Did you give it your all?

I have fought a good fight. I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.

II Timothy 4:7, NLT

Tomorrow starts the beginning of another year. And although I did not accomplish everything I set out to accomplish, I can say, with confidence, that I gave it my all.

Paul sat in a Roman jail knowing his life was about to end. But as he reflected on his life as a missionary to the Gentiles, he wrote a letter to Timothy and told him he was ready to die because he had remained faithful to his call.

As another year ends, were you able to remain faithful to your call as a Christian writer? Were you able to spend time developing your craft? Were you able to establish a regular writing routine? Were you able to complete your manuscript? Were you able to submit your manuscript for publication?

Today is a good day to reflect on what you accomplished this year as a Christian writer. And as you look back, even if you didn’t accomplish everything you set out to do, I hope you can say you gave it your all.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

Responding to God’s call to write: In what ways did you give it your all this year as a Christian writer? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!

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Overcoming your writing fears

There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.           Carl Sandburg

It wasn’t perfect and I almost let me fears stop me. But I didn’t. I overcame my fears and sang a song at our annual church’s Christmas party.

What fear is holding you back from writing for publication? Is it the fear your writing isn’t good enough? Is it the fear of not knowing where to begin? Is it the fear of rejection?

Like singing, no matter how many times you practice your craft, your fears will get in the way of you submitting your work for publication. So you have a choice – to continue wallowing in the mud of fear or to rise up and submit your writings. And like I learned after finishing my song, even if your first attempt doesn’t turn out as perfect as you expected it to be, at least you are no longer wallowing in the mud.

Sharing the journey,

Jeanine

Responding to God’s call to write: What one thing will you  do today to stop wallowing in the mud of fear as a Christian writer? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are they? The calling blockers. In the book, How to live your calling, the authors describe calling blockers as “things that prevent you from taking the needed actions to live out your calling.”  They list four calling blockers people encounter as they seek to live their callings – fear, negative thinking, busyness, and money. How do these relate to aspiring writers? Busyness can keep you from carving out time to write; fear can keep you from submitting your work for publication; negative thinking can keep you from believing in your writing skills, and money can keep you from living your calling because it’s hard to make a living as a writer.

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Why Michelle Obama has sold 1.4 million books

Most of you are probably aware that Michelle Obama released her memoir, Becoming on November 13th, 2018. According to the Associated Press, she sold 750,000 copies on the first day of its release and sold more than 1.4 million copies in print and digital format in the U.S. and Canada in the seven days since it was released.

Why has Michelle Obama already sold 1.4 million copies of her book since its release? And what can we learn from her as aspiring authors?

Michelle Obama has sold 1.4 million books because she already had a  platform to sell her book.

What is a platform? It is defined simply as an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.

Unless you’ve had your head somewhere in the sand for the last ten years, we all know who Michelle Obama is. The first African-American First Lady of the United States. A Princeton and Harvard Law School Graduate. A woman who ran the White House for eight years with dignity, class, grace and an iconic style. A loving wife and mother. And a woman who left the White House with a huge following of girls, young women and old who loved, admired and respected her for what she did while there and who, in their eyes and hearts, will be their forever First Lady.

So it should come as no surprise that her book has already sold 1.4 million copies. For she established a loyal following of fans and readers before her book ever hit the marketplace.

According to an article I read recently in Writers Digest: “For nonfiction writers, the most significant development of the past decade has been the insistence by publishers that authors have a national platform.”

With that said, how can you as an aspiring author build a platform to sell the book God has given you to write before you publish it? Check out this helpful article on www.Writersdigest.com to learn how: 6 tips on how to build a platform and sell books by Chuck Sambuchino

Don’t wait until your book is published to start building your platform; start building it now so you can sell not only one book, but one million.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

Responding to God’s call to write: What can you do today to build your platform for your book before it is published? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you.

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I have no choice!

 

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I HAVE NO CHOICE!

God has chosen me and given me this sacred trust and I have no choice. I Corinthians 9:17

While I have worked part-time for a number of years since beginning my journey to write professionally, I am currently looking for a full-time job.

But as a former full-time employee, I understand what returning means. It means I may not have as much time to write as I had before. It means I may not have as much mental energy as I had before. It means I may not have as much physical energy as I had before.

