Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Count Your Blessings...Not Your Royalties with Guest Blogger Jessica Nelson

If you're writing because you want to be rich, then put your hands down and step away from the keyboard.

That's right: Writing is not your one track to fame, wealth and all your dreams come true. 

Can you become a famous writer? Sure!

Can you become wealthy? Sure!

Can all your writing dreams come true? Sure!

Can you turn psycho in this business? Absolutely!

The good news is that there's a way to avoid a malady many writers have suffered (some call it greed, others the pits, others ambition but I like the term psycho). Nevertheless, I don't know that there's a specific name for it, but I do believe this malady can strike a writer at any time. Some symptoms involve checking your Amazon rank every five minutes, stressing yourself to write so you can pay your bills, and feeling like a failure when your manuscript is rejected. 

So how do we avoid this unnamed sickness that takes away our motivation and makes writing a chore rather than a pleasure? The most effective antidote I've discovered is....

*drum roll*...Thankfulness!!

That's right: Don't count your royalties, count your blessings!    

I've had a lot of wonderful things happen to me on this writing journey. Much like the Israelites created a verbal and written chronicle of all God had delivered them from, the miracles He performed and the ways He provided, I've got my own little writer's timeline happening.

If I start to feel worried or depressed about my progress as a writer, I try to remember the highlights of my writing journey thus far.

2003: My literature professor told me my essay was beautiful. She gushed on my writing. I immediately went home and started my first book, high on the idea of writing a story. (That book was never finished, by the way, but I did manage to pound out 47,000 words in the span of two years)

2005: I took a creative writing course with the same professor. At the same time, my newspaper editor suggested I write a book because he thought I wrote well and I'd make more money doing that than writing articles for the paper (not sure that's true, but it did inspire me to start writing toward publication.) This was when I started my first manuscript, which ended up being my first book to sell in 2011.

2006: I met a wonderful group of writers who taught me how to critique and hone my craft. I'm friends with them to this day, though we only critiqued each other for about a year. They are all published as well, now. Never give up!

2007: I joined a critique group to which I still belong. They were instrumental in shaping my writing! I was also a finalist in the Gotcha! contest that year. It was the only contest I've ever finalled in until I entered ACFW's Genesis contest years later. And I submitted a lot! I still have the score sheets and if I ever feel the writing doldrums sneaking up on me, I totally take those papers out!

2008: I got my very own laptop! Now I can write on the couch, in my bed, at Starbucks...Sometimes Starbucks is necessary to the creative process. Just sayin'. 

2009: A few agent requests on a manuscript! I keep writing on my lovely laptop.

2010: An editor wants a full! Maybe this time won't be a rejection.

2010: It is a rejection but with a request for edits. I was dizzy with excitement. I probably bought lots of chocolate that day. 

2011: Love Inspired Historical wants to buy my book!! I get an advance!! I am delirious with joy (and perhaps a bit of a chocolate high).

2012: Love on the Range releases. But the biggest blessing of that year was not the fact that a huge dream of mine had come true. Nope, the blessing that year was seeing the amazing amount of support and love and money put toward me and my story. The blogging community I had been a part of, FB friends, school mates and family were there for me in a way I'll never forget.

2013: I'm a guest on Seekerville, one of the first places where I cut my writer's teeth. I'm honored to be  here, so honored I brought Godiva. Cyber-Godiva. But there's a ton and you can choose whatever you'd like. I also sold a second book to LIH this year and dipped my toes in the self-publishing waters with my contemporary romances. 


This is just a list of blessings related to my writing journey. I don't know that I could count the multitude of blessings in other areas. 

Royalties are fun. They're sometimes needed. But they're not the sum of our writing talent nor the proof of our calling. While I believe that it is healthy for a writer to aim for success, in whatever way that author defines success, if at any time you start to feel the onset of a suspicious and debilitating sickness most writers suffer through, pull out your list of blessings.

I guarantee a full recovery!

 Tell me about your blessings. :-) Does any particular time or year stand out for you?

 Today I brought a lovely $25 Barnes & Noble gift card for one lucky commenter.

Jessica Nelson believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life.


  1. You're right on, Jessica. I'm clapping right along with you.

    The money is fun, but not the beginning and end.

    You said it all so much better than I ever could have.

    Coffee's on!

  2. Happy Birthday Seekerville!!

    Great post Jessica :) There are so many blessings to count on this writing journey. This blog and all the support found here is definitely one of them.

  3. I don't have any royalties to count yet. God willing someday...

    But I've got a big ol' list too. I should write them down.

    Besides the Seekers and the other friends I've made that is.

    I do keep a Sunshine file in OneNote [thanks Christina!!!] with things in it I can scroll back through when I'm feeling down :).

    Spent all day today editing. 195 pages done. 9 stickies left to go back and fix [had to sort out exactly what needed fixing]. Then this sucker is off to the critters.

    SpeedBo 2012 manuscript may actually, finally, nearly ready for submission...

    Maybe ;).

    We'll see what the critters say :D.


    Hats. check

    Balloons. check

    Streamers. check

    Chocolate cake. check

    Welcome back, Jessica!!!

