My Journey to Publication {part six}

Last time on My Journey to Publication, I wrote about steps I took after attending my first writer's conference

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s 2011 tick-tocked into 2012, we rang in the new year with much hope and excitement.  2012 was to be the year of new beginnings and we couldn't wait to get started.  As crisp January wind bit our faces, we didn't feel the sting.  Instead, we felt alive and ready to take on 2012 with renewed gusto and strength.  Funny how the heart is prepared for one thing yet discovers another.

While the winter months never seemed to end, so did my journey to publication.  When 2011 drew to a close, I was hoping that I would see some progress in my writing journey.  Instead, I fell into a slump in my writing, attitude towards my family, and myself.  It was a gradual slide into the murky mire, but before I knew it I had landed myself into a pit.  And, I wanted out.  NOW.

But, we don't always get what we want when we want it, now do we?  That goes for every aspect of life, but especially writing.  After a few more rejections to guest blog posts that I submitted, I was beginning to feel a bit sad about my writing.  How was I to grow my platform and reach a broader audience if these big sites kept turning me down?  I didn't understand why my stories weren't accepted.  It hurt my feelings and again doubt settled in.

So, I decided if other guest blog sites were not going to publish my work, I would bring bloggers to my site instead.  And y'all, a crazy thing began to happen...I started to connect with other writers.  Through Facebook, Twitter, friends with their own blogs....all of a sudden I had all of these writers united to help with a project of mine.  In February, almost 20 writers came together to help me publish my very first e-book called God's Love for Me.  I gave it away for free on Valentine's Day and it was such a treat to give this gift to all of our readers!  (If you want a copy you can fill out the Need More Truth button  on the right side of the page)

I began to realize something major about blogging - bloggers are generous and want to share.  For so many of us bloggers, our hearts beat to bring truth to our readers.  It isn't about the money or the reward of being's about providing content that people so desperately need.  Even though I started the year in a slump and was rejected (again!), I knew that my heart would not stop desiring to write.  So, I pressed forward.

In March, thanks to some generous friends, I booked my plane ticket, hotel, and ticket to attend Allume Social (formerly Relevant) in late October 2012.  I so appreciated my She Speaks experience but after working on God's Love for Me, I knew that I needed to connect with other bloggers and continue to learn skills to keep my blog fresh, unique, and written with a voice.  I am currently t-minus two weeks and am about to jump in the air and do a herkey I'm so excited!

2012 was finally beginning to look up for my journey to publication.  I had written some more articles for Alabama Baby Magazine and Jr. League of Montgomery so it was fun to get to see those pieces of work published.  I was starting to get my groove back and it felt GOOD.

Then, the fan started spinning.

Our blog got hacked, a for sale sign was stuck in our yard, Raleigh's firm decides to move him to Dothan, and I go interview for a job at our home church.  Life got crazy busy, the twins turned two, and all of a sudden I was living in Dothan with my parents.  It was hard to find time to think, much less to write blog posts that made any sense at all.  In this season of crazy change, I began to wonder if I was just wasting my time.  Did anybody even care if I kept writing in this space?  Was it ever going to be more and would I ever reach my publishing dreams?

Through the hot tears, God told me something that I had known for a while: it's time to rest.  Not quit, but rest.  I needed to take a step back during this period of new beginnings (be careful what you pray for!) and just soak in HIM.  Not my platform, not my goals, not my new schedule, not even my family - but HIM.  I needed my God in a very bad way...and he knew it.

So, God began to illuminate different parts of his word to me.  Some verses that I hold tenderly still are Psalm 94:18-19, 2 Corinthians 5:20, and Acts 7.  During this call to rest, I made a radical decision: I wanted to live life reversed. I was tired of my outlook on life and was ready to embrace circumstances and change.  I was about to truly embark on a season of new beginnings and instead of feeling overwhelmed with anxious thoughts, I was free and I experienced JOY!

Crazy Live Life Out Loud Joy!

This crazy joy is what began the start of our site changing its' name to illuminate.  I had courage and I was ready to encourage truth-seekers - whether it be one, ten, or five hundred - I was going to write.  Because, that is what God called me to do.  He told me so just a few weeks ago.  At the Hope at Home conference, I had the extreme privilege of hearing God's word through prophetic speaking.  Join me next time on My Journey to Publication to hear exactly what God told was remarkable!

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

Day 2 – Why?

Day 10 – Pruning

Day 11 – Thank You

Day 12 – Wind in Your Hair

Day 13 – Embracing Change

Day 14 - Compassionate Marriage