That’s My Word for 2019
In the past three years my guide word for the year have been methodically thought through, carefully measured, contemplated . . .
. . . but now I’m going BOLD with publishing
Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl
Five Thoughts about publishing my memoir
- Lots of books get published every year, millions. Many of them are e-books, a market that is growing by leaps and bounds. In 2017, a record number of books were self-published.
A multitude of books, scripture agrees: “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of the making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh ~ Ecclesiastes 12:12-13, King James Version
- Writing a book is hard work. According to Allison Leotta, sex crimes prosecutor turned legal thrilled author . . .
. . . writing a book is more difficult than law school, running a marathon, or climbing a mountain!”
She should know, she has done all three as she revealed to writer and media guru Dan Blank in an interview in July 2018.
And it takes a long, long time . . . usually longer than the two-year gestation period for birthing an elephant!
“Editing is a writer’s purgatory,” my blog post proofreader Cliff observes. Busy with the graphics, he hasn’t done memoir editing.
- Writing a book becomes the main dish of your life for a while. Author Shawn Smucker apparently agrees. Shawn has published several books and provides writing services. We share a Mennonite upbringing.
- If your genre is memoir, ancestors become more real as you research and write your past.
If you can make your ancestors real for yourself, learn their stories and who they were, your life . . . will take on added meaning. You will see yourself in the Big Picture that includes all human life that has come and gone on the planet.
~ Laurence Overmire, Digging for Ancestral Gold
- Writing can be a form of active prayer. ~ Melissa Pritchard
At what stage is my book now?
Manuscript in the hands of a copyeditor
Book cover on a designer’s easel
ISBN numbers purchased
In 2019, I aim to publish . . . focused, wholeheartedly, and with intention!
* * *
What is your bold move this year? (Maybe it’s a carryover from last year or another year. That’s okay.)
What book captured your imagination last year?
How do you think writing can be a form of active prayer?
Good morning, Marian! How exciting! You’ve worked so hard on this, and I can’t wait to see your book in print.
Writing a book does tend to take over your life. For the reference books, I’ve written it’s more of a time factor and a commitment to getting the books finished. For my first book though, which was my doctoral dissertation, it was a process of years and years as I did the research, and I still think about some of those unhappy people.
I liked the photo of the book as the main course–if you could see my kitchen table now, it would be a smorgasbord. 🙂
You have been a writer all of your life, Merril, and have a large oeuvre to prove it. I like the idea of your kitchen table as a smorgasbord and love how your blend your writing life with cooking as your delicious dishes on Facebook prove. Thanks for making my blog part of your early Wednesday morning routine. 🙂
I’m so excited for you, Marian! I know you’ve put a lot of hard work into this memoir, it will be such a thrill to see it in print. Yes, writing can be all consuming…I know it’s been that way for me. This year, I’m going to try and maintain a little more balance. Of course, when you’re on a deadline, that seems impossible! 🙂
A few minutes ago I read your enlightening article in Southern Writers’ Magazine. It is true, persistence pays ~ and don’t throw old work away. It’s good to see you back in blog land again, Jill.
Marian, I am delighted with your word and plan for 2019. Congratulations on getting to the stage where publication is visible on the road ahead! Writing a book—a memoir, especially—is hard work but the rewards are many as you are finding out. It feels a bit like gestating something larger than an elephant!
My word for this year is WORD. It is a multi-faceted choice, in part reflecting my intention to lean in to faith, community, writing, and reading.
I love the way you weave the words of your last three years into this year’s word, Marian. You have engaged in this process of exploration, research, daily practice, friend-making online and in person, and now editing and book construction. Soon you get to experience the fun part. Book tour. Next year’s word, perhaps?
I know, I know. I can’t jump the gun. But maybe that thought will help pull you through the days when it just seems like slogging!
I NOTICE your near-summit, and when you reach it, I will be singing JUBILEE!
You know about slogging and book tours and everything that comes before and after. From the very beginning, you have cheered me on with a beacon that makes goals appear visible.
I’ll listen for the JUBILEE! By the way, I am enjoying your haiku with visuals on Facebook. Thank you for all of this, Shirley!
