Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How My Journey To Publication Was Like Running A Marathon


  By Heidi Chiavaroli

My breaths squeezed within my chest, my oncoming tears doing nothing to help the tight feeling of despair settling within me. I looked up the long street, wondered how I would make it another seven miles. For that matter, how would I make it another nineteen when I tried to run my first marathon in just two months?
 

I slowed to a walk, feeling the acute burn of failure all the way from my lungs to my inner being. Running a marathon was one of those crazy goals I’d set for myself—right up there with hiking the Grand Canyon and becoming a published author.
 

But now, it seemed my goals would not be realized.
 

I would fail.
 

Dragging my feet along the loose sand and pebbles at the side of the road, I felt that all my dreams would get away from me. I didn’t have what it took to achieve them after all.
 

Looking back on this sad moment years ago, I now realize I didn’t have what it took to make my dreams come true. I didn’t have what it took, but lucky for me God had other plans. And He would give me the strength I needed on the journey.
 

You see, I did fail that day. I didn’t finish my fourteen-mile run. But God hadn’t created a quitter when He’d created me, either. He gave me a passion and drive to pursue things beyond myself. And when I couldn’t see the finish line—when it all just seemed too far away, He led me toward these passions He placed on my heart with His divine strength.
 

I’m happy to say I did run that marathon. And last month my debut novel released with my dream publisher. Now that I am on this side of both these journeys, the similarities between these two goals shout at me. Indeed, my journey to publication was, in many ways, like running a marathon. Here’s how.


~ A Lot of Failure:
There were many hard workouts when I trained for that marathon. Many days where I didn’t reach my intended finish time, when my plantar fasciitis would start acting up, when the pain of pounding pavement for miles overcame my desire to keep going.
 

Likewise, on my ten-year pursuit to publication, there were many moments I’d felt the sting of failure. At my first ACFW Conference, I was actually 15 minutes late for my first-choice agent appointment. (Talk about coming in at a bad time!) Failure. I received bad contest scores. Failure. And yes, I could probably wallpaper a wall with my rejection letters. More failure.
 

But you know what? Even though I counted these moments as failure at the time, looking back, I see they were an important part of my journey. And while I may have had an end result in mind, both succeeding and failing were an important part of my marathons. Failing builds character. It made me more human, maybe even more beautiful. I deeply believe I can write better stories because I have experienced failure, not because I have avoided it.  

~ A Need For Others:

Toward the end of my marathon training—when the workouts got to be eighteen, twenty, and twenty-two milers, I ran them with a running partner. I’m entirely convinced I wouldn’t have made it through these grueling workouts without her by my side. Someone to encourage and build up, someone who understood the pain. But also, someone to celebrate with me at the finish line.

In the very same manner, there is absolutely no way I would have stayed on this writing journey without some special women who have come along beside me. Like my running partner, both me and my writing sisters have been mutually encouraged by our relationship with one another. We sympathize with one another’s rejections and pain and doubt. And we celebrate the contest finals, the manuscript requests, the signed contracts.
 

Isn’t this the very reason Jesus encouraged believers to cling to one another? He knew we needed one another. For the parts that weren’t so easy and just plain hurt, but also for the parts where we simply needed companionship and someone to rejoice with. Having others by our side makes the journey all the richer, the victory all the sweeter.
 

~ An Act of Faith:
In the end, both running a marathon and publishing my debut novel were an act of faith. Through the years of writing failure, I chose to persevere and believe. My believing was not always perfect, and it wasn’t always beautiful. Rather, my belief was messy, sporadic, and imperfect—often like those training sessions—and yet, amazingly enough, God still chose to honor it. Because that’s who He is. Again and again, He reminds me that it’s not about me. It’s about Him, and who He is. And who is He? He’s an amazing God of grace. While I am stuck in the mud of my own pride and stubbornness, He still reaches out a hand to grasp me firm.
 

