Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Blog Hop

And the winner is…

Cynthia Rawling

from Chapel Hill, NC

Welcome to the Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by Stuck in Books! This giveaway event runs from December 12, 2017, to December 24, 2017. The winner of my second giveaway this Christmas season will receive $15 in PayPal cash. Continue reading “Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Blog Hop”

Winter Is Coming Giveaway Event Blog Hop

And the winner is…

Jeanette Jackson

from Saint John, NB, Canada

In the United States, Christmas is our favorite holiday by far. Who doesn’t have a great memory of a cherished time with family during this season? While some memories are sweet, others are funny or even sad. I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood. But Christmas joy isn’t limited to children. As adults, we can experience the joy of the season as well. We can feel overwhelmed and stressed by the season for many reasons: financial difficulties, too many activities, family members who don’t get along…the list goes on and on. Joy seems elusive and we forget the reason we celebrate this season: Jesus.

This Christmas season, I’m joining The Kids Did It blog and The Mommy Island blog to participate in the Winter Is Coming Giveaway Event, which runs from December 6, 2017, to December 21, 2017. The winner of my first giveaway this Christmas season will receive a $15 Amazon gift card. Continue reading “Winter Is Coming Giveaway Event Blog Hop”

Keeping a Gratitude Journal

My journals

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Ps 107:8-9)

I’ve written before about my gratitude journal. As a writer, I know it’s important to keep a journal to practice my craft. As a Christian, I know a journal can provide a way for me to look back and see God moving in my life. But even though I know these things, I have found it difficult to write consistently in my journal. Continue reading “Keeping a Gratitude Journal”

Freelance Writing: A Look Back at My First Year

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—” (Prov 1:5)

This month marks the one-year anniversary of my working full time as a freelance editor and writer. As a way to remember the occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to look back over the year and discover some of the lessons I’ve learned.

  1. Working as a freelancer has its perks. I can set my own schedule. Major perk.
  2. But setting my own schedule is challenging when I take low-paying jobs that require an enormous amount of work in order to build my clientele list and pay the bills. Finding jobs that pay well can be challenging, but I’ve learned that my time is valuable, and I must charge accordingly. If I don’t value the services I offer, why would anyone else?
  3. I’m learning to say “no” and set boundaries, especially when someone takes advantage of me.
  4. I’m learning what I enjoy writing and editing. I like academic editing. And manuscript editing. And nonfiction writing, especially grant writing, the mere thought of which makes some of my friends cringe and say a prayer of thanks that it’s me and not them. The jury is still out on fiction writing, but only because I struggle with it so much more than any other type of writing.
  5. Even though I’m an introvert, I’ve struggled to adjust to working alone. I enjoy spending time by myself, but I also enjoy the company of close friends. By nature, I’m introspective and spend a lot of time in my head. Now that I write full time, I find myself getting lost in my thoughts. I’m learning that I have to make an effort to reach outside of myself and connect with others. Through volunteering at church and networking with a fantastic community of authors and strong Christian women, I have found the support and guidance I need.
  6. My friends and family let me ask them questions or run project ideas by them, but for the most part, all the decisions for the business are up to me. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I don’t want to fail. I’ve learned not to rush my decision-making process and not to be so hard on myself if a decision doesn’t play out the way I hoped it would. Growing the business – and myself – is an ongoing process.
  7. Throughout this past year, I’ve struggled to find balance between my work and personal life. Working at home has been an awesome experience, but there’s very little separation between my work and the rest of my life. I have trouble leaving work “at work” when I never actually leave the office.
  8. It’s normal to have doubts. Write anyway.

In Proverbs 16:16, Solomon writes, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” It is my prayer that when I look back over the past year, I will take note of lessons learned so that I can move forward into year two of running my own business with a clear mind and open heart. When I ask, the Lord will provide wisdom and guidance for each step that I take and help me touch the lives of others through my work.

Dear Jesus, thank you for providing the opportunity to pursue my dream of writing full time. I pray for wisdom to make decisions that will honor you. Amen.