How I Finished A Book

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A lot of people have asked me this question and truly, there is some kind of crazy in embarking on an endeavor like writing a book. Truth be told, I’m not sure how I would have finished it if we hadn’t gotten a puppy who woke me up at 5:30 am for nearly a year! That 30-45 minutes to write every morning made all the difference. 
 
 

I’ve always loved to write. In fact, my first work was my middle school journal; a boy-crazy emotional, swirly, hot mess of a read! Imminently entertaining to me now but also coherent and engaging! If I weren’t so embarrassed by it, I might actually be proud. My journals chronicle my inner experiences over the years with very few significant gaps. I’ve always loved capturing the meaningful depths of life on a page. 

In addition to journaling, I wrote short stories for my High School literary magazine, wrote a chapter of a co-authored book, have written hundreds of blog posts, and one serious book proposal that got rejected and I gave up on.  I also wrote 75% of a fantasy novel! Don’t be impressed though, 75% of a novel is NOT a novel. So, while I’ve always loved to write, sustained effort all the way to completion or in the face of rejection has not been my strong point.

 

I was in danger of giving up about 4 or 5 times on Restore My Soul. I had my proposal rejected by the publisher I’d hoped would pick it up and sent the same proposal to more than a few agents. I never heard anything back, not even an “um, who are you and, well, you SUCK!!” email rejection. Just…silence. And man, silence is discouraging.

 

There were a few key things that kept me going this time around before I got the contract with NavPress.

  • There were a very small handful of key friends who were interested enough in what I was thinking about to keep asking me and who were willing to become stakeholders. They were advocates, readers, and editors holding this project with me and really caring about it.
  • I have a couple of friends with whom I pray and listen to Jesus about the big things of life. In a time of discouragement, we prayed and one of those friends affirmed out of that time that I had something to say that the world needed to hear. I clung to that through months of effort.
  • The editor who rejected my proposal was kind enough to have a call with me to give me feedback. Her input helped me rethink my verbiage and tackle the work with a more appealing tone. 

 

I’m so grateful for these people. I realize that I’m only self-motivated to a point.

To go the long haul, I need a tribe. Oh, and a puppy too.

 

Who is in your tribe cheering you on for the challenging things in your life?

6 Comments

  1. Hi Janice!
    Congratulations!! This is wonderful and I can’t wait to read your book. What a process, whew. I have a publisher for my book too and am actively finishing the writing and working with my editor. It’s such a rich process. We’ve been thinking about getting a puppy. Maybe a sign here!
    God Bless and all the best.

  2. I like your writing, congratulations, is this new puppy in addition to your loveable dog that you had before?

    1. This is a new one! We’ve had her two years now, but Duffy has NOT been thrilled with out new addition!

  3. Way to go, Janice! I appreciate your sharing your writing journey with us. I, too, am a lifelong journal writer, and love that time of gleaning from my day. Rich nuggets emerge. I can’t wait to read your book. As Nav Staff myself, I love NavPress writers!! Congrats, and Yay to puppies!!

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