You speak from experience, Linda. I am certain writing Two Hearts was a heart-rending experience. Sometimes when I re-read chapters in editing mode I burst into tears, which I guess is a good thing.
You are a woman of words, writing every day, a process I admire. WORD is a great guide word for a Christ follower too. Thanks for your contribution today>
If you publish it, they will come . .. to paraphrase Field of Dreams. I look forward to it.
Arlene, you are always so encouraging. Thank you for the Field of Dreams paraphrase, which will one day be a reality. 🙂
This is a very exciting stage of your journey Marian! Loved your photos and captions and BOLD is a great word! The cover of Shawn Smucker’s book is lovely but with all the goodies around his book his surname could be ‘Snacker’ –
I read many books last year – I’m trying to remember what especially stood out for me. I re-read ‘The Catastrophist’ by Ronan Bennet – published about 20 years ago. An Irish writer. I thought it was very good.
Yes, writing is a form of prayer – anything that concentrates the mind wonderfully has to be a form of prayer …
All best wishes Marian – may you go from strength to strength!
I believe Shawn may read your comment and smile.
The Ronan Bennet book sounds appealing. I’ll check to see if our library carries the title. I appreciate this suggestion and for expanding on the idea of writing as a form of prayer. I looked up “strength to strength” and found it in Psalm 84:7 A timely verse.
When I included the quote in my post, I couldn’t think beyond the image. Now I can, thanks to you, Susan. 🙂
I am so excited for you dear friend. The booking signing is a much anticipated event in the Jacksonville area. Your writing may overtake another of our well known local authors. Who knows, maybe a Hallmark movie in the making? What fun that would be.
You have high hopes, Carolyn. Rather lofty, I’d say. I’m glad you are along for the ride, and close at hand to participate. Thanks so much, dear friend.
I wish you all the best with this tricky process and hope you won’t come across too many bumps on the road. You must be both, very excited and anxious about the publication of your memoirs and I am looking forward to reading them when ready. Good luck.
You hit the nail on the head, Fatima! Publishing writing is a tricky process. And, yes, I feel exactly like you describe: excited and anxious. Thanks again for the good wishes. 🙂
Wow, Marian!! That’s awesome! When you get ready to publish, will you come on my blog for an interview?
Great post! So well put together. A number of books caught my attention last year, including YOU GO FIRST, a middle grade novel by Erin Entrada Kelly. The characters were so well realized.
As for writing, it is an active prayer for me, because I pray about what I write. 😄 I’m on deadline now, so I’d better scoot.
Yes, L Marie, I would be happy to visit your blog. Best wishes and fervent prayers for your writing deadline. Thank you for taking the time to drop some lines here! 🙂
Bravo, Marian! Can’t wait for your book to come along. My fave in 2018 was a bio of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas……….
Thanks for the Metaxas book selection. I’ll check into it! And thank you for the good wishes that come with it. It’s great to have you along for the ride. We have a long history, Jack! 🙂
This is your year, Marian!! I love your word, it shows your determination. I can’t wait to see the finished product. Writing is not for the faint of heart. Good Luck!!
I admire your determination, Darlene. Another year, another Amanda book. I wonder if publishing gets easier.
Thanks for the good wishes; I can echo your words in another way: writing is not for sissies! 🙂
This is a wonderful goal for the new year! I wish you all the best in publishing your book! This was an interesting post as well.
Thank you for reading, Mama Duck – I think that’s your pen name! I appreciate the comment too.
I look forward to seeing you post a link to your book here on your site so we (bloggers) may all read it in print!
I just left a comment on your Wordless Wednesday post. Lovely photos!
Possibly I may offer my book for money-saving pre-orders. For sure, I would post a link. Thanks for the encouragement today! 🙂
So, this was the title reveal, correct?? A bold move and kudos for your process and determination. With everyone else here, we’re eager to see it in print and on our own shelves. Your title is compelling, I think, for the right people.
