To most folks, August 1st was just another day on the calendar. But for me, last Monday stood out as a little more significant than Sunday or Tuesday. Why?
Because Be Still My Soul, went out into the world through the Blogging for Books program. Yep, it’s out there. I’ve been more nervous for this than the release itself.
I didn’t expect the jitters. Honestly, when I heard it had released to bloggers, my heart went into overdrive. I used to be one of those people who never shared that I was a writer. My own best friend didn’t even know. She almost slugged me when she found out. Yeah, I was that shy. So I’ll be 100% honest with you. When I realized the book was heading out to bloggers, I thought, “Oh. My. Gosh. People can read it! Are we sure this is a good idea?”
And right now:
My editors thinking, “Uh…that’s sort of the point.”
My agents banging her head against the desk. (Sorry Sandra)
And my critique partners are throwing gummy bears at me.
And they’re right.
I’ve spent years writing this book. Then all the time and work and growth along the journey to publication and its nearly ready. So why the jitters? Honestly…I don’t know. I guess it’s sort of human nature. You put your whole heart into something and send it out into the world. That’s a little scary. Has anyone else ever been there? It’s a comforting thought to have company.
It’s like that first day of school and I’m wondering if I’m going to have anyone to sit with at lunch time. Or that first dance recital and I’m certain I’ve tucked my tutu into my underwear.
But it’s ok to be scared. Because it’s the first step toward being brave I suppose.
Yet that’s not all. Because something amazing happens. Someone who’s been there a few years before, says to come on over and sit down. The dance teacher assures me that there are no costume malfunctions and I see a few familiar faces wave from the crowd.
That’s how it’s felt to get positive feedback from the sweetest group of writer friends. (Ya’ll are awesome!) And that’s how the endorsement process has felt. A handful of amazing authors were on board to read Be Still My Soul and when their endorsements came in, it was the same feeling as that little girl on the first day of school.
I suddenly didn’t feel so alone anymore. I suddenly didn’t feel like a weirdo with my Kermit The Frog lunch pail. I felt that pressing of peace and that reassurance that yeah, this is supposed to be happening and I’m surrounded by some of the most wonderful authors and readers and friends.
So thank you for all the love and support. Thank you for all the shout outs and hugs. You guys bless me in so many ways! If you haven’t been among the few to get an ARC through the blogging programs, you can pre-order the book, or something that’s really cool, is that you can actually read the first chapter online!
So how about you? Has there been a time in your life when you’ve experience a big change that made you just a little bit braver?
Moving to Lane Hill House three summers ago! We bought our home in May of 2008 and moved when school was out in the summer of 2009. So love it here! My husband and I both retired and moved a long day away to be in the middle of our adult children. And why it wasn’t scary? The Lord gave my husband this Scripture! Plus, we found our church home on the internet before we considered calling the realtor about the property on the hilltop amid the Ozarks in South Central Missouri and the Mark Twain National Forest. Matthew 5:14-16 The Message Bible: “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” And we named our home Lane Hill House. [One other blessing? I just found out the meaning of my name; Kathleen Ellen ~*~ Pure Light.]
WaterBrook Multnomah blogging for books is sending me a copy of Be Still My Soul by author Joanne Bischof, requested August 1, 2012. Yippee!! Waiting! <3 Kathleen
I just love that you researched the churches before landing your house. That’s so cool! What a great way to experience the heart of the community and for God’s confirmation that you and your husband are to be planted there.
I’m so glad that you got an ARC of Be Still My Soul! Woohoo! I hope you enjoy it and have been so blessed by your sweet comments and encouragement that has trickled my way from you at Lane Hill House 🙂
Oh Joanne, you have nothing to fear! Your book is amazing. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll have the same feelings, though, whenever it’s my turn. Just have confidence that God gave you this passion, this talent, for a reason, and He always finishes what He starts. He’s equipped you for this and won’t forsake you!
Love you, friend!
Lindsay, I always love seeing your cheery face in the mornings! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. It’s such a funny feeling to have jitters, one I didn’t anticipate, but I’m so glad that God uses even our nerves to work through us. Because He is stronger than us and delights when we grow 🙂 Hugs!
Oh my goodness! How did you ever find me??? I am honored that you posted on MY blog. I can’t wait to get your book. Where can I order? God is so good to connect us with fellow believers who encourage us in the faith. I am an avid reader. Sometimes I read 3 books a week and sometimes all at one time-Bible, of course, devotional book, fiction, non-fiction. Hope you will respond.
