A little bonus blog here, because I have some exciting news to share. I have just signed my first book deal with Tyndale House Publishing.
Honestly, I can hardly believe it!
I feel like all my christmases just came at once!
The truth is I have always wanted to write, for as long as I can remember.
But have never really been in the position to pursue it seriously … until now.
Here’s how it all began …
After completing a degree in English & Communications at the age of 21, I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a journalist but pursued a career in marketing & PR instead. I guess, I figured that way I could still write, and be a bit creative, but also get a decent pay check at the end of each month too…
And it was fulfilling for a while. I worked with some really big brands and with some government departments too. And was pretty good at it as well. I even won some national industry awards for my work in the UK, where I’m based.
But over the last few years I’ve grown increasingly bored and frustrated, and found myself blogging in any small cracks of spare time that I find , and longing to write words that come more from the heart.
I don’t know if it has been getting close to 40 (I have just turned 39!) that gave me a bit of a kickstart, but last year I decided it was time to get more intentional about this dream. So I set myself the challenge of blogging on a bible verse every day for a full year.
And that year long blog challenges became life-defining in more ways than I could have possibly imagined when I first started out on it.
It was a hard and testing year for more reasons than I really have the space to write about here, but not least because during that year I experienced two unexpected miscarriages that rocked my family and all my plans for the future.
At times it was also just really hard to squeeze in writing around my full time job and being a mum to a (then) toddler, but at the same time it was also a really great way to practice honing my craft and getting more disciplined at writing.
At the start of 2019, I also joined the Hope*Writers community, mainly to get some direction and advice on what to do next as I had absolutely no idea about how the publishing industry worked! In a way, it was also just my statement that this was the year I was going to give writing my all.
Since then, I’ve continued to blog fairly regularly, although not nearly as often as every day! And honestly, on some days the response to my posts has totally blown me away, whilst on others I’ve wondered if anyone else is actually reading at all… !!
All part of the learning curve, I guess.
But I’ve kept going because I just can’t get away from the fact that writing is what I’m meant to do, and what I really love.
Then finally, at the start of May Tyndale Publishing offered to work with me in turning some of my devotional blogs into a beautifully presented devotional gift book.
And now that the contracts have been officially signed, I can finally share this news with you, my readers.
You never know what God has planned for you, just around the corner …
The plan is that my first draft manuscript will be submitted in November, and if everything goes to plan, the book will be out in January 2021!
And so I guess this is where the real work of writing and editing and learning how to publish and promote a book begins…
Encouragement to chase your dreams
You may or may not be an aspiring writer, but if you have any kind of dream in your heart right now, I wanted to encourage you to keep going!
You have a dream? Pursue it and don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from chasing it down.
You have a goal? Keep working and learning and building towards it. Don’t let your weaknesses or sense of inadequacy hold you back.
You have unfulfilled longings in your heart? Keep hoping and praying and believing. Don’t lose heart or give up too soon.
Because as long as there’s still even just a flicker of hope in your heart, it’s worth it.
Hope says ‘Keep going’ even when everything around you points to giving up and makes you feel like this will probably never happen for you.
So whatever your deepest desire or dream is right now – whether spoken aloud or still hidden away in your heart – I hope my story will offer you encouragement today.
Galatians 6:9 says this:
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
And my prayer is simply that this may be true of my life, and also of your life too.