I am a writer who never wanted to write a book. Yes, I swooned as I watched Jo March run her hand gently over her name on the cover of her first book, and I filled pages and pages of my journal, but for the first 58 years of my life I had no desire to see a book with my name on it.
When I was much younger I spent the night at the home of a friend. On the night stand next to the bed in the guest room was a book written by a member of that family. As I picked it up, dust floated into the air. The book had never been opened and there were more copies on a high shelf. I knew that I did not want my hard won words to end up like this. My desire for my writing was something more alive and fresh. Here today and gone tomorrow, like my hero Erma Bombeck, the newspaper columnist. I loved the idea of getting to know my readers and they getting to know me.
As the pastor’s wife of a small church in a small town I found an equally small way to fill this desire of my heart. I wrote a weekly unpaid newspaper column for the Religion Page of the local paper. I loved it and found time for several years to fit it in, between school car pools and church committee meetings. I wrote about my life with God and family. My little column was upbeat and always encouraging and sometimes a little bit funny. When I began to hear that others enjoyed it and that some even cut it out and posted it on their refrigerators, I was in Heaven! (Our refrigerators were the original FaceBook walls.)
Then along came the wonderful world of blogging! This was the perfect venue for my style of writing. The updated version of an interactive newspaper column at its best. Recovering Church Lady is my second blog. I created my first one in 2008 and it was called Walking Butterfly. I told no one in my real life about it and loved making new friends online that were in totally different walks of life and from all over the world. Many of them followed me over to Recovering Church Lady when I started in 2010. I have written for devotional magazines, ministry newsletters, several online magazines and businesses. My rambling words are scattered all over the place.
And now I come back to a desire that hit me between the eyes in 2011…to write a book. At the time I thought that I was going to write a book for pastor’s wives who were struggling. The outline came to me smoothly and easily one day in my journal and I believed that God had given me an assignment. I excitedly told everyone! That shocked me and made me even more convinced that I was on a mission from God. 🙂
It took many months and tons of research to get myself so confused and overwhelmed with the writing and publishing process that I found myself frozen and the project stopped for months at a time. I lost the message and purpose for such a book. I felt embarrassed for my bold declarations to my friends and family and feared that I had become that old cliche` of the wannabe writer who is enamored with the writing life more than the actual work of creating a book. (I still worry about that today.)
The first book idea was set aside as I discovered that the main message it carried was really for a much broader audience than just ministry wives. When I tore it apart and brought it back to the core, I found my life message about the love of God. The huge, simple and complicated love of God. So this year I have been working on book idea number two. Each chapter begins with a true and intimate experience between God and me. Then I do my best to expand on it and help the reader apply it to their own life. I believe that this is the book God meant for me to write and I am so excited to see it take shape beneath my fingers. Recently Hubs asked to read it for the first time and his response made it suddenly feel very real. He is a bit of a sarcastic and cynical soul and his words after reading it are the best thing a faith writer would ever want to hear about her book. I am keeping them to myself…too precious to me.
Ack, cannot believe I am spilling all of this to you! But writing a book involves a good amount of sticking one’s neck out, doesn’t it? Mine feels kind of chilly right now. An editor friend took a quick look at what I have written and gave me the encouragement to go for it and so I am. I plan to self-publish because my research has shown that it is a smart way to go in recent years. The deadline may change but I am hoping to have my book of love release in time for Valentines Day 2016, in just a little over 2 months! I would love your good thoughts and prayers for me as I figure out how to navigate this new world of publishing. I cannot afford an editor or cover designer etc, so I am working hard to get it in the best shape possible on my own….. ( UPDATE: One day after posting, God provided me with a fantastic COVER DESIGNER free of charge! I honestly did not expect this, but a sweet reward from my community after being vulnerable. Thanks LB!)…. It is a daunting task, but I am loving the process because I love helping people see God in a whole new way. So many of you have encouraged me through your comments on my blog posts over the years. Thank you for reading me! It means everything to me. Susie – See more at: http://www.recoveringchurchlady.com/p/the-book.html#sthash.V6KhAxFV.dpuf