Today's blog post is a story I want to share with you. I've been holding on to a secret for quite some time now, although I've hinted here and there about something big in the works. And now I can officially announce that I have a contract to write a book!
That's right, a real honest-to-goodness book. I can still hardly believe it myself. It's called Faith & Lettering: an Inspirational Guide to Creative Lettering and Journaling.
Last year in September, I was sitting on the couch after the kids went to bed. My husband and I were doing the tired, end-of-the-day detox of watching TV and exchanging casual conversation. It was a normal, boring night. That's when an unexpected email popped into my inbox.
The email was from an acquiring editor of a DIY publisher inquiring if I would be interested in writing a DIY book related to what I currently do and share on social media.
I gotta tell you, I never set out to be an author. Honestly, I never set out to write a blog, much less a book. My hands started shaking as I told Andy what the email said. We discussed how I should respond and what questions I should ask.
I immediately felt conflict in my heart. Who am I to believe that I could write a book? I'm not equipped for that. I'm not knowledgeable enough for that. I don't have the talent for that.
It would have been easy to say, "No thanks." Really. I had no aspirations of writing a book at all. But the idea wouldn't let me go. I decided to say yes and see where it went.
And that's when I began to see the hand of God working in a tangible, specific way.
These events don't happen often to me. I'm not the person who sees everyday miracles. But when I said "Yes" to something that was very scary to me, God began to fling doors wide open.
Here's what happened:
I immediately discovered I didn't know what I didn't know, so I reached out to my author friend, Jordan Raynor with some "what on earth do I ask?" questions. He introduced me to his literary agent. I had a conversation with the agent that produced some good questions and alternative paths I could take that I initially rejected. I decided to press forward with the publisher alone. I prayed really hard. And I waited. While I waited, I did some research that fellow lefty hand letterer Dawn Nicole had sent me.
When the contract finally came from the publisher, something felt off. It wasn't anything about the publisher specifically, but I couldn't get a peace about it. As I prayed, I ultimately felt that the publisher wasn't a right fit. I needed to pass on their offer.
At that point it would have been easy to drop it. It would have been a relief to not have this pressure of a book on me. But Jordan's agent encouraged me to press forward, write a book proposal, and send it out to publishers the traditional way. And oh, he was willing to represent me.
(I later found out that finding the right agent who is willing to represent you is a time-consuming process and can be very difficult. It's a process that I guarantee you I would not have had the gumption to pursue on my own.)
This book would have died right there without that little push.
When I finally submitted my book proposal (the process took me an entire month and was not easy), all I could do was wait and pray. I prayed for God's timing and God's will, even if that meant a bunch of rejection letters. I didn't want to write a book if God wasn't with me and going before me on it.
A few months went by, and one-by-one, offers came in. That's right, multiple offers!
Y'all, God is good. I can't say that emphatically enough.
I ended up with four Christian publishers making offers. Three out of the four offers were better than my original one with the original publisher. I was privileged to talk to Bethany House, Harvest House, Worthy Inspired, and Zondervan - great names in Christian publishing! I tell you that not to brag on myself, but on the Lord, who graciously nudged me on this path and kept swinging open the doors for me to walk through.
In May this year I accepted an offer with Worthy Inspired, based out of Nashville. Their team of ladies won me over, and I'm tremendously excited to work with them.
Faith & Lettering was a dream I didn't know I had. It's a crazy dream that God put in my heart.
My manuscript is due September 1, and I'm furiously working to finish it. (#summer #kidshomefromschool #help)
Remember I said that I felt great fear and feelings of, "Who am I?" I still have that fear, those feelings of inadequacy, but my faith in God and his sufficiency is greater. Like Moses, who also asked God,
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
who also doubted his abilities, God continually brings the focus back to himself.
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.' (Exodus 3:11-15)
I trust that God is greater than myself, and if he's called me to write this book, he'll also equip me and go before me.
Faith & Lettering is a book about lettering your faith – full of lessons addressing how to draw each letter in multiple styles, how to take creative sermon sketch notes, how to lay out your lettering in a nice composition, and more – as well as the spiritual benefit you get when you hand letter scripture or bring creativity to your devotional time.
Faith & Lettering will go on pre-order in mid-November, so watch for updates on how you can get those pre-order freebies or be part of the launch team!
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With love and lettering,