I read The Day the Angels Fell this past year but did not review it … yet. I love Shawn’s writing, he’s superb; however, the genre that includes fantasy leaves me a little bewildered. I prefer non-fiction overall, but am reading a classic work of fiction right now that I’m loving: All the King’s Men by Robert Warren. Somehow I’d never even heard of it, picked it up at a free library, and it took me the first 20 pages to get into it, but I’m there now, especially with the background of living awhile in the deep South. I so look forward to my nightcap reading time–and am a little aghast at the years I spent reading just snatches of lighter magazine articles as my bedtime fare. The years of heavy parenting–it seemed like it was all I could do to read just a snatch out of Parents Magazine or maybe Newsweek or Redbook. Now you know.
My editors like the title, which the cover design will amplify. I did post a cover reveal when I reviewed The Velveteen Daughter in October: https://marianbeaman.com/2018/10/31/the-velveteen-daughter-and-my-memoir-title-reveal/
I have ordered one of Shawn’s e-books. I am so glad when authors succeed, especially if they can support a family with their dream career.
After retirement, you can do “heavy” reading during the day. Or night. Or whenever. Don’t apologize for “light” reading. All day long you have had to read with a critical mind, analyzing words. Redbook would be a diversion. Sometimes I read People magazine at the beauty shop – no guilt either!
I like the idea that writing a book is a living prayer. It makes the process seem more doable to me. I look forward to when your word of the year becomes a reality.
Well, thanks for the good wishes, Ally Bean, charmingly cynical, as your blog describes. I admire that you have been blogging for more than 10 years. Wow!
Like Ally Bean, I consumed the words that “writing a book is a living prayer.” I congratulation on your choice of your 2019 word and all it encompasses. You have worked hard and pressed on with diligence. I admire what you’ve accomplished. You ask what my bold move is this year. I had hoped it might be to move on with my memoir and complete it for beta reading, editorial review, and drawing closer to publishing. Not so it appears.
The only bold move I want to make is to hear the phone ring, answer it, and have someone say they are ready to schedule my surgery. To get this complex surgery behind me and be successfully recovering would be a grand accomplishment for 2019. That’s why I’ve chosen the word “contemplate.” I’ll have lots of time for that in the coming months. My love and blessings to you in your publishing journey!
Thank you for your love and blessing. I value that so very much. You appear on my prayer card, Sherrey, and I will note the date when you get that longed-for phone call.
In your moments of contemplation you may get clarity on how and when to move on with your memoir. You have a story to tell, my friend. 😉
Congratulations, Marian. So happy for you! I loved your quote by Laurence Overmire and have found it to be so true as I research my family history. Your photo of writing becoming the main dish is so creative! My hubby (former copy editor) also edits my blog posts and I’m grateful, even though it’s frustrating at times!
The photo of writing as the main dish appeared originally on Shawn Smucker’s website cited here. It’s not my idea, but I like the thought of one day placing my book on the dining room table.
My husband is a visual artist, not a copy editor, but he does catch extra spaces, and often homonyns used incorrectly. I don’t think my posts are error free, but I know a second pair of eyes helps reduce mistakes.
Blessings as you continue researching family history and distilling your own thoughts, Elfrieda!
You go, Marian! I’ll be thinking of you every step of the way! Writing memoir is for sure very difficult, but I know that you are carrying it off beautifully. Can’t wait to read it!!
Joan, I have no idea how I missed your comment on the first go ’round, but I did. Sorry! By now your surgery is behind you, and you’re on the mend. Thanks for your ongoing support and good wishes!
Marian — PUBLISH! I’m so doggone proud of you and excited for you! I can hardly wait for your memoir, “Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl,” to hit the shelves. Woohooooooo!
I guess I can’t back out now – hahahaha!
It’s exciting following your publishing progress — we’ve all used the birthing metaphor — and now it’s starting to crown. I’m going to hear the wailing soon, I hope.
Oddly, today I thought about the birthing metaphor, prompted by my urologist asking how many children I had had and how difficult the labor. Thanks for picking up on that, Janet!
I’m excited Marian — for you, and to read your memoir. Best wishes for an exciting 2019, and may your book bring insight to readers and rewards to you.
“May your book bring insight to readers and reward to you” – who could wish for more. Thank you for being such a generous soul, Tracy!