Bonnie! So glad you stopped by! I think that is so awesome how much you enjoy to read. Talk about a great way to be spending your time 😀 Be Still My Soul is available for pre order right now on any online bookseller from Amazon to Walmart (That’s my version of from A-Z, hehe) Thanks for visiting! It’s been a pleasure to get to meet you 🙂
I’ll be pre-ordering BSMS and can’t wait to read more than the bits I’ve already found on line. I can totally understand your jitters. As I was reading your post I kept remembering all those parents of Olympic athletes in the stands I’ve seen watching their babies compete this past week. Some bend and sway in their seats, fists clenched, mirroring every little move their child makes. Others cover their faces. Some look like they’re praying. Some shout. Some watch through binoculars, intensely focused. Every single one is excruciatingly engaged and caring with all their heart. I’m expect that’s how you feel. We invest so much in our stories, just like those moms and dads of athletes. What we’re seeing on the TV is the polished culmination of years and years of hopes, dreams, set-backs, uncertainties, and plain old hard work.
A change that made me braver was moving 3000 miles from my home and family (w/ my hubby) when I was in my early 20s. Another change that made me braver was facing cancer when I was 30. A change that’s making me braver now, in my 40s, is experiencing the publishing process for the first time. These things taught (and are teaching) me to trust the Lord even if I the way forward looks as tangled as a laurel thicket. A little more trust each time, I hope.
Lori, you put it so well! That’s exactly how it feels. Putting your baby out into the world and all the time and work and love that went into it, and just wondering what’s going to happen. I love your descriptions. I can already see that you are quite the writer and I’m looking forward to reading about Willa’s story even more!
I can’t even begin to imagine how brave you had to be facing cancer. What a journey! I’m so thankful that you are doing well these days and pray for your continued health, my friend. Hugs! (Oh and I get to give you one in real life tomorrow!!) 😀
Joanne – I’m just tickled pink for you! I recently signed up for Blogging for Books and it’s taken me a while to work the system out. I wish I’d had a chance to scoop your book up but I’ll put it on my list. I’m so glad for you and really, really looking forward to meeting you this fall if not before.
Your question – I think most changes, if we face them head on, will make us braver, even if things don’t turn out great. Several years ago, my husband and I split up for a time. Deciding to come back together was one of the most difficult decisions we’d ever made because we both knew that the only way it was going to work is if EVERYTHING changed. It has been one of the most powerful, painful, and precious journeys we ever would have thought possible and God has blessed our obedience with a marriage that is rich and full (notice I did not say sunshine and rainbows and daffodils…) because it is anchored in Him. Am I braver? Oh my – I have the power of Christ in me and I KNOW that He is stronger than anything this world could throw at me. Yes, I’m braver. Christ has made me into a Warrior for Him – a Braveheart.
I’m praying for you, Joanne.
Becky, this is the second time you’ve given me chills! First with your amazing testimony on Heather’s blog last week and now with this amazing addition to your story. I was just chatting with a friend last night about how God pursues us. My how He was pursuing you and your marriage for his love and glory. Praise be to God! I can see your brave heart reflected as you tell your story and your answer to the call–being a warrior for Him–shines clear in a dark world. I will be praying for you and for your continued journey to shed light in the darkness and to show those who are hurting, the redemptive love of Christ!
I’m so very looking forward to meeting you soon! I dropped your invite to the launch party in the mail yesterday, so hopefully it will be there soon.
Right behind you and your little Kermit lunch box, we “got your back” with this awesome debut novel! I loved BE STILL MY SOUL so much, and can’t wait for you to guest post on my blog sometime about your experience getting to this point. I know you’re just like the rest of us authors–lots of edits and hard work and tears went into your book. And I’m so glad you have such a lovely finished product to stand behind. Keep capturing that mountain spirit, Joanne! Yay for Appalachian writers! And praying for you as your baby hits the shelves!
Heather, you are my fellow Mountain girl 🙂 I just want to clink our lunch box thermoses and say “cheers” 🙂 I’m so very thrilled at how much you enjoyed the book! You’ve been such an encouragement along this journey. There were so many edits and of course a few moments of tears and I’m sure you and so many other writers understand what it’s like to put your heart into a book. Watching that leave my hands has been a crazy jumble of emotions–and such a delight!
Oh yeah, Joanne, scary, flitty, universal feelings for sure. BTW, I love your voice. And reading the first chapter of Be Still My Soul, I could tell that’s a stong trait in your writing too. Lonnie has a compelling voice. I just preordered the book for my Kindle. Looking forward to reading it this fall. Congratulations! Your Audience rejoices with you, and so do I.
Mona, what a pleasure to have you drop by my neck of the woods! Your comment is so encouraging as I know you’ve been through the publishing process several times. I’m very eager to get my hands on your Sinclair Sisters series!
And it just blesses my socks off to know that you’ve ordered the book! I so hope you enjoy it and I’m REALLY looking forward to Colorado Springs and meeting you and the rest of the gang. I hope you have safe travels and I’ll see you tomorrow!
First of all, thank you ever so much for shooting me a quick email and saying we blogged about the same thing today. Now, really, how cool is that? 🙂
Secondly, I so needed to read this today. To know that someone else experiences the same first-day jitters…and not just the first-day-of-school jitters, either! Your sharing your heart blessed me and I’m so thankful.
