As a blogger, I have the privilege of meeting other women who blog about domestic violence. Some of them become good friends. My newest friend is Katelin Maloney. Katelin is passionate about raising awareness to domestic violence issues. Her working novel, Drowning, portrays a woman dealing with an abusive relationship and her struggle to break free. Her website is: http://www.katelinmaloney.com/ Reach her on twitter at @KatelinMaloney.
Katelin has invited me to be a part of I C Publishing’s Summer Blog Tour – “Navigating the Writing Path: From Start to Finish.” (www.ICPublishing.ca) We are to answer certain questions about how we write. So, here goes:
How do I start my writing projects?
My most recent writing project is my second book, A Journey to Healing after Emotional Abuse. This book will be a follow-up to my first book, A Journey through Emotional Abuse: from Bondage to Freedom. When I wrote my first book, I had no idea what I was doing. I just started writing, and I ended up doing a major re-write of the book three separate times with three different editors. For this second book, I feel I’ve learned something along the way. I first created an outline of thirteen chapters I wanted in the book, which included:
- How to set boundaries with your abuser
- Practice self-care
- Check your relationship with the Lord, and
- Seek Counseling,
among others. I gave my outline to my editor along with a summary of the topics I wanted to include in each chapter. She gave me her input, adding her thoughts, and even suggesting I add a chapter on Dating after Abuse.
How do I continue my writing projects?
Once I had the general outline, it was time to do research. For me, that meant doing a lot of reading. I love to read, but some of the reading was not what I’d call pleasure reading. I’ve read books on some heavy topics, like, The Question that Never Goes Away: What is God up to in a World of Such Tragedy and Pain? by Philip Yancy, and Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse by Steven Tracy.
Recently I took a poll of my Facebook friends who have escaped abusive relationships. I asked them if they thought I should include a chapter on forgiving yourself, or if that topic could be covered by discussing shame. Unanimously, every person said they had struggled with forgiving themselves, and thought I should include both topics. Since forgiving myself wasn’t something I personally struggled with, I searched for a book on this topic, and found Moving Forward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past by Everett Worthington Jr. I will be reading this book, and incorporating his ideas into my chapter on forgiving yourself.
How do I finish my project?
For me, finishing a book is sort of like sending a child out into the world. I never feel like I’m quite finished. I can always find more topics to add, another book to read and incorporate, etc. However, just as adult children must leave the nest, books must be “launched.” This is where editors and publishers are so helpful. I had a great team on my first book. My editor, Lorraine Bosse-Smith, and my publisher, Larry Carpenter of Carpenter’s Son Publishing, were wonderful cheerleaders and gave me a ton of practical help. When I was finishing my first book, Lorraine helped me realize I was trying to include too many topics. We decided together to pull three chapters from the first book:
- Forgiving your abuser
- Bringing God Glory as a Single Woman, and
- Proceed Cautiously Regarding Remarriage.
When we took these chapters from the first book, the idea for the second book, a book about healing after abuse, was born.
Include one or two tips or challenges that a our collective communities could benefit from.
I have a large, complicated family, and also a thriving ministry with my Facebook, Twitter and website/blog. Finding time to write my book has been a challenge. The only way I seem to find time is if I set aside one day a week, and actually write it on the calendar. Then, although I work at home for all my other “jobs,” I actually leave the house and spend the day at the library on my book writing days. I find I am much more creative and productive there. I make it a point not to log onto the internet there, so I have a lot fewer distractions than I do at home, where phones, kids, internet and laundry call for my attention.
This is how I combat “writer’s block”, and staring at a blank screen. I just write whatever comes into my head about a subject, even if I think it isn’t any good, and I may change every word later. I find it much easier to change something I’ve already written than it is to write something “perfect” the first time.
Passing the Pen
I am thrilled to introduce the writer who will continue the I C Blog Tour below. Check her out next week on Wednesday, July 30th.
Rae Degreen is a blogger from the Pacific Northwest who is passionate about helping survivors of abuse. She loves sharing her life and her story with others in hope of bringing understanding to the plight of victims of domestic violence, especially within the church. Check out her blog at www.anewfreelife.wordpress.com or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Lord bless you all this week!