~ A Divine Strength:
The heroine in my novel, Freedom’s Ring, lives in fear after the Boston Marathon bombing not only denies her a marathon finish, but cripples her niece and tears apart her family. She chides herself for her fear. For not being strong enough to make amends with her family. For not being strong enough to run again.
 

But although her journey is filled with failure, as my own so often is, it is my hope that, in the end, tells of a more complete story. You see, I’m learning something. I’m learning that it might not be the dream—the race, the book, the hike, the career, whatever it is I am currently pursuing—so much as the journey. God isn’t so material as to help me achieve the good things in this life for the sake of achievement alone. If He helps me attain my dreams it’s to show me something about Himself. To gently prod me closer to His loving arms, to quietly soak me with His divine strength.
 

So it’s my wish to encourage you today, in whatever your pursuits may be. Dream big. Commit to persevering. But as you’re doing these things, recognize that there’s someone so much stronger than your drive, so much bigger than your dreams, holding out His hand to you the entire way.



GIVEAWAY!
Leave a comment, and you will automatically be entered to win Heidi's debut novel, Freedom's Ring, which I have read and loved and endorsed! 

ABOUT FREEDOM'S RING:
 

Boston, 2015
Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated—plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?

Boston, 1770
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.

Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.

Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.


ABOUT HEIDI CHIAVAROLI:
 Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston's Freedom Trail. She writes Women's Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle. Visit her online at heidichiavaroli.com

101 comments :

  1. What a great list Heidi! I think anyone can pull lots of encouragement from it with anything in life :-) Thanks for sharing these with us, great reminders.

    Congrats on the debut novel! I've seen it around the web and reviews have been very complimentary. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Trixi! I'm hoping all will be encouraged. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  2. It never hurts to dream big. Of course it helps to work towards this.

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    1. Absolutely, Mary. Great point!

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. Just swinging by to say hi. (Don't put my name in the hat, I endorsed it and have the pretty thing already on my shelf.) :) So happy to run with you in this marathon, Heidi!

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    1. ...figuratively. Don't dare ask me to actually run with you. I'll just do the figurative book run with you. Just wanted that to be clear in case you think I'll be getting up at Oh Dark thirty at some future conference and run with you... can't have you thinking that. ;P

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    2. LOL Melissa! Figuratively, of course. Miss you, my friend!

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  4. Talk about powerful encouragement! Heidi, once again, congratulations on seeing your dream come true... and knowing to work with God on it.

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  5. Congratulations Heidi on your debut book. It sounds wonderful and thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    Your post is powerful today. I loved your closing remarks, "So it’s my wish to encourage you today, in whatever your pursuits may be. Dream big. Commit to persevering. But as you’re doing these things, recognize that there’s someone so much stronger than your drive, so much bigger than your dreams, holding out His hand to you the entire way." That is a statement that needs to be printed and posted above my desk, with your permission of course.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    1. Hey, Cindy! I would be absolutely honored to have my words above your desk. ;) Thank you for rewriting them. It was a blessing for me to reread them within your comment.

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  6. Thanks for the great post! I'm not a marathon runner but my husband is and I've watched him go from a novice marathoner to a pretty decent one over the past two years. His goal is to qualify for Boston next year :)
    I totally see the analogy between marathon training and becoming a published author....something I never saw before! And congrats on your novel; I've heard such great things about it and can't wait to read it.

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    1. So neat, MH! I never got fast enough to qualify for Boston, but that is AWESOME for your hubby! So exciting.

      Thank you also for your kind words, and for stopping by!

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  7. Welcome, Heidi! Thank you for sharing your journey to publication with us. Congratulations on your debut!

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    1. Thanks for the welcome, Jill! I'm so very honored to be here!

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  8. Julie and all you fabulous Seekerville ladies, thank you so much for having me today. I am truly honored!

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    1. It is an absolute pleasure, my friend, especially with a beautiful post like this one, so I believe the thanks goes to YOU!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  9. Heidi, Congratualtions on publication! Your strong and encouraging post was exactly what I needed this morning. Thank you

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    1. Oh, Barbara, I am so, so glad to hear that. Thank YOU!

