writing

What My Book Has Taught Me

 

I finished this round of edits for ‘Hating Jeremy Walters’ on Saturday. WOOHOO!

It’s been about 3 years now since I first started working on this story, 7 months since I started this round of edits. And the process of writing HJW and this blog has taught me some pretty interesting stuff.

  1. How to step out in faith and rely on God for something I can’t do on my own.

In late May last year, I had 3 chapters of my second draft written. I’d taken a writing break for 6 months after burning out while trying to work full-time and write.

Then I got an email that I’d finaled in a competition, which announced the winner at a September writing conference in Dallas. It was a great chance to go to a conference and talk to agents, but I knew I’d need a finished book for that.

Which meant I had about 12 weeks to write 60,000 words and a book proposal.

I had never written half that fast before. I kinda expected my head to explode from stress after week 3. But God got it done.

2. Keep God at #1, don’t make success an idol

This is something that’s always been a tug-of-war for me. But this blog has really helped, first in processing my thoughts about it, and then as a practical example.

When I first wrote this blog, I put an effort into getting the word out there about it. I had about six times more readers than I did last week.

Then I put it on a hiatus, and when I took it up again this time, I decided not to ‘market’ it. I just didn’t have the time. Therefore, my readership is much smaller.

The thing is, I’ve enjoyed the process just as much this time, if not more. And that’s really helped me to see that while I’ll enjoy the process of trying to make my book as successful as possible, I’ll have just as much fun if I sell 500 copies or 50,000. It’s no reflection on me as a person, and if it didn’t sell a lot, it just means I’d try a different strategy next time.

3. Edits are not as terrible as they first appear.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re still terrible. But they are possible.

And when I got a looooong letter from a freelance editor telling me all the things that needed to change in my book, I wasn’t sure if it was  possible.

But again, trust in God and a lot of persistent effort got us there. And my book is so much better now because of it.

So, thanks for travelling with me on this journey! There’s still much further to go; Hating Jeremy Walters could need a lot more work, still. And then there’s the other three writing projects currently in a Hunger Games match for supremacy in my head. 🙂

But it feels like a victory every time I hit a milestone.

So, thanks for your support!

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Figuring out success

God’s challenged me this week not to make success an idol.

I’ve been getting a little stressed lately, just over the thought of possibilities in my writing future. Stuff like the edits will be endless, no publisher will like my book, and once I get published my career will tank within a couple of books.

All of those thoughts really been pounding through my head. That’s not from God. And that’s faithless. I need to hand that over to Him.

I write for two reasons: enjoyment, and obedience to God.

So where does stress factor into either of those two things?

Think about it: why would God want me to write? It’s not like He can’t think up His own words. No, God doesn’t need me to write at all. But He wants to take the journey with Him. And He wants me to learn to trust Him.

And what do I define success as, anyway? A relationship of love, trust and obedience with God. That may include a great writing career, a mediocre one or none at all.

My job is to simply do my best, and walk with God through it all.

Wanted: your ridiculous/funny/embarrassing stories

couple_silhouette

Gathering inspiration for book #2: do you have any anecdotes about ridiculous newlywed fights? 🙂

As a single gal myself, I plan to put my imagination to good use, but it would be awesome to be able to draw inspiration from some real-life couples.

I’m totally willing to offer my own anecdote in exchange, but fair warning, most of mine revolve around:
1. Gross-out farm stories
2. Funny stuff from my journo days
3. My weird brothers. (Love you boys!)

So share your stories, your friends’ stories, that-weird-lady-from-down-the-street’s stories!

If you’d like to share, shoot me a message at jessicaeveringhamwriting@gmail.com.

Writing is always a team effort. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear from you!

New back cover copy for Hating Jeremy Walters

Hey all!

Here is the new back cover copy for my romantic comedy, Hating Jeremy Walters.

HJW was a finalist in the My Book Therapy Frasier Award this year, and I’m currently submitting to agents. One step closer to publication!


Hating Jeremy Walters

Natalie Groves was meant for great things. Preferably youth ministry with a side gig as an M&M connoisseur.

But half a year after her fiancé left, Natalie’s evangelist father was diagnosed with cancer. Her grand plans evaporated…and God has seemed disappointed ever since.

Six years later a church internship presents Natalie a chance at her destiny, but she needs a job to work around it. And the only offer is worse than a life sentence of tofu.

Six years ago, Jeremy ‘Jem’ Walters left Charlottesville, Virginia to escape his father, God, and heartbreak over Natalie.

Now he’s back in town, a committed Christian, and desperate for help with his infant son and troubled teenage niece.

When Natalie and Jem join forces, sparks fly. But will they be burned in the process?

Vote on your favourite title and hook line

couple kissing

Hey everyone, I need your feedback!

If you head over to my Facebook page, you’ll be able to vote on your favourite title for my work-in-progress. You’ll also be able to vote on your favourite ‘hook line’, which is designed to get people interested in the story.

Also, if you could like or share the post itself, that would be really helpful in boosting it so more people see it.

The title and hook line will both appear on my ‘one sheet’, together with this photo and a blurb about my book. I’ll take it to the conference with me to show to agents.

Thanks for your help everyone! I love getting your feedback on this. 🙂