By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Sawyer's Story, The Journey of Motherhood
It has been a while since I mentioned my desire to peruse publication for Sawyer’s story. I wanted to offer you an update on the process.
Before officially stepping in a forward direction, I had to wage a battle of the mind with Satan. To be completely transparent, I struggled for a several months with self-doubt and discouragement. I wasn’t sure that my story was really unique enough to share or convinced that anyone would buy it. It took some time for me to really decipher the source of these thoughts and identify that they were not from God. After a lot of prayer I felt encouraged that although my situation in losing Sawyer is not unique (in the United States every 1 in 115 pregnancies end in a stillbirth), my story is uniquely mine and God has given me words of hope and encouragement to share. More importantly, “my story” is really not about me at all, but about God and what he has taught me and how he has carried me through the valley of death. Looking at it from that perspective helped me to remember that God gives each of us gifts. We are simply asked to use those gifts for His glory. I love to write. Why shouldn’t I write about God’s faithfulness and see what He chooses to do with the words?
(cue Rocky music here)
So. . . renewed with a new burst of encouragement, my first order of business was to start diving in and learning what I could about the publication process. I know I love to write, but I knew nothing about how to get my writing in front of the right people for consideration. I prayed for direction and then asked my friend Google for some help.
I found a really helpful blog full of information, tips and advice for authors and aspiring authors. Next, I bought Michael Hayatt’s ebook to learn how to write a book proposal. Then, I set to work putting together my book proposal. After editing and re-editing my proposal, I researched Christian literary agents and found one that I was really excited about, Then, hand-in-hand with my husband and after a word of prayer together, I submitted my proposal on the evening of May 25th. Then I waited and prayed. Last week I received an email reply stating:
Thank you for your submission to DCJA. Finding Joy in the Mourning sounds intriguing and we would like to hear more about it. Please email me a full proposal and a full manuscript.
Yippee! Praise God! So now I move on to stage two of the process, finishing my full manuscript. I have set a goal to submit my information within a month. My manuscript is currently a little over 62,000 words and I am trying to give them the fine-toothed comb. Now is when I wish I would have paid more attention in English class. Grammar is not my strength. I am also praying for wisdom as I decide what to edit out and what content to keep and what might need tweaking and rewording. It is also difficult at times to dig back into those memories so heavily.
The good news is that you can get involved in the process! Here is how:
The last part of the book is going to include a chapter full of questions and answers. The questions will be presented to mothers who have experienced the loss of a baby. They will be given the opportunity to offer their candid responses. My desire is to provide a resource of helpful feedback and information for family and friends who are desiring to support a grieving loved one in the way that will minster to them most effectively. I have created a one question survey that I would love for you to fill out. The question on the survey is “What question(s) would you like to ask a grieving parent?“ I am looking for things that you would like to have answered by grieving moms in general. Things like “What words of comfort are most helpful for you?” or “If there is one thing you wish your friends knew, what would it be?“ You will have enough room to ask a few questions if you have more than one. Please give this question some thought and click here to share your thoughts.
In the meantime I will get back to the 62,000 words that need editing. If any of you love English grammar and editing let me know;).
I will update you as the process continues and would welcome your prayers. Truly, I desire for God to be glorified in this journey. I want to be a tool in His hands and want to be willing to be used in the way that He sees best. I am praying for wisdom, direction and contentment as I step forward and He slowly makes His path known.