You are making a difference with your writing

Sometimes you wonder if you’re making any difference here.

You know that this life is not all about YOU. But maybe you don’t want to just “play small.” Maybe you have BIG dreams and long for more. Being “average” and mediocrity are unacceptable to you.

Today we hear the term Rock Star which is supposed to be a positive, but stardom is fleeting and not always fulfilling, as Michael Jackson’s and Whitney Houston’s superstar lives and tragic, early deaths attest.

Or you finally reach fame and fortune, but get caught up in cocaine addiction and alcoholism like Belinda Carlisle (formerly of the Go-Go Girls) or Lindsay Lohan.

Or maybe you haven’t reached stardom at all, and you don’t WANT to, but you do desire for your life to make an IMPACT, a real difference.

Today I was encouraged with an email from a woman, who recently bought 50 copies of my book on women and spiritual warfare to teach as a Bible study at her church.

She said she appreciated, “your willingness to bring sensitive subject matter that is a real part of the human experience to the place where we can peel aware layers of secrecy or deliberate denial. Only God knows how each story is affecting each lady, but I believe this will have been a life-changing summer study.”

Jane VanOsdol’s chapter on her newborn baby dying from birth defects made the women in this Bible study cry. Many women also relate to Stephanie Buckwalter’s story of depression.

The Bible study teacher who bought my book said it is challenging her and the women in the class to look closer at what they believe.

More than anything, The Hands Of A Woman makes you much more aware of the spiritual battle that rages around us every day. If we could see or hear it, we would be shocked.

You are making more of a difference with your writing than you think.

Keep writing!

“We can do no great things – only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa, Founder of the Missionaries of Charity


Click here to learn more about my book, The Hands Of A Woman: Everyday Women In Everyday Battles

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Learn to say “No”

Oh, dear friend, I know it’s been so long since I’ve been here. Please forgive me! This has been a BUSY year! Like Charles Dickens’ book A Tale of Two Cities begins, “It’s been the best of times, the worst of times…”.

This summer I was contacted by a CEO of a large organization online, who said she got a “nudge” from God about me. She asked me to help edit articles and blog posts for her website, and to post them on her WordPress blog. I know a little about WordPress from having my own WordPress sites and know even less about editing – I have never been an editor before.

After I talked to my husband Ray and prayed about it, I felt God wanted me to help her. Ray really encouraged me to do it because she is successful and he felt she could help me learn new things. He also saw it as an opportunity for me to potentially make some residual income. She would barter her wonderful products, services, and events in exchange for me helping her, and pay me for time-consuming projects, too.

Bartering your gifts, abilities, and services

Bartering is actually quite popular online. I love to barter. You can get some great gifts doing this! Think about bartering your own products, services, events or abilities for someone else, in exchange for something that you would love to have.

Some writers write for magazines, online ezines, freelance write, write resumes, ghost-write, copy-write, become a health writer or travel writer, for either pay or by bartering.

Can you write articles in exchange for taking one of his or her classes? Are you gifted at website design and could help someone with her website in exchange for her newest audio bundle set? Are you willing to speak at an online event for free in exchange for heavy promotion of your name, business, and website?

Since I had never been an editor before, this woman and I agreed to try it for a month. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could do it! That was in June and I am still helping her. 🙂 In addition to blessing my socks off with her great products and events, she has been coaching me twice a month and also paid me (yes, money!) for two major projects she needed done quickly. This woman’s coaching services are expensive, so I think I am getting the better end of the deal!

Some people will have you sign a temporary contract in exchange for your services. We have discussed this but haven’t done it yet. But you might want to consider it for legal purposes and to protect your own interests…just so the two of you have an “understanding” about what you will (and will not) be doing, how long, for what amount of pay (or for whatever you’re receiving), etc.

Invest in a coach for your business!

I’ve been praying for a coach for some time now. I am learning so much from this woman as she is a powerhouse success and is so smart and knowledgeable about marketing, social media, and business in general. And I just love her! I encourage you to find a coach, too – whether it’s a writing coach, a business coach, a finance coach, a marketing or social media coach. In whatever area you desire success, find someone who is “ahead” of you in that field, doing what you love and can show you the way.