How the last years, and their words, led to 2019 for you. Such progress, Marian! I’m excited about the end stages of your memoir birth. So close. You will get it published this year. We are on kind of parallel paths and “publish” could be my word as well, but it’ll all depend on whether I find an agent and a publisher, or I’ll go the self-publishing route. I’m still far behind! And I don’t have an artist husband. 🙂
Oh, I couldn’t help but think that while Allison Leotta has done those three amazing feats, she has never birthed an elephant. 🙂
You have given me a chuckle for the day, birthing an elephant. Ha!
Don’t worry, Liesbet, you are on a publishing track too, age-wise much earlier than I. It will come to pass for you at just the right time. I am going the self-publishing route because, for me, time is critical. I’m not a spring chicken anymore and querying agent/publishers takes a very long time. But go for it for you think traditional publishing is for you. 🙂
Thanks for continuing to be so encouraging. I feel the same way about you!
My memoir project has been weighing on me for a few years now as well, Marian. So, I’m giving myself a limited amount of time to find an agent and if that doesn’t work out, my lack of patience (at this point) will send me on the self-publishing route as well.
You are leaving no stone unturned on your path toward publishing, pun intended.
Self-publishing is now a respectable way to go: you have full control and retain all rights. Even though there are up-front costs, you don’t have to give a percentage to the publisher. Perhaps, though, you will be picked up by a publisher. That would be great too. ;-D
‘Publish ‘ such a wonderful word but so difficult to get the stage but you are there and I for one cannot wait to read your wonderful book . No wait… I can’t wait to have that book on my shelf next To the lovely Laurie Buchanan ‘s .
The book that really hit the spot last year was without doubt ‘ Dear Mrs Bird ‘ loved it and I think there is a sequel…not sure but I read it somewhere .
What a HUGE compliment, Cherry. I’m trying to imagine my book on a bookshelf anywhere. Having it next to Laurie Buchnanan’s would be icing on the cake.
By the way, I just put a “hold” for Dear Mrs. Bird at my library. Thanks for the comment here and for your book title suggestion. ((( )))
Hurray for your bold word of the year!
Thank you, Fiona!
You’re doing it, Marian. It takes a long time. It consumes your life. You’ve known what you wanted to do for a long time and certainly know your material. I can’t wait.
My word, my aim: “Hearing” and its friend “Listening.” I’ll be doing lots of that this year after March 18 to learn language again through a cochlear implant. Meanwhile I’m writing about archetypal Greek ancestors and how they handled loss, wounds, and grief. It’s in preparation for a workshop in May on Aging, Grief, and Mythology and may lead to more. It’s scary to have this workshop and the effort to learn to hear again come so close together, but the workshop was arranged before I knew I’d be eligible for surgery.
I’m getting the workshop organized ahead of time and I’m almost there. I’ll figure it out and, if all else fails, I can unplug the cochlear implant and get through with the remaining hearing in my R ear. Main thing is to do it, prepare material and exercises for those who attend assuming deafness will be as it is now and trusting organizers will help as promised since they know my situation. Then stampede ahead and do my best. Life requires faith and trust when we take these leaps. I’m glad you’re full steam ahead, Marian. So much love and hope.
‘It consumes your life.’ You are on target with that remark. For about a half hour this afternoon I went out to rake leaves (Yes, they fall off in January!) to get my mind off the manuscript. It helped to see 5 heaping piles of sycamore leaves, an immediate reward for my effort.
It cheers me to hear that you are getting your May workshop organized now. The content will seep deep into your heart and mind, and when you need them the words will be right there.
When I wrote this blog I felt full steam ahead, but now I’ve run out of pep and I feel dead tired. You know how it goes. Yes, life requires faith and trust – and rest stops in between. Blessings, dear friend!
The trick for me is to trust the rest stops and truly rest. I’m making good progress on the workshop now after feeling lost for a while. I love this material and hope it will grow. I have all the components written and know how they fit together, so a little weaving and figuring out when to break into small groups, when to ask people to write their own ideas, when to include a ritual. I feel relaxed about where I am with content and the plan. I agree having that fallow time for incubation is a good idea. My plan assumes I’ll be completely deaf. If it will work that way, it will work even better if my hearing skills improve by then. And, Marian, thank you for being a supportive friend. I hope we’ll meet someday.
It seems inevitable that we will meet someday. When and where, to be determined. 🙂
Thank you the followup. You make this space feel like a real tete a tete.