10 Things I’ve Learned As a First-Time Author

10 Things I've Learned As a First-Time Author

A few months ago, I shared here about my latest project (my first book – you can read that post here.)  Now that the manuscript has been submitted (AMEN and HALLELUJAH!), I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned along the way as a first-time author.  Here they are in no particular order:

1. A patient editor is a God-send.  As a first-time author, I had a lot of questions.  A LOT.  Brenda, my editor, answered every question and did so graciously and with no judgment.

2. Some things will go undone around the house, such as laundry, meal prep, dusting, grocery shopping, opening mail, etc.  There are only 24 hours in a day and you just can’t get it all done.  You have to give yourself a little grace…which leads me to point #3.

3. You’ll lean on your family more, especially as deadlines loom.  Everyone in my house pitches in on a regular basis but I delegated tasks a lot more as my workload increased.  I’m so thankful for them!

4. You’ll say ‘no’ to things more than ever, even if those things are good things.  I said ‘no’ to family events, outings with friends, and a few outside projects.  It was tough but thankfully, reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book, The Best Yes, a few years ago prepared me for this season of my life.

5. You will doubt yourself and cry…a few times.  I cannot recall how many times I cried on my husband’s shoulder and asked him, “What did I say yes to?”; “What was I thinking?”; and”Why did you encourage me to do this?”  This project challenged me like no other and made me question my sanity, my skill set, my everything!

6. You will experience supernatural strength.  As each deadline neared, I felt excited energy and a sense of being overwhelmed all at the same time.  When the clock showed an ungodly early hour, God gave me the strength to finish.  I was like the little engine that could – with His strength, not mine.

7. Work within your own rhythms.  Find what works for you.  I researched the writing habits of some of my favorite authors early on in this process.  Some of them wrote early in the morning before their families began their day.  Some had a particular writing space where they put their words on paper.  I am not a morning person, so that was definitely not going to be my story.  In addition, I varied the places where I wrote.  Later this week, I hope to post about my writing process in a little more detail.  Stay tuned…

8. Being surrounded by a few of your favorite things helps make the writing process more enjoyable.  My favorite candle, my favorite coffee, a bowl of peanut M & M’s and my Spotify playlist provided the ambiance for my writing.  Perfect.

9.  You’ll feel a great sense of relief (and accomplishment) when you click ‘send’ for the final piece of the manuscript.  You might even do a happy dance.  No explanation needed. 🙂

10.  You will develop a greater appreciation for people who write for a living.  Really, people who write for a living are my new heroes.  It takes a great amount of discipline, creativity and perseverance to push through the book writing process.  And for those of you who work a full-time job and write in your spare time, bravo to you!

I’ve learned so much more but these 10 things stand out to me the most.  I would also like to share one thing that I was reminded of:  I love creating things and infusing my own ideas into a project.  One of the challenges that I welcomed for this project was the fact that I’d be creating something from scratch.  The ideas shared in the book are some of my best ideas and show my creative side.  I can’t wait for you to see the finished book when it’s released in September 2017!

If you’d like to pre-order the book, you can find more details here.  Order one for yourself and for anyone you know who wants to share God’s truths in a fun, creative, hands-on way.

Keep the conversation going!  What have you learned as an author (either blogs, articles or books)?

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