    I'm not published, but in the last few months, I have become serious about pursuing publication. (55,000 words finished and dreaming about my beautiful cover! Haha!)
    I have no plans to become rich, just a strong desire to entertain and glorify The Lord through writing. I mean, goodness, I get ill (where I'm from, that means cranky, not sick) if I don't write. If I didn't have that drive, I probably wouldn't even try because I know there are no guarantees.
    But isn't that what the Christian life is about? Trusting that God will bless what He has called you to do for Him, even without immediate results?
    He has blessed me in multiple ways, but the first one that comes to mind was when a kind woman read some of my writing and gave me amazing encouragement a few months ago.
    Thank you for writing about this topic. It can be so easy to get caught up in the difficulty of publication and forget Who I am writing for. He is worthy and faithful.
    And in His timing, all will be well.
    Again, awesome post!

    (Oh, and your mention of a college professor reminded me of this: About two years ago, I wrote a short story about my grandma's encounter with footprints in the snow during a blizzard for a Comp class. My professor told me he loved it and wanted to use it on his website as an example for other students. I was ecstatic and checked his site every day to see it. . .and he never posted it. Needless to say, I was ticked. He had a reputation as a scatterbrained fellow, but don't get a girl's hopes up and then stomp on them. LOL!)

  6. Great post.Thanks for the words of inspiration.It's good to reminded that there is joy in the journey itself.

  7. Thank you, Jessica, for reminding us to be thankful. I haven't had my book manuscripts published yet, but I have had a number of other things published. It's so easy to forget about those to focus on what I don't have yet. This year at ACFW conference, I was invited to an author's party (Guideposts) for the first time. My husband said, "Well that's one thing you didn't have last year." So true. I'm still moving forward, but I need to look back and say "thank you" to God who has blessed me along the way.

  8. I about had a panic attack. Blogger wasn't letting me in to comment.

    Whoot!!!! It's a party!!!!!

    Jessica, you are so right. The blessings along this road have been tremendous, especially the caring, supportive community we've found.

    And I've discovered I can actually do something, you know? And I'm half-way decent at it. :) That's a huge blessing.

  9. Thank you, Helen. For the HORNS!!!


  10. Welcome to Seekerville, Marilyn Turk!!

    Where Villagers have panic attacks if they can't post their comments, LOL, Christina Rich.

  11. Thankfulness.
    On the days we feel the least thankful, that's the day we need to exercise it the most.
    Thank you for the reminder, Jessica. Today, I need to be thankful for my day job and the paycheck it provides.
    'Cause I'd rather be home writing. ;-)

    One of the biggest blessings in my writing journey is Seekerville and the Query Letter Contest they did in 2011. Because that contest led to my first published book. VeryBigGrin!

  12. I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack after a great vacation I was blessed to be able to take. I've had to get to this point -- counting blessings instead of counting other things that don't really matter.

    And among my blessings? Two beautiful granddaughters, the youngest of which will turn a year old on Halloween, two wonderful sons of whom I am very proud, an awesome daughter-in-law who is a terrific wife and mother, a church family I love, a mother who is in quite good health for her age and still living alone and a wonderful group of friends from different walks of my life.

    Now if Yahoo will just stop being ornery and let me join my publisher's author loop I'll be a happy camper.

  13. I had several college professors say I wrote well and even got a non-scatterbrained professor who really did use my paper as an example for her other classes. I also got "why are you attending a secular college?" when I turned a paper on its ear and turned it into an apologetics paper....so obviously I should stick with the inspirational genre. :)

    Lots of blessings for me this year, esp. within the last 30 days, a freebie novella that seemed to do its job and interest the readers into buying the debut novel which should be readily available whenever midnight rolls around for each time zone tonight! Plus a 2 week old baby who thankfully went back down to sleep real easy a minute ago...and hopefully stays that way, but I'm not holding my breath.

  14. Jessica's Cyber-Godiva and Helen's coffee... that should keep my eyes wide open for the duration of tonight's writing session!

    "It is healthy for a writer to aim for success, in whatever way that author defines success." Well said, Jessica! That's such an important way to look at success. It isn't the same for everyone.

    As long as I'm letting God guide my efforts, I'm content with the progress, whatever it may look like. Today it took the form of three chapters revised, and I'm happy.

    I also feel blessed by the relationships that have been established with my cyber friends and the writing community, and the encouragement and support they've given me. So much to be thankful for!

    And I have a ten day retreat coming up soon... a wonderful opportunity to focus on nothing but my writing. That's pretty special, too.

    Hey! I could keep this going for quite a while. It's like the song, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one..." :)

  15. Hello Everyone,

    And Happy birthday Seekerville. We are in the process of moving. Yay. Not back to Colorado. Just a couple miles away. Still it is ours so I shall count my blessings.

    If you want to help move snd paint. I won't say no...

  16. Jessica,

    Thank you for the post. I only check rankings every ten minutes, so I'm not completely psycho. Close maybe, but not quite.


  17. Great post! I'm amazed at how many comments there are here, and it's only 2:30 a.m. here! Have a great day!

  18. Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    I'm a newbie when it comes to writing, half of me is still in the starting gate, but I know just from life itself it helps to have a list of things to look back on when one hits the doldrums.

    Thank you for the reminder Jessica.

