I remember a time when I didn’t even want to tell my friends or family I wanted to write a book series. I was afraid of the negativity I’d face. Sure, people would be pleasant, but behind the pleasantries, I knew I’d see doubt, disbelief, and a lack of support. I tried to tell one or two people. The blank stares, awkward silence, and their promptness to change the subject devastated me. Others asked questions cordially, but I knew they thought my ideas wouldn’t go anywhere. Their lack of confidence in me could have capsized my idea altogether. Instead, it prompted me to do three things.
I reminded myself that my idea was not my own
Having a great idea, or even a good one, is rewarding. It can make you feel intelligent, helpful, caring, and worthwhile. But there’s something about being inspired that elevates the entire process. The idea no longer belongs to you. Rather, it’s been given to you by a higher power for your charge. The word inspiration means a divine influence immediately exerted upon the mind or soul. When you receive inspiration, you feel differently about it. The idea didn’t come to you—it came through you. You are then responsible for seeing it come to fruition. Who gave it to you? Call it a higher power if you’d like. I call Him my Father in Heaven. If He has enough confidence in the idea and in me, why shouldn't I? I have someone on my side at all times, even if it feels like He’s the only one. He’s enough.
I kept my enthusiasm
The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek origin, en theos. “En” means “in” and “theos” means “god.” So it literally translates to being inspired or with god, to be rapt, or in ecstasy. The times I’m most happy are the times I put aside my worldly cares and find joy in the moment. I can honestly say I show signs of enthusiasm! It makes sense to equate enthusiasm with a divine closeness to God. He loves me, He supports me, and He gives me inspiration—he’s also the author of my enthusiasm. With my book series, no matter how many roadblocks I’d encountered, I persisted. Learning to write fiction was hard. Learning to write fiction well is even harder (still improving on that, I can say, enthusiastically!). Through all the failures and heartache, I never lost faith in the idea given through me, and I never lost enthusiasm for this great story.
I took one step at a time
Picture Indiana Jones as he stood on the precipice of the cavern in the Last Crusade. His father was bleeding to death, he had to find the sacred chalice, the last clue was as vague as the rest, and he stood before a crevice too wide to cross and a devastating chasm below. He could see his destination, but there was no apparent way to get there. He had to trust the text—he had to take a leap of faith.
Sometimes we know the end product of our idea, but since we can’t get there in one step, we give up on the idea. The better way is to follow faith—one step at a time. I took the one step. Then I took the next. Many steps were taken to get BELIEVE published. Many more were taken for TRUST. Now, I’m about ready to take the last few steps for book three, DEFEND. My heart is humbled with gratitude for the people who have supported me on this journey.
Today, I celebrate! I’ve found it’s important to celebrate the steps along the journey, however small they may be. It brings to the surface the gratitude I feel for the people who’ve been there, and it helps fuel my enthusiasm. Here’s what I’m celebrating today:
I’ve received feedback from four beta readers about the content of book three of the series, A Doorway Back to Forever: DEFEND.
Feedback is essential—it helps me see if my story is on track. It shows me where character arcs are weak and where plot holes exist. My readers see things I can’t see, and I’m grateful for the time and effort they put into reading my story before it’s ready to publish.
My graphic artist is working hard to make another spectacular cover
I had such success in working with Crissie Murphy—she read BELIEVE and loved it enough to become the cover designer for TRUST. Now she’s working diligently on DEFEND. I’m hoping for a cover reveal in the next week!
My website is almost ready!
The cover page is live, and it links to my blog, but that’s it so far! But that’s huge for me! So I’m doing a happy dance.
I didn’t give up.
I’m not going to lie. 2017 was tough on my spirit in many ways. After publishing TRUST, I almost threw in the towel for the rest of the series and the plans I had for the online course. But instead, I remembered whose idea this is, I pumped up my enthusiasm, and I took one step at a time—again, and again, and again.
I hope you remember who inspires you. I hope you work with enthusiasm in the things that matter to you. I hope you fight off the doubters and take one step at a time with whatever you pursue. I guarantee the end result will be worth it!