But even if I return to full-time employment, I will still find a way to write. For like the apostle Paul, God has chosen me and given me the sacred trust of writing for Him. He chose me when I heard him speak to me on my way to work one day and he told me it was time to leave my job. He chose me when he started awakening me at the crack of dawn to read his Word and write down the insights I received. He chose me when I battled discouragement after giving up my career, and he kept reminding me of my new calling. He chose me when I didn’t have the monetary resources to attend the writing conferences or buy the books I needed to hone my craft, yet he provided a way to attend every conference and the financial resources to purchase every writing book.

I have been chosen and given the sacred responsibility to write for the kingdom, so no matter what happens regarding my employment status, I will write. Because I simply have no choice.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

Responding to God’s call to write: Is God calling you to write for Christian publication? Then no matter what changes occur in your life along the way, remember you have no choice but to keep writing. Post your comments on my blog if this post ministered to you today. I enjoy hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

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Are you tapping into your power source?

 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20 NLT

Do you remember the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz? After a tumultuous tornado landed Dorothy in the land of Oz, her one desire was to get back home to Kansas where she lived with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. But in order to get home, she had to take a journey down a yellow brick road to a land called Oz to visit a great Wizard.  When she finally arrived, the Wizard told her she already had on her what she needed to get home. All she had to do was click the ruby red shoes she had on three times and they would take her home.

Like Dorothy, you also have access to a power within you called the Holy Spirit to help you accomplish your writing goals. And this power will not only help you write effectively but help you accomplish more than you ever thought you could do. For example, you may have planned to write just one article for publication, but as you tap into the power that resides within you, you begin to write more articles. You may have never imagined yourself writing a book or novel, but as you tap into the power that resides with you, you complete your first manuscript. You may have thought you could never stand before an audience to talk about your book, but as you tap into the power that resides within you, you are able to overcome your public speaking fears.

So don’t be afraid to begin. For you have a power within to help you to not only write effectively but to accomplish more than you ever imagined you could do.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

Responding to God’s call to write:  How are you utilizing the power within you to write for Christian publication? Share your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!

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Relax. Renew. Return.

 

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Today is the last last day of my vacation. As I sit here in my hotel room one last time overlooking the San Diego Bay, I am inspired to write this blog post to express how grateful I am to have had an opportunity to get away.

Because I was simply burned out. Burned out from the business of living. And burned out from the business of  writing. 

So for four glorious days, I said goodbye. I put down my pen and paper, closed up my  computer and cell phone and got away. Away from the hustle and bustle of life and ministry to the beauty of  San Diego, CA. I enjoyed the leisurely evening walks with my husband as we strolled hand-in-hand up and down the San Diego bay; I enjoyed watching the huge cruise ships arrive and depart from the harbor; I enjoyed watching the various performers as they entertained and convinced us to buy their wares; I enjoyed hopping on and off the colorful trolleys to tour the various  attractions of the city. I enjoyed crossing the towering blue bridge to the seaside resort of Coronado and visiting its historic beaches and Hotel; I enjoyed riding up and down the hills of LaJolla and seeing the massive million dollar celebrity homes along the way; I enjoyed standing atop the highest point in San Diego and seeing a 360 degree view of the city and the Pacific ocean; I enjoyed  touring a former navel ship to see how the men and women of the navy once ate, slept, lived and played; I enjoyed looking out the window on a dinner cruise and basking at the beauty of the ocean illuminated at night, and saluting the huge battleships glowing in the darkness along the way; I enjoyed watching the simple wonder of a dolphin leap in and out of the ocean and laughing at the massive sea lions as they sun-bathed along the coastal seashore; I enjoyed sitting on the benches of every beach we visited and simply doing nothing but basking in the beauty and wonder of the Pacific ocean.

My bags are packed and it’s time to return home. But I’ll never forget my four glorious days in San Diego, CA. For I am renewed, refreshed and reinvigorated. And ready to return to the mission of writing.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

 Responding to God’s call to write:  How are you taking time to renew and refresh yourself this summer so you’ll be ready to return to your mission of  Christian writing? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you.

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Are you expecting rain?