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  10. Welcome to Seekerville, Heidi, and congratulations on your first book! (Which sounds fascinating!) Thank you for sharing your "marathon" journey, both the struggles and dreams met!

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    1. Absolutely, Glynna! And thank you so much for the warm welcome!

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    2. I especially like your title...how it ties into the fact that she has Alexander's ring and that plays a part in the story.

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  11. You're so right about a marathon being like writing. Both take dedication and you can't give up

    I've ran (big exaggeration) a few half marathons. Most of them I considered successful just for participating. I remember one of them I was making pretty good time, when all of a sudden a had a big runner's "issue" which got me off my pace. Once I overcame that, I got back to my game. There was this lady in her 60's or 70's in front of me for several miles. I thought, okay, I can take her, but she kept the same distance in front. (She had no idea I was even behind her, but she was my goal!) The last few hundred yards ended on the track. I planned to sprint the last little bit and pass her. We got to the track, and she took off. She left me in the dirt! When the race was over and I went over begged her to take a pic w/me. She probably thought I was some kind of nut!

    Anyway, even though I wanted to keep up with this lady, I wasn't able to, but she still helped me finish faster than I would have. Don't other authors do the same for us? Like the ladies here at Seekerville. Love the comparison.

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    1. That is such a great comparison, Connie, and a great story. I can very much relate to getting le in the dust! 😊 Thank you for sharing!

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  12. Wonderful post, Heidi! Congratulations on your debut novel and I loved hearing your story. Just this weekend I was commenting to my husband that I am too goal-oriented and need to learn to enjoy the journey more. I love that God has created us all to be different and continues to teach me how to be more of what I am not. Thanks so much for sharing with us today!

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    1. Amen, Glynis! Enjoying the journey is so important!

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  13. Heidi, this is a good post. Your determination paid off, in all areas. I LOVE the Freedom Trail! I live in NH, and make a trek down to Lexington/Concord at least once a year. We must never forget what the Patriots accomplished. Talk about long shots, and camels-through-needles.
    I love to stand in the meadow at Concord and imagine that day, and standing on the green at Lexington gets me all choked up. People are throwing Frisbees, walking dogs or babies, working on laptops in the spot where It All Began. it gives me the shivers. I've got a Revolution/Colonial book in me, but have to finish other projects first.
    Oh, do I know about the marathon of writing. This week my project is to cut 8,000 words (you heard it right) from a potential Love Inspired submission. 8,000 words. Maybe I could leave off the last two chapters and make it a choose-your-own-ending. I am only kidding. Oh what fun it is...to cut one's MS to the bone. But once it's done, I will love the tightness.
    Please enter me in the drawing.
    Kathy Bailey
    Celebrating the Revolution in New Hampshire

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    1. Lol about the choose your own ending! And love your enthusiasm for that time in history! I totally get that! Gives me shivers too!

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  14. I'm going to be gone all day, so you guys can make fun of me if you want. :)
    KB

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  15. Heidi, just to be clear, I meant the breaking-away-from-England Patriots. But the football ones are pretty awesome too.
    KB

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    1. Lol Kaybee! Don't tell anyone, but we're actually big Giants fans!

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  16. Hi Heidi
    Congrats on your debut novel and accomplishing TWO hard goals. Your book blurb is so fascinating - put me in the draw please.

    I'm by no means a runner *shudder*, but I do love the analogy between marathons and getting published. I like your reminder that failure isn't necessarily bad. Even though I kick and scream at the building character events of my life, you're right - it makes one a better person. Thanks for the reminder. So glad you get to share at Seekerville today. I hope your book flies off bookshelves in grand numbers.
    Congrats again!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Deb, and the encouragement! I've definitely done my share of kicking and screaming too. God still gives us grace though. So thankful!