Emulate him or her. Learn what they are doing that is working, and learn from their mistakes as well. A great coach will be “real” with you about their mistakes to help others avoid their mistakes and to get ahead faster.

Stay true to your core values in your busy schedule

I was concerned about helping her because I homeschool our youngest daughter Leah and have been afraid of getting overwhelmed, trying to do too much. This job has actually turned into an almost full-time job, in addition to my writing and speaking business. This fall I added life purpose coaching to my services and have another online coaching group starting January 2012. (I’d love to have you join us!)

I am asking God to help me balance it all. I have asked Him to help me keep my priorities straight: God first, family second (including homeschooling Leah), and then all else – my business, helping my “boss”/coach, etc. This is Leah’s last year of high school. It’s so hard to believe she is a senior now! I don’t want to miss out on her last year, but want to make precious memories with her.

Live authentically by moving toward your purpose and living out your core values

Our precious daughter, Leah

The key is to stay in that sacred place of prayer and studying God’s word each day, and learning to say NO to anything that is not moving toward fulfilling our life purpose and our core values.  If “family” is one of your core values, then make sure that is what you are putting at the top of your priorities. Then you will be living authentically – and will be more energized, happy, and less stressed. Homeschooling is one of our core values, so I’m asking God to help me keep it a priority, especially this last year of Leah’s homeschooling.

“No” is not an easy word to say. Just this week, I had to say “no” to a friend of mine, a fellow writer/speaker/coach who asked me to write articles/blog posts for her website.

I wanted to do it to help her, but after thinking and praying about it, I realized if I said yes, I was going to get into overwhelm because of all that I’m already doing. To my relief, my friend was not mad or upset, but she understood.

Learn to just say “no”

Learn to say no! Determine which writing and speaking opportunities – or other types of work – are right for you, and will work for you and your family. In learning the power of that word, “no,” we say “yes” to God, our families, and ourselves.

I am anticipating that 2012 is going to be a GREAT year – but we must prepare now through prayer, Bible study, worship of God, and obedience to Him. “Prepare” and “preparation” are the words (theme) God has given me for 2012.

Each year I pray for God to give me a theme for the new year. God began downloading those two words to me early this time, and has confirmed it already through several people. I confess it makes me a little nervous – what do I need to be prepared FOR? But I have faith that God will be with me and has me and my loved ones in His great Hands!

Say “yes” to God!

God will guide our steps in 2012. Learn now to listen to His voice carefully, to heed and obey. Say a holy “yes” to God, and a “yes” to other people and other things only if God directs you to do so.

Learn the freedom and power of the word “no,” so that you can more fully do the things God has called you to do and to be. And be sure to enjoy and love your precious family and friends NOW, without letting work crowd them out. Live your life with no regrets.

“God makes three requests of his children : Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, now.” – Anonymous

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Should you self-publish or use a traditional publisher?

Today there are so many more options for writers to get the messages of their heart out there: traditional publishing, self publishing, publishing on the Kindle or other E-Readers, etc. Technology is changing so fast, and with it the face of publishing books. Self-publishing is now longer viewed as negatively as it once was. (Example: Seth Godin’s best-selling, self-published books)

Below is a video by traditionally published authors Tim Ferris and Rami Sethi regarding the benefits and the drawbacks of traditional publishing and self-publishing. They both lean toward traditional publishing, and Rami used to have a negative view of self-publishing but his opinion has changed since then.

You can read a great post by Trissa Tismal by clicking here.

Some great advice she gave was, “Regardless which route you decide to take, what’s important is learning everything you can to make your book a success. In the end it’s up to you to make your book a bestseller.

I’d love to know your experiences with either traditional publishing and self-publishing, and what you think of this video. Leave your comments below.

Video – self-publishing vs. traditional publishing

PS: Do you have your copy yet of Beth’s new book on women and spiritual warfare? To learn more, click here.

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