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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Exciting News!


Remember how I wrote on Friday about learning to give voice to your dreams? Well for most of my life, I dreamed of writing a novel. Of being a published novelist. It seemed too humongous for words. Too unreachable. First of all, writing a whole novel-- start to finish? Big! Impossible! And then to top it off, getting someone to publish it? Huge! Insurmountable!

Remember how I talked about how it was hard for me to say out loud the things I carried in my heart and how God has been working on me to start saying it and stop hiding it? You guys might remember how I would casually mention from time to time here on the blog that I was writing a novel. What you didn't realize was how monumental a step it was for me to throw that out there. I. Was. Writing. A. Novel. I was pursuing a dream. I wasn't hiding behind that word "someday" anymore. I was stepping out from behind it and into my future. There was nothing casual about it to me.

And yet, I felt a strange peace about what I was doing. It wasn't that I thought I would finish or that I would get a contract or anything like that. But I also had a sense that, no matter what, good was going to come from me being honest about my dreams with other people for the first time. God was showing me yet again that nothing good comes out of hiding. That we have to bring things out into the light for them to be everything He intends.

And so, I started telling people. My husband. My kids. My mom. You guys who read this blog. My fellow P31 team members. My dear friend Ariel who coached me every step of the way. Pretty soon I was telling everyone I met... whether they wanted to hear it or not! :) It got easier. I grew in confidence. I found I wasn't as focused on achieving my dream as I was on what it felt like to live free in pursuing it. God was getting me to a new place of vulnerability, of honesty, and it felt strangely good.

I went to a writer's conference and showed my work for the first time to other people. One of those people was one of my writing heroes, Susan Meissner. I opened myself up to her critique and the critique of others. I thought I would throw up from nerves but I did it. I left the conference last May feeling one step closer to my dream and connected with a community of other people who weren't afraid to move towards their own dreams.

In the last several weeks, I have learned that the effort I made is paying off beyond what I dared to even dream. That little novel I started banging out, word by word, last August is going to be published by David C Cook-- the people that have done one of my favorite novels Talking To The Dead and the critically acclaimed Scared. They also have the number one bestseller on the ECPA list right now, Crazy Love. I get to work with the same editor who edited Talking-- a dream come true for this newbie who knew she needed a great editor. Not only that, when I was in CO last week I found out that they are going to release it this June!! I spent a great day in their offices last Thursday talking about marketing plans, cover design and editorial calendars.

It still doesn't feel real. I can't believe that it has happened. But I am so glad I pursued my dream and didn't hide behind it anymore. What dream are you carrying around that God might want you to bring to light? I invite you to live the risk you are afraid to take. Even if I had never gotten the payoff I wouldn't have traded the changes that the last few months have brought about in me. It's been an amazing, wonderful ride thus far. I hope you all will stick around for the rest of it!
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24 comments:

Shirley... said...

Yay!! How wonderful!! I am a long time reader, but I am new to commenting.

I can relate to this post SO MUCH! I am a private person that is very protective of my feelings, and that of my family. I have really been feeling like God wants me to live an open, transparent life, though.

It hasn't been easy and I have to remind myself daily to hang in there, but I am trying.

I am truly excited for you! I love reading your blog... You have been an encouragement to me.

Hannah said...

Good job! You should try this if you liked writing a novel. www.nanowrimo.org It's a novel writing month in November.

Amy O/picketfencemom said...

Congratulations, Marybeth! That is awesome news and I am so proud of you! Yay! I can't wait to read your novel, and I know that this is just the beginning.
Blessings,
Amy O./picketfencemom

Deanna said...

Congratulations, Marybeth!!! I'm really excited for you--and for me, I'll get to read your book!

Terri said...

What awesome news!!! I bet it is still sinking in. Congratulations!!!! This is very encouraging. Blessings!

Shannon said...

Way to go! That is so good. I read many of the authors that you reccomend. Sooo happy for you!
My dream is something that is coming right along. Started a non profit to raise awareness to children in the US waiting to be adopted. There are over 165,000 in just the US. We will also be building homes for married couples to live in and rent on a sliding fee scale. These will be in a community called Hope Blooms. www.hoepbloomsmn.org This idea came to me a little over a year ago, and has come far in a short time. We are now to fundraising! God has it all planned out, we are just waiting for Him!
Again, congratualations. I know how excited you must be, as I have been reading your blog for over a year!
Shannon in MN

Arlene Grimm said...

Congrats Marybeth...I will be looking for it when it hits the shelves.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

I cry in utter happiness....
Utter and complete...
Thank you, Lord...

So happy for you, (((Marybeth)))....

All's grace,
Ann

Lori said...

Way to go, Marybeth!!!

Can't wait to read it.

awcamp said...

Exciting AND inspiring news! Great food for thought about bringing the dream to light. Thank you and congratulations!!
Ann

Fiddledeedee said...

SHUT UP!!!! I am so proud of you!!!!!!!!

Bree said...

How wonderful! Congrats! Something I'm working on as well-thank you for the encouragement! I just said out loud the other day --I am an artist-woohoo! A gift the Lord has placed in my heart but I've never felt good enough to even consider. Now to take more steps in pursuing this dream! With Him all things are possible-Amen! God bless you!

Stephanie Hall Burns said...

Oh MB, this is WONDERFUL!!!!! I am so happy for you. I am a total closet wannabe writer and I am not even close to starting anything, but I hope and believe that someday, I will. I always think of you as a woman of God, as a mom, and as a writer. Congratulations! XO, Steph.

Flamingo Mama said...

congrats!!!! that is so wonderful! it is so inspiring that God does sometimes want to give voice to the dreams he's planted in us!!

Kim said...

Congratulations! This is so exciting. I can't wait to read YOUR book! Woo Hoo.

redsoxmom said...

MB~ awesome news! Congratulations! Isn't it wonderful when we reap the blessings of being faithful in what God calls us to do? How inspiring!

Blessings,
Linda

Bridget said...

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story and your struggle. I have felt the same way about telling people that I'm a speaker. God is definitely still working on me regarding this, but sometimes I'm so gripped by the vulnerability of putting it out there, that I can't speak!

Praising God with you today.

momishome2 said...

Congrats! How exciting!! I, too, am very private and find it difficult to tell others what I'm doing. BTW, my dad just got a contract to publish his book, a theological tome; we are likewise very excited.

Quinne said...

Hi Marybeth :) Overjoyed to read your news! Praying with you & for you. Love, Q

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

That is so exciting! I've got some dreams deep in my heart that are trying to creep out, but I'm afraid to give them words. You've inspired me.

Oh Dear said...

COngratulations!!!!!!!!!

Bonnie Grove said...

Serious congrats at landing at Cook. Best. Publisher. EVER.
Welcome to the Cook family!!

And thanks for the shout out. I'm looking forward to reading your novel!

Woo Hoo!!
Bonnie Grove

Cassandra Frear said...

Your life brings a lesson to us all.

Anonymous said...

Overjoyed!!!!