    Party on everyone!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  19. Jessica, how absolutely true! There is no get-rich-quick and there's no magic formula for success, there's mostly write-submit, write-submit, write-submit, eat chocolate, write-submit...


    This is perfect and shootin' straight from the hip. Well done!

    I think we are in an AMAZING TIME FOR AUTHORS!!!! I don't believe in shortcuts (like publishing any old thing on Amazon and thinking it's great) but the fact that we can work in traditional publishing and independent publishing is huge. What a wonderful opportunity!

    The one thing you didn't mention that I see as beneficial to most new authors, is don't quit the day job prematurely. I've seen this happen time and again and then the worry sets in... and worry doesn't bode well with writing.

    Hanging onto that secure income is not a bad thing... Just a word of advice from a gal who used Margaret Daley as her example: A full-time special education teacher while becoming one of the most productive novelists of our time.

    If someone tells me it can't be done, I laugh.

    And then I strive to do it.

    Margaret's a great example of hard work = success and gentility.

  20. Awesome post with a great reminder! Thanks!

  21. First Happy Birthday

    One think I have learnt from blogs is being an author is not going to make you a fortune.
    I can see there are so many other bonus's.

    I am bringing some Aussie timtims to share.

    Dont enter me as I cant us a barnes and noble gift card.

  22. Welcome Jessica,

    Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us.

    I've grown closer to God. Even though I'm not published, He's given me signs to keep writing.
    I've made lots of friends on this journey.
    I love stopping in at Seekerville.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville.

  23. HAHAHAHAHA! Psycho!!!!

    Love that!

    This might sound weird, but one of the biggest blessing memories I have is winning a printer from Seekerville. It must have been an anniversary part or New year's or something. It was 2011, that part I remember.

    Anyway, this was back when (ooh, I sounded old right there, but so much has changed in the biz) where I had to send partials and fulls out in paper. I was trying to any kind of writing credits, and that meant magazines, too. So, I did a lot of printing. I had a tiny $20 printer that took FOREVER and ate ink like nobody's business.

    I won the printer and then for Christmas my husband gave me two reams of paper and a whole bunch of ink. I WAS SO EXCITED!

    It was amazing not to stress over trying to get to the library with my flash drive, print everything out for .10/page and then send it off. Staples and I were really good friends, too. I mean, the library was nice but nobody wanted me clogging up their only printed for 20 minutes while I printed a 300 page book (which then cost $30-arg).

    So, when I look back, that's probably my biggest blessing I can think of.
    And the printer is right behind my laptop. I don't use it as much, but I do print out books I need to line edit because I can catch typos easier. And a whole book takes like 10 minutes, two pages a sheet. IT ROCKS.

    Ok, that was long. But I loved this post. Now, to read the comments!

  24. I'm laughing because I remember you winning that printer! I think it was birthday month, October, and it was a 4500 just like mine, I believe!!! :)

    One of Dave's cousins sent us their old computer back about a dozen years ago. Their son told them I wanted to be a writer, and they sent him over with their old desktop when they got a new one.

    I'd never run a computer, I'd never used one at all, but it was like I found G-O-L-D to have this in my hands... I ordered AOL and worked an extra night shift to pay for the phone line and the ink and the paper...

    And when I saw the wonders of Internet research, I took another shift and saved for my very own new desktop!!!!

    Two desktops and 3 laptops later, I'm always amazed by how much easier our jobs are now...

    Virginia, I love the printer story! Yes, I can totally see that.

  25. Helen, whew, thanks for the coffee! You're up early!! Or late...LOL

    Jamie, completely agree!!

    Carol, I love that you keep a sunshine file. What a great idea!!

  26. Thanks for having me, Tina! You guys are awesome. :-)

    Wow, congrats Courtney!!! Keep on going. I know what you mean about hopes up though...LOL That does stink. But yay for the verbal feedback!!!

    You're welcome, Maria. ;-)

  27. I told my dad this weekend I am not doing what I am doing for money and that is a blessing in itself.

    I've made so many friends here and have learned so much.

    But the most recent blessing is my 83 year old dad getting on the internet in order to read my entry in SYTYCW. He told me he loved the changes I'd made to the story, even though he loved the original story he read on paper.

    My dad got on the computer to read a chapter I, gulp, put up for all to see !!!!! YAY!

    Peace, Julie

  28. Marilyn, too cool!!! It sounds like you are making progress and it's true, every year there's something to be grateful for.

    Hahaaa, Christina!!! That is so true. I always felt kind of mediocre at everything until I discovered writing.

    Clari, yay!!! Congrats on that and yes, a day job is a pretty big blessing nowadays. Someday you will probably have the days to write though. :-)

  29. Wooohooo for grandkids, Marilyn!

    Melissa, hilarious on the apologetics. LOL And yay about the baby! I think I didn't realize you'd just had one...congrats!!

    LOL Carol, exactly like that song! A retreat sounds so fun...definitely a blessing there.

  30. LOL Tina!!! Good luck with the move.

    Marianne, me too! It's morning here but yikes...people are up all over!

    You're welcome, Cindy! Enjoy the party! (I am, lol)

  31. Ruth, I so agree!!! It's a fun time too. Lots of room for experimentation, etc. And yeah...a day job is definitely necessary. LOL

    Abbi, you're welcome!