Lastly, I know, I just *know* that those bloggers are gonna love your book. And now I’m super-duper excited because this means that my pre-ordered copy is that much closer to my mailbox and I’ll definitely be posting a review of it pretty much everywhere. 🙂
I was just tickled pink while reading your post and seeing how no matter where we are in our journey’s, those same emotions pop up in different ways. I’ve been so blessed by your blogs and have a deeper understanding of 1 Peter thanks to you girls!
I’m so excited that you pre-ordered the book. I can’t believe that there is just over a month to go until October. It’s so surreal! Your energy and encouragement is a constant blessing. Thank you!
God has you. Be proud of your accomplishment and that His hands worked through you to encourage others. That is inspiring:)
Hi Lisa! So glad to hear from you again and for your sweet words. 🙂 Thanks so much for your encouragement! It’s a very exciting time and I’m so thankful to God for his provision in all of this. Take care!!
Oh, Joanne! If we were in a great big cafeteria on the first day of school, I’d invite you to sit with me. Your simple honesty and vulnerability make you even more loveable. I can’t wait to read Be Still My Soul because I just know your heart is in it. When your heart is in something, it reaches out and tugs the heart of your reader and they can’t help but love it, too.
Two weeks ago I sent my first six chapters, of my first novel, to a group of Beta Readers. This was the first time I’d let anyone read my “baby.” I became nervous because I hadn’t heard anything from them – until today. I was thinking they were being quiet because they were trying to find a nice way to let me down – but I couldn’t have been more wrong! The feedback and encouragement I received from them will fuel me for the next leg of my writing journey. One of them said: “As I was reading this I kept thinking – the author is my friend! I can’t believe it – I actually know the author of this!” 🙂
Thanks for sharing your thoughts today, Joanne! You’re a blessing and encouragement to all of us.
Gabrielle, I would want to sit next to you too and hear all about your Minnesota stories and about those fun twins of yours 🙂 You put it so well, about our hearts being in what we write. I think that’s why I’ll never be more than a book a year kind of girl (if that). I throw it all into the story and it’s something that I don’t think I could do any faster. The only reason why I have the next two books coming out next year is because they’re already written. Thank the Lord for that 😀
I’m so excited for you on this new adventure back into writing after having your little ones. It’s such a delight to hear how a group of writers have been working on your chapters and not only sending critique, but encouragement as well. What a blessing!
I can understand the butterflies that come with the launch of your baby! Sounds perfectly normal to me, but I’ve already read some of your book and there’s nothing to worry about! You’ve done an awesome job! (Will get to finish it soon and give lots of good feedback!)
My first day of school was a real ‘doosie’. I couldn’t speak English, and my dear Mum taught me the words ‘lunch’ and ‘toilet please’ thinking they would get me through the most crucial times of the day.
Turns out ‘toilet please’ worked like a charm. ‘Lunch’ didn’t go so smoothly. I heard the teacher tell the class to eat their ‘play lunch’ when it was recess time and leave the rest for the big lunch break. My little ears didn’t get it all right and I ended up eating ALL my lunch at recess time (what I thought everyone else was doing) and having none left when the rest of the class ate theirs, during the real lunch break.
Stressful day! LOL, but I got the hang of it soon enough. Still remember the jitters that came with it though. The smell of school lunches gets to me every time.
What a precious little girl you were! I can just see you on that first day, with everything being so new and different. Bless your little heart! That would seem overwhelming for anyone and it sounds like you handled it all with such grace.
Now I’m so curious to know what language you spoke before learning English. 🙂 I hope you are doing well!!
Congrats on your published book! Having the jitters is quite normal – but I’m sure your book is just wonderful!! That is a huge accomplishment for you – congrats again on all the hard work! 🙂
Thank you so much, Jessie! I’m so glad you stopped by. You are such an encouragement! I agree, having the jitters is normal–I think it makes us feel human and it’s one of those things that can even connect us with others 🙂 So glad you stopped by! Take care!!
I recently received a copy of your book from Waterbrook Multnomah, and I read the entire thing yesterday! I couldn’t put it down! (That says a lot when I have three boys, 4 and under!) I blogged about it today and have posted my reviews for all of my friends and followers to see.
I loved Lonnie and Gideon and Gideon’s journey to become both the man God wanted him to be and the husband Lonnie needed him to be.
My own twins were born at 29w5d, and it was heartbreaking for me to read that part of Lonnie’s story, knowing that if it weren’t for modern hospitals, mine may not be here to enjoy today.
Thank you so much for this book, and I can’t wait for the rest of the series!
Janelle, hearing your words just do my heart good! Thank you so much for sharing with me and also for requesting Be Still My Soul for review!
Praise the Lord for the miracles that He does through medicine these days and for the blessing that are your twins.
I’m hopping over to read your review!