Happy New Year, everyone! 2013 is behind us as 2014 stretches ahead, bright with new possibilities.
My word for the year? Finish.
Sitting here with my toddler in my lap, trying with all her might to push me away from the computer, I can think of at least ten excuses not to finish this post right now. I was going to do it last night, but I was too tired. I could have done it when I got up this morning, but my focus was elsewhere. With that said, I plan to make some changes in 2014.
I am going to finish my novel.
I know, I know, I said the same thing last January and it still sits, not even half done, in a file on my computer. I’ve restarted at least a dozen times, doubting whether it was good enough or if someone would ever want to read it. I lacked the confidence and assurance I felt I needed that writing a book was something I was supposed to be doing. After all, with home school and two young children at home, wasn’t it selfish to take the time to pursue a dream that might not even amount to anything in the end?
No, Some things started to happen that brought me to this conclusion.
It was first full year of blogging. My readership started to grow and it made me feel good that people actually cared to take the time to read my thoughts and opinions. I knew that those in the publishing industry liked new authors to have a platform, something established that could be built upon. Blogging was a small step in the right direction toward reaching my goal of being an author.
The next thing that happened was I decided to participate in ACFW‘s Novel Track Writing Loop. Created for accountability purposes, Novel Track Writing helps writers stay on track with daily and weekly word count goals and accomplishments. It was through this loop that I met my writing buddy, Christen.
Christen is one of the most organized and motivated people I have ever met. We started meeting weekly with our other writer pal, Neysa. At first I was hesitant. Did I really need another thing on my plate? Yes! I may have mentioned this before, but writing a novel is not a one woman project. It takes a team of people, encouraging and supporting me, giving me feedback and being honest with me, even when the truth stings a little. It is because of Christen and Neysa that I became motivated to enter the 2013 ACFW First Impressions Contest. I thought it might be a good idea to get some professional feedback on my first chapter. Truthfully, I thought it would be a way to find out if I should even bother continuing in my pursuit.
Are you ready for this? I won first place in the Young Adult Fiction category!
I absolutely could not believe it! It all happened so fast, like a whirlwind. I had a couple of published authors from Seekerville, Tina Russo Radcliffe and Christina Rich, look at my entry before submitting. Tina gave me some good tips on GMC, while Christina introduced me to Deep Point of View. I am not kidding, it was the day before the entry was due that I was finally satisfied with the changes I made based on Christina’s and Tina’s suggestions.
It just goes to show that it’s okay to ask for help.
The truth is, I can’t do it on my own. I’m a busy wife and mother. I am so thankful for the people my Creator has placed in my life “for such a time as this”.
So now I have a little over two months left until the Genesis Contest deadline. My goal is to write one thousand words per day and I’ve got my word, Finish, taped to the top of my computer screen.
With more time spent focused on my novel, it will mean less time hanging out on the blogosphere.
So, what does this mean for you, my readers?
First, I still plan to offer at least one giveaway and one book review per month (more if time allows). I am so grateful for all of you, and I love blessing you with these giveaways, as you all have blessed me so much.
Second, I will be making some cosmetic changes to my blog (yes, again!). In the next few months I’ll be getting ready for “spring cleaning”, adding more white space and removing unnecessary ads. I will also be adding a sign-up form for a newsletter so you can stay up to date with all that’s happening throughout my journey on the road to publication.
Finally, you will begin to see more posts about writing, as well as my personal experiences, in general. If you know any writers out there who might be encouraged by these posts, I invite you to share my blog with them.
And the winners are….
Another change I will be making in regard to giveaways is the timeline. Each month all my giveaway’s will end on the same day and winners will be announced in a blog post at the beginning of the new month. So, without further ado, December’s giveaway winners are:
Janalyn O., you won a copy of Audrey Bunny! Congratulations!
Joyce M., you won a copy of Heaven is for Real for Kids! Congratulations!
Lana L., you won a copy of Heaven is for Real for Little Ones! Congratulations!
Genevieve Y., you won copies of My Story: David and My Story: Joseph! Congratulations!
*Books will be mailed to the address you provided upon entering the giveaway.
Do you have a “word” for 2014? How have your goals changed over the past year and what are your new goals for the year ahead? As always, I love hearing from you! Until then, happy reading!
Yours in Messiah Yeshua,
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