Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Sabbatical Is Over

            My last blog post was indeed over a year ago, 12th May 2016.  I found myself asking, “What is the purpose of my blog?  What is the theme I want to focus on? 
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was thirteen years old.  It was a few months after I fell in love with Jesus and the desire was born in my heart. 
            Now the thing is, my father wanted to be a writer as well.  But he’d had his dreams destroyed in 1968-1969.  I remember that a man came to visit my father regarding a manuscript that Dad had submitted.  The man was either an agent or an editor.  He said my father had written drivel.  Instead of persevering, Dad gave up.  At this stage of my life I know that there were other factors involved in Dad’s decision.  Dad stuck with what he knew—barbering.  My dad was a great barber.
            It made me sad all those years ago to know that dad had given up his dreams.  He was a natural born story teller.  He had many anecdotes that I wish I had recorded, because I loved those stories and will never hear them again.  I would never be able to tell those stories the way he did.    I guess you could say, it still makes me sad when I think about Daddy’s dashed dreams.
            Last year, after pressing myself to write and post a blog entry with a target of 200 posts during the course of a year, I realised that I was blogging for the sake of blogging
            Before I became a missionary, I wrote an annual Christmas letter, with the usual things you put in an annual communique.  After joining Youth With A Mission (YWAM), I began writing newsletters/prayer updates on a quarterly basis.  I wrote them and posted/mailed them out in the traditional method.  As e-mail became more popular, I converted to sending out newsletters as an e-mail or attached as a document to my friends and supporters who preferred e-mail.
In 2000, while I was at college, I remembered hearing the word “blog” and wondered what a blog was and what it was all about.  In 2003, after moving to my current home, I realised that many YWAMers and other missionaries used blogs as a way to regularly contact and share with family, friends and supporters.  So, although I was now married and living in the UK, but no longer as a missionary, it occurred to me that a “web-log” would be a very efficient way to keep in touch with all the folk I knew and loved. 
            However, I also learned that many writers used blogs to build a following, earn a living and create a writing career.  So, I made an effort to use social media to build a following.  I didn’t feel I had much success.  To build a following, a writer needs to have a topic which with people feel a connection. 
For instance, I follow  Sara is an accomplished seamstress/sewer and Sara’s blog is the showcase for the re-enactment costumes/clothes she makes.  Her sewing skills are amazing.  She shares about her children, but usually in context to the re-enactment events they attend and the clothing she has sewn for them. 
I found myself asking:  Do I want this to be biographical?  I could go that way.  After all, that is how Ann Marie "Ree" Drummond launched her career as a prolific blogger, book writer, cook, and entrepreneur.  Back in 2007 I came across her blog, and got addicted to the story of her romance and marriage to her husband.  Her website also included recipes, photographs and interesting updates about her life.  Today Ree is known as The Pioneer Woman, with a television series on The Food Network.
If I want this blog to be a launching pad for some sort of career, then how do I go about it?  If I know that I’m called to be a writer, and I am, then what am I supposed to be doing?  When am I supposed to do it?  How am I supposed to do it?    A year ago I was pondering all of this.  So, I decided that I should give my husband’s wise advice some attention.
What is ‘Maverick’s’ advice?  “Stop spending so much time writing a blog and work on your book.  You aren’t getting anywhere by blogging.” 
Back in 1994 I started a manuscript during the three month School of Writing, University of the Nations.  In 1995 I completed a manuscript, a historical romance.  As mentioned in a previous post, two critiques of the manuscript went missing. So That's What Happened
 I was advised that the story needed re-writing.  And since then, I’ve made several attempts at it—but never really knowing what to change. 
I asked one of my favourite authors, Donna Fletcher Crow, how she kept herself motivated.   Mrs. Fletcher Crow taught fiction writing at the School of Writing I attended.   Her advice was to do a detailed outline.  Practical, doable suggestion on her part.  Yet, all I knew about outlining was for thematic writing, with roman numbers. 
So I prayed.  I found myself on Amazon, and discovered that I could download a Kindle Reader onto my computer.  I’m sure there was Someone leading me, because I came across a workbook on outlining that I could download free.  The writer’s name is K.  M. M. Weiland.   How To Outline Your Novel
I bought the book, and ordered a paperback copy of the workbook.  I suddenly found myself unstuck.  I was so excited.  Since August I have been working on the reorganisation and rewriting of my first book.  The working title is Angelee’s Dilemma. 
Another book I came across is by Chandler Bolt entitled Book Launch.  It is about not only writing your first book, but also about self-publishing through Amazon. 
Christine Draper, one of my friends is self-publishing her books on Amazon.  She has been a valuable resource for me.  Her website is: Draper Internet Business  You can find her books here: Books by Christine Draper

Over the past years, I believe writing the blog, editing a prayer magazine for my local parish and writing projects for Christine’s books has been helping me to mature and develop as a writer.  

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says:  Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald[b] may run with it.For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it[c] will certainly come and will not delay.

          I firmly believe that God has appointed times and seasons for us.  Although I have felt like I’ve been bumping my head against a wall over the years, I sense that my writing career would unfold at some point.  In the last few months, I have felt a release; that my season has come. 

            Now I will be launching my own website.  On my blog I will be sharing about the books, my research and even providing an excerpt from the book.  So, I will also be connecting my blog to my website. 

            I originally started blogging on www.wordpress.  I have reactivated that blog and will be posting here on as well as www.wordpress. 
            Wasn’t that a long way of saying I’m back to blogging?  Thanks for your patience.  And thanks for reading.

“Lady Helene”