Seven times Elijah told him to go and look out toward the sea, and seven times he went. I King 18:43

After a long drought in Israel God told Elijah he would send rain. But when Elijah told his servant to look out towards the sea for a rain cloud, his servant came back and told Elijah he didn’t see one. So Elijah sent him again and again until his servant finally came back with a good report.

How many times have you submitted a poem, article, short story or manuscript to a magazine or publisher to only receive a discouraging report? Are you almost ready to give up on your dream to write for publication?

Even if writing for publication takes longer than expected in your life, don’t give up on your dream to become a Christian author.  No matter how long it takes, keep being persistent in your submission efforts, until you finally see the raincloud of publication.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

Responding to God’s call to write or publish:

If you’ve been rejected for publication, how will you continue to persist in submitting your writings until they are accepted for publication?

 

 

 

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Got an idea?

All I had was an idea and God. 

Those were the words from the event coordinator of an author festival I recently participated in.  Although the coordinator shared she only had three months to organize the event with a zero budget, the event ended up being a success because she believed in the idea God had given her and moved forward in making it come alive.

That’s what God wants us to also do. For daily he gives us a plethora of writing ideas. But rather than moving forward with the ideas we receive, we sometimes allow our fears to stop us in our tracks until we have perfect conditions. We may wait until we have the perfect time to write. We may wait until we have the perfect place to write or we may wait until we have the perfect skills to write. But just as the young woman offered her event in spite of imperfect conditions, we are called to launch out and begin the journey to write for publication even when our conditions aren’t perfect. For, in the end, all it really takes to get started is a great idea and a great God.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

Writer to Master: Father,  You’ve given me an idea for a writing project. May I believe in myself and have faith in you to believe it’s enough to get started on my journey to write for publication. Amen.

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Will you trust me?

Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.  Jeremiah 17:7, NLT

Because I work with a number of people who are around the same age as I am at a new part-time job I recently started, the inevitable question that usually arises during our conversation is: Is this a second job for you?

And my answer is usually no. For although many of my colleagues have retired and are using the part-time job we all have as supplemental income, I am not. I am working because I have to work as I approach my retirement years.

It’s discouraging I’m not in the same financial position as my colleagues, but I still believe I did the right thing when I gave up my career to prepare for a career as a Christian writer. And just as God has taken care of me through the years as I prepared for my writing ministry, I believe he’ll take care of me as I approach my retirement years.  

Is God calling you to step away from an existing career to prepare for a  career as a Christian writer, but your retirement account is not quite where you’d like it to be if you go? Then trust God to fill in the gaps, for as you step out in obedience to write for the kingdom, he promises to take care of you along the way!

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

Responding to God’s call to write:   How are you learning to trust God to provide for your needs as you prepare to write for Christian publication?

Writer to Master: Father, if you are calling me out of my existing career to prepare for a new career as a Christian writer, help me to trust you to take care of me along the way. Amen.

 

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It’s a different world!

When I took my daughter to begin her first semester of college, after helping her get settled into her dorm room, praying for her safety and planting a butterfly kiss on her cheek, I left her with the following words, paraphrased from the opening song of a TV show we enjoyed watching:

“Here’s a chance to make it,
If you focus on your goals.
If they dish it, you can take it,
Just remember you’ve been told
It’s a different world,
Then where you come from”

Excerpt:  A Different world theme song: Lyrics by Stu Gardner, Dawn Lewis, and Bill Cosby

Like the different world of college my daughter was soon to enter, it’s also a different world you’ll enter when you begin the journey to write for publication. And beginning this new journey will require certain adjustments on your part if you’re going to succeed. It will require you to adjust your current schedule to make writing a priority. It will require you to develop a habit of writing regularly to practice your craft. It will require you to get whatever training is necessary to improve your craft, and it will require you to develop the tough skin needed to accept the criticism required to improve your writings for publication.

You’ll be challenged like never before as you enter the world of writing for publication, but if you’ll remember to stay focused on your purpose for being there, you can make it in this different world.

Sharing the journey,

Jeaninne

 

Responding to God’s call to write: If it is your desire to be a Christian writer, how are you preparing today to enter the world of writing for publication? Post our comments on m blog. I enjoy hearing from you.

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