The time has finally come.
It only took me the better part of a decade, but the time has finally come. Time to have my baby. My book baby. And it is time to share it with the world.
I dreamed of this day, never imagining it would truly come to fruition even though I know myself well enough to know that if I want something … truly want something … I will get it. I just had many, many, many doubts along the way.
Looking out the big picture window of what was once my grandparents farm house, my ten-year old self dreamed of the big wide world that was surely waiting for me to arrive. I had lived my entire life on the farm as had my parents and grandparents, and I knew I was destined to live somewhere warm, a place where I would have a pool in my backyard and a high-paying job letting me live in the lap of luxury. Time (nearly 30 years time) gave me everything I had wished for. My seven to eight years of waiting for my book to be ready for publication looks miniscule compared to the tapestry I wove for my life so many years ago from that big picture window.
In the spring of 2004 I began with the sincere intent of turning writing into a full-time profession. The picture in my mind was so clear. I would get a lucrative deal from one of the Big 6 Publishing houses in NYC and be able to quit my high-paying job which I had ended up loathing more than even going to the dentist. (This is true and documented – ask my dentist, I have told him this on several occasions when I used to work at said job.) However, my publishing dream died over time. Discouragement settled in and I gave up on the process of publication. Eventually I even gave up on my own ability to write. My story was one of hard subject matter – a personal tragedy I only wanted to forget – a subject I wanted to push back into the dark recesses of my mind, never to think of again.
As a Christian follower, it was revealed to me shortly after my tragic experience that God wanted me to share my message and healing journey with others in similar situations so it seemed natural for me to write a book on the topic. I met with the right people, did a lot of research and began taking steps to write my book. Yet I pushed it to the side many times - telling God I was too busy, too tired, and I didn't have any guarantee that anyone would buy, let alone READ, this book once it was released. Yet God would whisper to me, “Your work is not done.” And when God whispers, it is louder than any scream I’ve ever heard from any human on earth. Not because it is loud and irritating (well, it is a little irritating if you try ignoring it) but because it is strong, forceful — like a head wind a plane is trying to fly into yet making no progress until it yields to the power of the force and tries a different flight path.
So I listened to God. I sat in silence for days, months even, and listened to Him. When I realized what he wanted me to do, I was in disbelief. What he was asking of me was ludicrous. Insane. Crazy. He was asking me to quit my high-paying job and finish my book — and in the midst of a recession! Yet because I knew that not listening to Him had gotten me into the predicament of having such horrible subject matter to write about in the first place, I decided to pay attention to what He was asking me to do. This time I obeyed.
Once I was "self-employed", I found myself with oodles of time on my hands. I soaked up every bit of information on the wonderful World Wide Web that I could about writing and publishing – anything to do with the book publishing industry was fodder for my mind. My eyes were opened to an entire new world over the course of this time. I became familiar with indie publishing; I befriended other writers and well-known authors. They were my sages on this new journey. I went to a writer’s conference in New York City (THEE best city in the world) and felt I had known the other attendees all my life after mere brief introductions to each other. This was my turf. I was finally "home".
And I realized the whole game had changed from the many years ago when I had started down the publishing path. I didn’t need to continue sending out proposals. I didn’t need to put the fate of my book in someone’s less capable hands.
Throughout the course of thirty-six years’ time, God had given me all the tools and resources I needed to write, design and market a book. From the first time my Grandma Oeltjen took me to the library where I fell in love with books and reading to the last job I had as a media producer, I was being groomed by God for the role of an author.
As a dear friend of mine once said to me, “The tapestry of life is always being woven. We just won’t know until it is all said and done what the pattern will look like.” The tapestry for my book has been woven from the day I was born. Thirty-six years of weaving it took to prepare me for the birth of my baby. My book baby.
And now, it is time.
Love, Lies & Lessons Learned is now available on Amazon. My baby has been born and she's in your hands know. Please take good care of her. She may not be perfect but she's imperfectly perfect to me. And it will only get better from here on out.