    Hi Jenny! I'm sorry you can't use the card. :-( Thanks for the timtims...YUM!!!

  32. Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    Fun post, Jessica! My blessings have to be my babies. :)

  33. So true, Jackie!

    LOL V. Munoz!!! You crack me up. I don't think I could live without my printer. That probably should be on my list! LOL

  34. Happy birthday, Seekerville! I have to go to work now but I'll be back this afternoon.

    Party On, Everyone!!!

  35. Jessica,

    Great topic. It's always better to count your blessings in all aspects of life!

    Congratulations on the second sale!

  36. COURTNEY, you are so right. It is a journey with God. He measures the results. I learned this from my husband, who is an ordained elder in our church but is not pastoring right now. He says it's not about the title or the "results," you just do what God tells you to do. He gets it.
    CAROL, I keep a file too, only I call mine "encouragement." We need to look back and see where we've been.
    CLARI, I have a day job too. So necessary these days, but I'm making it work with time management. I try to do SOMETHING on my books every day, either a bit of writing, editing, a contest or research. It adds up.
    VIRGINIA, I can relate to what you said about printers. I'm old-school and still find it hard to edit on screen, I need my red pen, literal not virtual. I've racked up hundreds of pages from library printers. The cheapest I've found is one that does 5 cents a page. (It's also open Friday nights, which is unusual for a library.)
    JESSICA, thank you for the post. We really can't do it alone.
    Kathy Bailey

  37. Plz. enter me in drawing.
    Kathy Bailey


    I can't believe it has been SIX YEARS



    Happy birthday to us. Happy birthday to us.

  39. HI JESSICA, Sorry, had to sing a little. My thankfulness.

    What a lovely startup birthday bash post. I remember your first comment. It has been such a pleasure having you on board with us all these years. smile

    You brought back a lot of memories about this process. And you are so right. Thankfulness is the key.

    Welcome to Seekerville and have fun today.

  40. VIRGINIA, I remember when you won that printer. We were so excited for you. Its fun to hear how that worked out for you and how sweet of hubby to follow up with paper and ink.

  41. Woohoo -- Happy Birthday Month, Seekerville!

    Loved this idea of being thankful for our writing blessings, Jessica. I really found it encouraging to get a peek at your timeline! Thanks for sharing that and congrats on the new book -- which will be released when?

    I'd say Seekerville is at the top of my thankful list. And cyber writing friends I've met along the way. And critiques I've won here and from contest judges -- super hugely helpful and encouraging. And oddly enouch a fanfiction site that I cut my writing teeth on after years of not writing a word. It was a wonderful, safe, esteem-building place to share my stories and gave me the gumption to press forward.

  42. Happy Birthday Seekerville!!!

    My standout blessing: Finding this site and being introduced to authors who inspire.

    Surely it’s not by coincidence that my morning motivational reading was: “Remember that your real wealth can be measured not by what you have, but by what you are.” Napoleon Hill

    The Seekers (and guests) are wealthy indeed.

  43. Hi Jessica! Great post! This writing business is full of ups and downs and self-doubts. As you mentioned, I think it's important not to get too wrapped up in sales figures and comparing your own writing journey to that of other authors. When I do stress a bit, I remind myself that God blessed me with this career and He's in control.
    For me, one big moment was when I got The Call. I was so excited I could hardly concentrate on what my editor was saying. After we hung up, I called all my family members and friends. :)

  44. Happy Birthday to Seekerville!
    It ought to be called "Encouragementville"
    Thank you Jessica. I am so thankful for you and many others like you who encourage us all along the way. Congratulations on your new book. I will watch for it.

  45. You go, girlfriend. Great advice to keep one's head on straight!

    Ah, love of money...we can see the effects (and affects) of it all around us. A lot of times it makes us forget WHY we started writing in the first place.

    We love stories. We love words. We love HEA -- well really, those are all MY reasons for writing. I suppose I can share my dreams with y'all : )

    Thank you for reminding us of the journey and why we're on it. I smiled when you said you bought a laptop. Ahhh, the ultimate freedom.

    Don't forget, you've been a blessing to us, too!

  46. Virginia, I remember you winning the printer! I just sent my old workhorse printer to Laramie with my son to use in college. I got the thing when my day job was going to scrap it. I saved it and used it for years.

    It's a laser printer, for goodness sakes! Slow and steady, low on toner usage. Dependable.

    It'll probably get my GRANDKIDS (if I ever have any) through college, LOL!

  47. Ruthy, I so agree with you. It is an amazing time for authors. So many options to tell the stories that don't quite fit in the trad pub world.

    Have y'all read Try, Try Again by Ruthy or The Rosetti Curse by Tina? Two awesome novels that just didn't quite fit in guidelines.

    Shaking head, here. What are publishers thinking? Read these books!

  48. Jessica, thank you for the wonderful post!! You nailed us with the truth. If we writers obsess about reviews and sales, we will forget what a privilege it is to write for God and lose the joy of putting words on the page. I'm putting up my fingers and my toes and acounting my blessings this morning.

    Love the Godiva! Thanks for sharing!





