Can I be honest here? 2017 was such a difficult year for me. I was faced with professional challenges I didn’t think I could overcome. I learned that every book I had published needed a massive overhaul. I was more defeated than I’ve ever been, and my confidence was shaken. I considered giving up more seriously than I ever have – but I didn’t.
I tackled the first book revision and found it didn’t kill me – Unmending the Veil. I worked through Deceiver. That one nearly got me. I tossed out a new book just for good measure – A Thousand Blessings, which by the way had to be completely revised since it was written in my old style. Then I started On 4/19. By that point in the fall, I was so exhausted that I dragged my feet for months. Now, a few days after Christmas, I have begun work on Beyond 4/20. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Including all books, that was over 600,000 words that had to be revised and stories condensed. I’ve learned more this past year about writing and storytelling than in all my other years combined. I have to be thankful for that since it will make me a better writer going forward.
I appreciate your patience with me as I’ve been slow on offering new books while I tackled the 2017 revision mountain.
I’m excited about the upcoming year. Since I have many projects going, I know it will be busy, exciting, and hopefully productive. One change I will make this year will be to permanently reduce my blog frequency to once per month. I think it will free me up to work on other writing deadlines and free your inbox up a little. Win/win.
Just to give you a heads-up on what I’m working on, assuming you’ve been sitting around wondering ;), I am dividing my time between the following things in the first quarter of 2018:
- Revising Beyond 4/20
- A revised version of On 4/19 will be added to Kindle in January.
- New: Starting a non-fiction book called Live Loved. The plan for this – Lord willing, is that I will use it as companion material for a conference this spring/summer. The book will stand alone content-wise, but I think it will be a good addition to the conference.
- New: Going into the studio to demo a few songs that I’ve written. Not me singing – you’re very welcome. We have some wonderful talent scheduled to sing the songs. One of my favs is Zack, my son. Even if I wasn’t his mom, he would be my favorite singer. I see God doing amazing things in Zack’s life, and I love being along for the ride. At the present Zack is slated to record three of my songs. One will be a stand-alone country single, United We Should Stand, and two others are contemporary Christian. All will be released on iTunes. I’ll keep you posted on the details of that.
- Fun fact: I love writing contemporary Christian music, but I find words just flow when I’m working on country lyrics. That’s my country roots showing through. I guess I don’t have to tell you I don’t write beer-drinking, tail-gate sittin’ songs. You’ll find faith, family, and home in my country lyrics. (Quick shout out to my favorite writing partner, Bob! Thank you for your awesome way with music.)
I look forward to sharing all of these projects with you early in 2018. Once the 4/20 revision is complete, I have a new fiction book on the production schedule, but since that one will be submitted to a new publisher, it may be a long wait for the release. Busy days ahead. I always have to leave myself open to the Spirit’s leading. I’ve learned one thing, my plans can be changed in the blink of an eye by the direction of the Lord. At least you can share in the current plan.
Thanks to all of you who have kept me going all these years. Many of you write encouraging notes to me at just the right time. You can’t possibly know how much that means to me and how that’s kept me afloat when I’m drowning in a sea of doubt.
And thanks to those of you who have prayed for me. I needed prayers, and I still need prayers. I’m not naive. I know attacks will continue to come, especially as I begin this non-fiction book. Please pray for me. Pray for Zack. We have much ahead and a God who seems to have a plan. Super exciting.
Glad you can be a part of this extraordinary, crazy, painful, overwhelming life.
A thousand blessings to you in 2018. I hope you see every one of the blessings God pours upon your life. Watch for His hand. There’s nothing more thrilling than seeing the God of the universe touch your life in large and small ways.
Grace and Peace,