Business Cards – Check
One Sheet – Check
Book Proposal – Check (all 31 pages!!)
Elevator Speech – Check (and practiced at nauseam)
Getting ready for the She Speaks conference was a lot of work! When I signed up to go the Christian speaking and writing conference, I was able to also sign up to meet with prospective publishers. This was like a dream for me!
I self published “Full Heart Empty Womb: How I Survived Infertility…Twice” in December. I have never regretted doing that. It was the clear path that God led me to take. I think if I had pursued the traditional publishing route, I would have been overwhelmed with anxiety. Will they reject my book? What if they say my writing isn’t good enough? And not just anxiety about the publishers. What will my friends think? Will they judge me for sharing my intimate struggles? Instead I decided to put my nose to the grindstone and just write as God inspired me.
And God has blessed our journey together. I have been able to comfort a lot of women. I have become friends with complete strangers because we have shared the intimate struggle of Infertility. It is such a blessing that a time of pain has been turned into loving ministry for me. Everything I have been through could be to help just one person. That is how vast God’s loves is. Sharing my journey helped her realized that she wasn’t alone in her pain. Sharing my pain restored her peace.
I went to get my make-up done in preparation for the conference because what better excuse?? As I was talking to the sweet lady who was helping me, she asked me what I did for a living. That is always a tricky question for me. I still kind of giggle when I say “A Writer.” Why? I don’t know. I wrote and published a book. I write in a blog. It’s in my FB profile. I mean I have business cards for Pete’s Sake!! What more does it take to be an official writer?? 😉
Any who – – just telling her that opened a door because she asked about my book. Now the reaction I get when I tell people the name of my book is always interesting. Men. Completely shut down. I might as well have said “vagina” (except I don’t even say that word. I even giggled when I typed it.) Women usually immediately tell me about someone they know who are infertile. (Hello! Validation that there is a felt need for this book!) In this case, she told me about a co-worker who had just tragically had a late term miscarriage. She wanted to say something to her and didn’t have a clue what to say. I was able to talk to her about how to comfort her. God loves those ladies so much that everything I have been through and written could have just been for them. How AWESOME is that? I am at complete peace with being part of that Love.
All that being said, if I had a chance to spread that Love further, would I? Oh yea. So I signed up to meet with publishers at She Speaks. My first appointment was at the end of the day on Friday. I sat in awesome training sessions all day and miraculously was able to concentrate in each one! About ten minutes before my first interview, I snuck out to go pray and collect my nerves. I sat in the hallway with my lucky charm my BFF, Jodi, gave me before I left. I am not a believer in lucky charms, but the weight of it in my hand reminded me that I wasn’t alone. I stared off in the distance and prayed. A kind stranger saw me and came up to see if I was okay. Her name was Debbie. When I told her I was getting ready for a publisher appointment, she immediately asked if she could pray with me. I sat in the middle of the hallway, hands clutched with a complete stranger, grateful tears streaming down my face, as Debbie said a heartfelt prayer on my behalf. After a quick hug of appreciation, I dashed to clean up my mascara before my interview.
And it went AWESOME. My first interview was also with my first choice of publishers. She listened as I gave my spiel and asked a lot of questions. In the end, she said I had a definite Felt Need (YES!!!), a great story, (YES!!), need to get a literary agent (On it!!) and need to continue to build my platform (that would be where YOU help by liking and sharing my blog & FB page ;). I was so encouraged! I honestly had no clue what would happen, and this was the best case scenario. OH YEA!
I have learned that this is a long process. Although this was a huge accomplishment for me, it is merely one step in a long process, and I probably won’t hear anything for several months. But it is one step further. My next interview went well too. I walked into the room and instantly knew I was meeting with a matriarch of the publishing industry. She was kind and thorough with her questions. In the end, she told me that she only publishes ten books a year and that mine was too much of a niche market. I thought that was fair and told her so. However, she expressed to me that she felt strongly that I should get an agent and there definitely was a publisher out there for me. She continued to share some much needed industry insight the rest of our time together.
I left the conference feeling reenergized and confirmed. I am continually praying for God to direct my path for His will.
And I think I got a pretty big arrow about what way to go.
“Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” Proverbs 2:26