  50. Happy birthday Seekerville!

    Jessica, I love your optimistic outlook in the writing journey! Gratitude gets me out of a lot of sorry mindsets. When I get my eyes off myself and onto all that God's done in my life I always end up feeling better.

    He's used contest finals to lift my spirits and confirm that yes, I am supposed to be writing when I've felt discouraged. He has brought people alongside me to speak words of truth and encouragement when I have struggled or been stuck on a story snag. He speaks words to my heart when I need to hear them.

    I so appreciate your post today. Thank you!

  51. Jessica, I enjoyed your journey. By the time I got to the end of your post I was feelin' the high!:-)

    It sounds like you did it the right way. I believe everything we do should be done for the love of it or the good it will bring.

    I still have a long way to go in the writing process. But I love the learning. I'm enjoying the journey, and Seekerville makes it even more fun!:-)

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  52. Happy Birthday, Seekerville! Wonderful article, Jessica :)

  53. Welcome, Jessica!!! You have joined me in the psycho ward!!! I mean, published author realm! Congratulations! I mean ... there, there. It will be all right. God will get us through.

    Ha! Sort of joking. Not really.

    You sort of get used to the insanity of it all. Me, I have four books out (well, the fourth one is almost out) and yet I still am getting tons of rejections. I've gone through two agents and am about to be on my third, and at the moment I am sort of working on four books all at the same time. Sort of. Am I crazy? Yes. Feeling psycho? Yes. But I am also very thankful for what I have and what God is going to bring in the future. So it's all good. It doesn't all feel good, but it's all good. Right?

    Many blessings on your journey into madness ... I mean, your writing career! Mwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

  54. Sorry! That was my other personality. The nice Melanie is here now. Great article, Jessica! And Happy Birthday to Seekerville! Thank you for 6 awesome years of blessing us with your great articles and fellowship and camaraderie! (I can never spell that word without help! And I was the McKenzie School Spelling champion two years in a row!)

  55. I'm inspired just reading this story of yours Jessica, it's wonderful! Anytime someone comes up to me and says, "Gee, Chris, what you wrote today really made a difference in my life" - WoW, that's all I need and could ever ask for. Praise God!! :-)

  56. Happy Birthday, Seekerville! I'm sure you're counting your blessings today. May the fun, fellowship, and writing successes continue this month and in the coming years.

  57. Thanks for sharing with us, Jessica! It's nice to have those high points to look back on when we're stuck in the "what am I doing/I can't do this" mud.

    Every compliment I've gotten from an editor, agent, or author at a conference is a treasure. But I'll never forget my first conference -- ACW in Atlanta back in '04. It was the first time I showed some work to an industry person and really felt validated as a writer. Sweet, sweet memory!

    And -- happy birthday, Seekerville!

  58. Leigh Delozier!!!! A blast from the past. Good to see you and what have you been up to?

  59. Kimberli! Welcome. Love, love, love the hat.

  60. "Encouragementville" Love that, Cindy. Thank you!!!

  61. What a beautiful post!

    One of my many blessings, I found two good friends in critique partners.

    Love your list, Jessica.

  62. Great post, Jessica--and a great reminder!

    Getting to know you has been a fun blessing of my writing journey!

    And in your honor, I'm having a piece of chocolate.

    Connie Mann

  63. Jessica what a wonderful journey story. CONGRATULATIONS! And on the second sale!!!
    And I am thoroughly enjoying the chocolate, too. I'm dieting, so cyber chocolate is the only kind I get. :(

  64. Happy Birthday, Seekerville!
    I'm a reader and I so appreciate all the work that all of you go through to provide the best work for us to have enjoyable moments as readers! I have health issues, which means a lot of reading time for me and I can't imagine not having a good book to curl up with to spend the time! My TBR pile is so high and it has so many great books in it that I want to read but you guys keep putting out such terrific books that it doesn't get any smaller!

  65. Amen to all you said, Jessica!

    I'm blessed by countless answered prayers and by ACCEPTANCE of God's will concerning the unanswered ones.

    I'm grateful for the Seekerville family and for CHOCOLATE! Thanks for sharing your thoughts (and especially the Godiva chocolate)! :D

  66. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Seekerville!!!

    And thanks, Jessica, for such an inspiring post today. I think it's wonderful advice, and I'll definitely start my timeline tonight.

  67. Valri, you're an author's dream come true! Thanks for giving us someone to write for. :-)

    Tina, thanks for remembering me when it's been eons and ages since I joined the conversation. Work and life have been more insane than usual, but mostly in a good way. I'm carving out time to start visiting favorite blogs again, so will hopefully be here on a regular basis!


  68. Happy Birthday to Seekerville. I am a reader and grateful to all the hard work you ladies do on our behalf Good Job!

  69. Wonderful post, Jessica!!

    I love the weapon of thankfulness! Especially because it's so powerful when battling the blues!

    My family went to see the movie "The Ultimate Life" last Thursday and one of the characters "wrote" his finger in the air, saying he was writing his "Golden List"--ten things he was thankful to God for every morning. Fantastic movie. Sweet idea.

