Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book Tour Recap and Writing Journey Update

This time last year, Caroline George and I were meeting at coffee shops to plan our book tour. This time last year, my stomach was turning just at the idea of public speaking. 
Honestly? I had no idea how it would turn out. I imagined I would get up there and the worst would happen: I would hyperventilate. Or stutter. Or throw up. Or forget what I was saying. Or people would be unable to hear me because my voice is so quiet. (Although that one probably did happen a few times.) 
So why did I do this? Why did I force myself to go through with this introvert's worst nightmare?
For years, God has birthed this desire in me. I had a desire--not just a desire, but an urge. To meet teenagers face-to-face. To encourage them to pursue their dreams. To make the most of their youth. And to teach them about the writing and publishing process. 
I had to do it. I can't just ignore it when God tugs my heart, telling me to step out in faith
Which brings me to another reason: I wanted to see what would happen when I did take a leap of faith, out of my comfort zone, and relied on God to provide strength in my weakness. Because in doing this, I had no choice but to stay on my knees in prayer. To rely 100% on Him. I knew I couldn't face this fear through my own ability; rather, it would literally have to be drawn completely from God.  
And you know what? He didn't fail me. 
Because as my first speaking gig (which didn't include Caroline) approached in September, peace rose within me. I can't explain it, but I just had this knowing that everything would turn out fine. God was in every detail, and He had already gone before me to prepare the way. 
That first solo speaking gig couldn't have gone any better, either. (No, I didn't hyperventilate, lose focus, stutter or stumble over my words, or any of those crazy scenarios.) 
{Click here to read the story of that event.} 
Now, any time I have to speak in front of a group, I get a rush of adrenaline. The anxiety has completely diminished. 
One Scripture that I clung to throughout this book tour comes from Jeremiah 1:7-9 (NCV):
 “Then I said, ‘But Lord God, I don’t know how to speak I am only a boy.’
But the Lord said to me, ‘Don’t say, ‘I am only a boy.’ You must go everywhere I send you, and you must say everything I tell you to say. Don’t be afraid of anyone, because I am with you to protect you,’ says the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth. He said to me, ‘See, I am putting my words in your mouth. Today I have put you in charge of nations and kingdoms. You will pull up and tear down, destroy and overthrow, build up and plant.”
Here's a quick recap of the Moon and Arrow Book Tour:

The first stop that I visited solo.
September 2014 || Summerville, SC.
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.}

Second stop that I visited solo.
8th grade English class at the school I graduated from.

September 2014 || Anderson, SC. 
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
Third stop that I visited solo.
(These events were scheduled before Caroline came along, lol!)
Fresh Taste Event
October 2014 || Anderson, SC. 
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
Finally, Caroline decided to join me. Haha! Book signing at Village Coffee (which was strangely similar to Brewer's Coffee in Purple Moon). 
October 2014 || Forest City, NC. 
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
Caroline and I visited two homeschool groups in one day.   November 2014 || Fort Mill, SC. 
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
Caroline was unable to make this event.
My fourth stop solo at a homeschool group. 
  December 2014 || Easley, SC. 
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
Caroline and I taught a 3-hour workshop on creative writing and the art of storytelling.
Tons of fun! 
February 2015 || Anderson, SC. {Click here for the first pic on Instagram.}
{And click here for the second.}

We had the biggest turnout at this event! Speaking to teens (and adults!) at my local library.
We also read a snippet from both of our books. =)  
May 2015 || Anderson, SC. {Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
{And here for the video on Instagram.}
Our final stop! Carolina Moon Coffee Shop.
The same place that I had a book-signing at last summer as well.
   (Don't you just love how it combines both of our names?)
June 2015 || Lake Lure, NC. {Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
What's next for Caroline and me?  
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.}
We're both stepping into new phases of our writing journey. New seasons of our lives. 
Caroline will be attending Belmont University this fall in Nashville. She's also going to her first writing conference in NYC the end of this month! Please pray that she will meet with the right agents and have favor. I have no doubt that God has incredible things in store for her writing career. I also can't wait until the world gets to read the sci-fi book she's going to be pitching! (It's incredible, you guys.) Caroline also started a blog recently. I'm sure she'd appreciate it if you checked it out.
And me? I'm moving out of the house for the first time as well -- in only three weeks! My friend and I will be renting a house in Georgia, and I'm going to work with Favoron Productions and help them gear towards filming their first production.

Also, my cousin and I are currently working on a non-fiction devotional project for teens, one that I am really excited about. Especially since we've been discussing it for over 4 years now. 
The view from my writing desk.
{Click here for the pic on Instagram.} 
Since I'm turning a new page in my writing career (and in my life in general), you will notice a few changes to this blog. 
First of all, I'm in the process of creating a new website. This website will also include a blog--however, that does not mean I will be abandoning Christ is Write. 

I'm also beginning a new writing mentoring/coaching service titled Write Now. More info will be available on my new website! =) 
~ ~ ~ 
Over the past six years, I have learned that the writing journey is not quick. It's not easy. But if your passion for writing is paired with an equal amount of determination to reach your dream, then it is possible
If you're going through a "slow season" right now, maybe this will encourage you. It's a snippet from an essay I wrote when I was 13 ... Three years later, I was offered a publishing contract.
“When I was three years old I started writing stories for fun. Now, I hope to graduate with a degree in journalism, and soon become a best-selling author. I would love to write children books, but God has also given me the desire to write books that can relate to other teenagers on a Christian basis, so that is one thing I hope to do when I get older. God has laid these desires on my heart for a specific reasons, and I cannot wait to begin fulfilling God’s plan for my life!
God can, and will, do the impossible through you. Just keep writing. Keep taking action on your dreams. And don't give up. 

{If you're a teen writer, be sure to check out my new column, Dear Young Scribes.}

Any updates on your writing journey? Anything specific that you're working on? Please share in the comments below! 
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  1. You have a lot of exciting things going on! Enjoy every bit of the adventure. :)

    I am busy in homeschool-Mum-land, but last week I dug out two boxes full of my half-written stories and plot sketches, and this week I am attending a writing for children workshop and launching a new website.

    1. How fun! I love finding stories I've written in the past. Even the ones that are half-complete can still be turned into a book some day. =)

      Thanks for commenting!


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