book, I felt called to write a book geared toward girls in college. I began researching the story of Ruth and how Boaz called her "a woman of noble character."  I had so many thoughts and ideas and I would find myself scribbling down words like purpose, morals, and values.  This was the beginning of my brainstorming process.

My college years

Even though I had all of these ideas, my story still did not feel complete.  My examples felt silly and surface level - they didn't have the weight I knew the book needed.  Problem was, I hadn't experienced any major life challenges (at that point) to draw experience from.  So, there I was: caught between a dream and a job; not knowing if the dream would ever have enough depth to become a reality.

I've shared about what happens next - getting pregnant and quitting my jobStay tuned for the next part in my journey to publication!

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

P.S. - I stumbled upon another writer's blog, Anne Riley, where she did her own journey to publication.  It was extremely helpful to me as a writer and was part of the inspiration for sharing my story with all of you.  Thanks Anne for your encouraging words!