    The thanksgiving item at the top of my list right now is finishing my Speedbo 2012 MS, which I rewrote in 2013, bc I didn't have the heroine's GMC down. It's finally coherent and DONE. :) All that's left is a couple inconsistencies and a polishing pass. Then I'm grabbing the query and five page synopsis by the throat and getting those dern things submission-ready. :)

    Happy Birthmonth, Seekerville! I love this month-long celebrating method. I shall have to put in a word to my family about it when my bday rolls around in Jan. lol!

  70. Great post, Jessica, and congrats on the next book contract! Yay for you!

    Happy Birthday, Seekerville! This website is a blessing to me. Thank you for all you do to keep us informed and encouraged!

  71. Welcome, Jackie McNutt! Reader or Writer??

  72. Great idea, Connie Mann. Cheers and congratulations to Jessica for her salute to the journey of thankfulness as well as writing. And congratulations on your second sale.

    Jessica, any info on this sale you can share? What's the story line? Release date yet?

  73. Hi Jessica:

    Thanks for this wonderful and refreshing post! It’s a message I try to relive every day by reading my “Daily Word”.

    I think one of the greatest blessings is to be mature enough to own your own goals and not allow your goals to own you. Control your goals, place God at your center and all your other challenges will fade in significance.

    Again, I just loved this post today.

    BTW: are you a big fan of Alice Munro? She’s a Canadian writer and one of the best short story writers in the world. I ask this because your hero in “Remembered Love” is called Alec Munroe. (That’s something I would do to honor an author I admired. :)

    I must say that the Prologue to “Remembered Love” is one of the best 5-sensed, most emotionally compelling, and ‘make you want to read more’ intro to a story that I can ever remember reading. You really hit the reader with power…and I mean power. Wow!

    I loved reading this at once:

    “She shrugged a slow, painful shrug. Above her, clouds drifted across the sky, gliding in front of the moon and darkening Alec’s face. "Do you think there’s a God up there?"

    "Sometimes. When mom says she’s going to quit drinking and is sober for a day, I start to believe." Kitty followed his line of vision upwards. "I think He doesn’t care about any of us, if He’s there. We’re like ants to Him." A depressing weight settled on her shoulders. She hunched over, wanting to cry, wanting to hug Alec and scream like a baby.

    I don’t think I have ever felt more invested in a heroine, so quickly, as I have Kitty. And she is just a hint of the adult she is to become.

    I do have a question about your bible quote. It is one of the most ominous citations that I can remember being offered for an inspirational romance. (Probably the most.) What can you say about your choice of:

    “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment to truth.”-- Isaiah 42: 3

    At least I find this ominous. However, I must say it did set the stage for the tone of the Prologue.

    I’m already a big fan and am much looking forward to your next book.


    P.S. If you are not the Jessica Nelson who wrote "Remembered Love", that's okay, you still wrote a great post.

  74. Jessica, I loved reading about your blessings...

    You're a blessing to us!

    How's grandma?

  75. Ah, Jessica, it's has been so fun to travel this path of thankfulness with you today. You're right, we must focus on the blessings, because they are many!

    Congrats on selling another story to LIH! :)

  76. Seekerville and our wonderful Villager family tops my list of blessings.

    I love writing. I love writers and readers even more. Sending birthday hugs to all.

    Thank you for supporting this blog! Without you, we'd be 13 lonely authors. :)

  77. My husband likes to remind me that we should measure our success NOT by the world's yardstick (fortune & fame) but by the world's Ruler (God Almighty.) He reminds me of that when I'm worried about sales for the month. He says if we sell "just that one book" that needs to go to that one person for God's purpose in that person's life, then we are successful in God's eyes - the only eyes that matter.


  78. One must also ask if you are a Mac or PC gal, Jessica!

  79. Amen, Hallee. That's really the bottom line. Always.

    Are we doing what we're supposed to be doing? Then that's all that matters.

  80. Just received my RWR, which always arrives late, and saw Melissa's lovely full-page ad!!!!

    YAY, Melissa!!!

    A new baby and a new book...such blessings!

  81. In honor of Jessica--a Southern gal, I've brought pecan pralines and sweet tea for an afternoon treat!


  82. Great reminder, Jessica!
    And I so enjoyed Love on the Range!

    Happy Birthday, Seekerville!

  83. Jessica, your words are inspiring and upbeat. Thank you! I know all about that suspicious and debilitating sickness ... it can sneak up on me at the most unexpected times. Then all I have to do is read the first story I wrote and even I can see the improvement ... and that spurs me on to learn more. Oh, yeah, one of the many blessings is that the first story was never published :-)

    Nancy C

  84. Hi Jessica,

    I think that my blessings are my family and having a supportive writing community--two different things. I am glad to hear of so many examples of persistence here. Keep those stories of blessings coming--you never know who will be helped by it. Thanks,


  85. Interesting post, Jessica! And thanks for reminding us to count our blessings! Thanks, also, for offering the B&N card.

  86. Beautifully written, Jessica. The retelling of your writing journey is a blessing and a fresh reminder to prize that which is most highly esteemed by God. Appreciated all the comments made. Seekers is at the top of my list of writing blessings. Thank you for your generous offer.

  87. I've had Bing Crosby in my head all day....thanks a lot, Jessica!!!


    When I'm worried and I can't sleep
    I count my blessings instead of sheep
    I fall asleep counting my blessings

    When my bankroll is getting small
    I think of when I had none at all
    I fall asleep counting my blessings

    I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
    And one by one I count them
    As they slumber in their beds

    If you're worried and you can't sleep
    Just count your blessings instead of sheep
    And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

    I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
    And one by one I count them
    As they slumber in their beds

    If you're worried and you can't sleep
    Just count your blessings instead of sheep
    And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

  88. I'm falling asleep at my computer, Mary!!!

  89. Oh, DUH!

    I just remembered part of the printer blessing...

    When I won the query contest in Seekerville (another blessing, that they hosted that contest), I used the printer to PRINT OUT my submission!! And that was my debut novel!!

    I totally forgot about it until I remember taking a picture of my daughter holding the book printed out and the new printer is behind her. :D

    This is a great post. I'm feeling very blessed today!

  90. Loved today's post! This year would be in the running for my most blessed. I graduated with my Bachelor's degree after going to school for 10 years after being out of high school for 15 years, entered a writing contest, and will start a new job in a week.
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  91. GREAT post, Jessica - - thank you for this super-important reminder for all of us. It's so important to count our blessings no matter what we're trying to achieve, and you've set a wonderful example for us today!

    CONGRATS on your LIH books---YAY!! And enjoy those precious boys--they'll be grown before you know it *sigh*.

    Although I'm not pubbed (yet) I feel very, very blessed to be on this writing journey. I've made lots of amazing friends (including many from Seekerville!) and it's opened a whole, new world for me (after living in a kindergarten-teacher world for so many years).

    Even though there are other goodies here for the party, I just "had" to bake another Georgia peach cobbler--took it out of the oven a few minutes ago, so enjoy while it's warm (with whipped cream for anyone who prefers a topping).
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  92. p.s. Went to my local grocery store today, and while in the check-out line I was able to grab a copy of WOMAN'S WORLD that features TINA'S story in it!! Then I proceeded to tell anyone who would listen to me that "a friend of mine wrote the story in here!!" ~ and yes, folks smiled and commented "Wow" or "That's great"! YAY TINA!!! :)

  93. Well, Virginia, you've come a long way, kiddo.

    Best selling author!!!!!

  94. Sally, you should be proud. We're proud of you!!!! Congratulations.

  95. this is a great post. being thankful is a great way to break out of the "woe is me" cycle. it is a great reminder.

    i like the fact that Seekerville's birthday month because it's my birthday month (29th) and my little guy's birthday month (15th) as well. lots of reasons to celebrate and be thankful.

    i know i'm thankful for all the authors/books/Villagers i've been introduced to via Seekerville. this place is a HUGE blessing that ranks high on my Things I'm Thankful for List.

  96. I've been singing Count Your Blessings ALL day!

    Thank you for this VERY timely reminder, Jessica.

  97. Thanks for the reminder Jessica. A wonderful post.

    I have had the blessing in the past week to receive my VERY FIRST royalty payment! It was miniscule, but hey, I'm not officially a pro right? :D

    That being said, I'm definitely with you. I didn't get into writing to make money. I did it because I felt the Lord was leading me to write stories that would encourage people, inspire them and promote Godliness in our godless society.

    I don't know about you, but for me, hearing my Lord say "Well done my good and faithful servant." when I meet Him is payment enough. When I get over there, I will have PLENTY of royalties. In fact, I will be royalty! What an exciting thought. :D

    Happy Birthday Seekerville!

  98. Jessica, welcome!! I loved your post! It's so true. Often, no matter what has us down (or acting psycho), thankfulness can cure us. It's always helpful to look beyond ourselves, outside our own little worlds.

    Congrats on the second sale!!

  99. Oh my stars!!! Count Your Blessings is one of my favorite songs, Connealy! I love that song, the movie, the moment, but I used that song to annoy...

    Wait, TEACH!!!!

    My children when they had their greedy little hands out, LOL! It's just so easy to get caught up in what we think we need when the simple answer is God... and through that to help others. Be their blessing in person on Earth.

    Look at these fun faces I see! Oy, I think it's time to bring the red velvet cupcakes on board and share with everyone because that cream cheese frosting is amazing!

    I love birthdays. And Seekerville. And VILLAGERS!!!!! This is my favorite time of the year. After Easter.

    Easter trumps Seekerville.

  100. OH my goodness...I don't think I can keep up with all these comments! LOL

    Kav, too cool about the fan fiction site. ;-) We never know what will inspire us! My new book releases June 2014. I'm nervous!! LOL

  101. Hahaaahaaa, Melanie, you crack me up! :-)
    I like that other one...she's a hoot.

    Thanks everyone! I love reading about your blessings.

    Tina, storyline belongs to "Uncle" Lou and Mary the housekeeper from Love On The Range. They have to return a lost little girl and encounter some danger along the way. :-)

  102. Oh my goodness! Over 100 entries! I can't read them all!

    Congrats, Jessica, on your 2nd sale to Love Inspired. I enjoyed your first book and am sure I'll love your 2nd.

    Just wiping the sweat from my brow as I took the plunge and sent a proposal to Janet Grant! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    Good post with valuable advice to keep in mind.


  103. Oh, and Happy Birthday, Seekerville! Blowing noisy horn!!

  104. Vince!!! WOW....I am so honored that you read Remember Love and liked Katrina!

    Yes, that's my post and as for the verse, if it has an ominous meaning or context, that wasn't what I got from it. More of the "in the moment" meaning.
    You're right, I think, that it's prophetic but I don't really know the depth behind it. I just loved it when I read it and ended up using it. :-)
    I'm seriously blushing here that you read that story and liked the prologue...*grin* Thank you!!!

  105. Debby, which grandma? LOL Both are doing well. One is battling a decline but she is as lovely as ever.
    :-) Thanks for asking!

  106. PC girl, all the way, Tina. :-)

    Loving the comments, food and singing, ladies (and gentlemen!)! Thank you so much for having me.

  107. Thank you, Jessica, for that lovely and inspiring blog. One blessing I have received is hearing the stories of others on their path to publication. Your story of perseverance is a blessing as I follow that same dream and goal. The generosity of fellow writers is a blessing. Thanks for the blog.

  108. RUTHY,
    Easter trumps everything.

  109. So important to count our blessings! Keeps me going. Thanks for the encouragement!


    Just got back from vacation and got a chance to read your VERY wise and VERY true words!! Reminds me a lot of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts because, YES, gratitude is not only KEY, but it's the KEY to sanity in this biz!! You learned that early, girl -- my hard drive is not as fast as yours because it took me a LOT longer!! ;)


  111. I'm dropping by late but I didn't want to miss out completely on the first day of the celebration.

    Way to start it off, Jessica!!

  112. I'm late to the party but I loved this post. One of the biggest blessings I've had on my writing journey is the encouragement and help I've gotten along the way from other writers. In 2011, I won a 5 page anonymous crit on Seekerville and so I submitted the pages of a novel idea I had. Wow, I got a great critique and received encouragement to keep going. Happy to say I finally finished said novel...two years later but Seekerville was the jumpstart I needed at a time when I felt like quitting.

  113. late also but I wanted to say hi to Jessica and tell you how happy I am that you sold book one and now book two! Such a lovely post here. There's so much about this whole writing journey I never dreamed of.

    Otherwise, how would we manage to work so hard, not be published and still feel so very blessed. Publishing will be amazing but it can't be the only goal as it's just a part of the reward.

  114. Great to hear about your journey to publication. Shows writers that they can't give up!

    When I first discovered I wanted to be an author, I imagined myself, sitting in a large elaborate house, with a deck, near a crystal blue beach. I would be sitting on that deck, talking to my agent about my next book deal that'd make me millions...NOT!

    So true, royalties aren't everything! :-)

    ~Cecelia Dowdy~

  115. The chocolate sounds good. I like mine in cookies, brownies, or cake. I have some chocolate cookies at home to eat that came from the Walmart bakery. Please enter me in the drawing for the great Barnes & Noble gift card. If I won it I would buy a new lap desk.

  116. I am a day late, but just had to say what a marvelous post!

  117. One of the neatest blessings was winning an essay contest that gave me a trip to Virginia/DC area.

  118. I'm soooo late to the pawty, but here nevertheless. (Definitely past fashionably late but May is with me, so that should make up for it!)

    HaPpY BaRKdAy, SeEKeRvIlLe!!


    You make us feel so at home, virtual food and beverage, camaraderie, understanding nods... Definitely my go-to site for all things writerly, and I continue to spread the good word.

    The comments are so wonderful - still digesting them but the theme is praise and thankfulness for blessings. Couldn't agree more!

    Party on! And when you're done, write on! And really. Thank you all. May and I are so blessed to be a small part of this pawmazing community!

  119. Extremely thankful for my family!!

  120. Happy birthday seekerville!

    One particular Blessings stands out for me. It was bittersweet but a Blessing all the same. My dad passed away in 2009 and before his passing I never gave much thought to photographs. But after scrambling to find every pic possible of my dad so I could make everyone a memorial video, I realized how precious pictures are. So the following month at Thanksgiving I made it my mission to have the entire family there for a family photo. By the grace of God it all fell I to place and we now have a great family photo. It was a happy but sad occasion. It was the first Thanksgiving without my dad and it was the first family photo since I was a kid but my dad wasn't in it. I am thankful though that such a Blessing came out of such heart break and sadness.

    Wanda Barefoot

  121. My Blessing was actually a Miracle. Three years ago my husband fell and broke his neck. His doctor told me, "by all rights he should be dead or paralyzed". He is a walking Testament to what God can do!
    Praise God From Whom ALL Blessings Flow!
    Janet E.

  122. Thanks for sharing with us, Jessica!

  123. Wow, Library Lady@!@!! THAT IS A BLESSING!~~

  124. Finding writing has been a blessing in understanding people better.


  125. Barnes and Noble!? Heck yeah! Thanks for the cool giveaway!

  126. I truely believe that one must seek wisdom not riches to truely gain and get ahead in life. I love the tips and am going to print them out and save in a binder.
    thank you for the fun and giveaway.
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books

  127. The blessing has been so far never being rich in money but totally rich in the Lord Jesus and his salvation.
    Linda Finn