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  17. Wow! What an inspiring story! If that's not enough to encourage someone, I don't know what is. Congratulations on your achievements, both running and publishing and you are so right. Our partners are so valuable. I don't know what I would do without my writing partners. They've become not only my friends, but prayer warriors, cheerleaders and a support system I don't have anywhere else.

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    1. Absolutely LeAnne! I can't imagine going through this journey alone!

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  18. Heidi, Thanks for the encouraging blog post. Congratulations on your publication! Your book sounds really interesting!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Lara, and for stopping by!

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  19. I'm very glad you persisted and have achieved your goals, Heidi. And I loved your point about God teaching us something through the journey. I've found that to be so true. Great post!

    No need to put me in drawing. I have this marvelous book!

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    1. Couldn't have done this (and enjoyed the journey) half as much without you, Sandy!

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  20. Heidi, what a marvelous idea to blend the past and the present in Boston! congratulations on reaching both of your mighty goals. And I LOVE your book cover. I'm in awe of anyone who can run a marathon because I was never able to run more than 4 miles myself.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Laurie! And yes, Tyndale did a fabulous job with the cover! I am so very grateful.

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  21. HEIDI, thank you for sharing your journey! I'm so excited to read Freedom's Ring! I love dual time lines.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

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  22. Heide, thanks for a great blog! So glad you could be with us today. My eldest daughter is training for a full Iron Man. Much as I don't want her to do it, I'm supporting her and praying she'll be ready for the 16 1/2 hour ordeal. Yes, it's like the long, difficult journey to publication. I had a dream. So does she. I achieved my dream. I'm sure she'll achieve her dream as well.

    Thrilled about your story. Congrats!!!

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    1. Wow, the Iron Man-that's amazing! Thank you also for your kind words, Debby!

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  23. Welcome to Seekerville, Heidi! Congratulations on running and getting published. Great accomplishments. I started running last year and now run 5Ks. I ran a 7.4 mile race earlier this year. My goal for next year is to run a 10K and half-marathon. By running I mean finish lol. I am so slow. Thanks for the analogy between running a marathon and getting published. Great post!

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    1. Yay for running, Sally! And all those races--that is AWESOME! And finishing is a great goal, don't make that less than it is, it is a big deal.

      Thanks so much for for your kinds words!

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  24. Welcome to Seekerville, Heidi and congrats on the release of Freedom's Ring. You came out of the gate running! :)

    Love the analogy of marathons, writing, and the fact that your book is centered around the Boston marathon and the Boston massacre. I can't imagine the tons of research you put in for this book. Just mind-boggling, I'm sure! I'm in awe. :)

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    1. Awww, Pam, thank you for your kind words and your warm welcome! Yes, it was a lot of research, but I enjoyed it, and I'm certain you can relate! ;)

      Love your comparison by the way....

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  25. Heidi, thanks so much for this inspiring post about your writing journey, and congratulations on the publication of your debut novel!

    Although I'm not a runner, I could certainly relate to the marathon analogy. As I've mentioned several times before here in Seekerville, my journey from the day I decided to seriously pursue a writing career until I signed my first book contract took 25 long years. God encouraged me with regular sales to periodicals plus some significant contest wins along the way, which helped tremendously to keep me plodding along in faith and hope.

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    1. 25 years. Wow, Myra. And I thought ten was long. Your perseverance is so inspiring. Thank you.

      Thank you also for stopping in!

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  26. Heidi, what an encouraging post and BIG CONGRATS!!!

    I've found that along the way every time I thought about quitting, God supplies nudges at just the right time to urge me to continue.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey and here's to much success! *clink*

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    1. Thank you so much, Cynthia!

      And yes, He absolutely supplies us with just the right amount of nudge to keep going. So, so neat.

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  27. Welcome to Seekerville, Heidi! I love your transparency and the fact that you don't sugar coat it! This writing gig isn't easy but if you are called you have an obligation to that calling. Congratulations for reaching both your goals and not giving up. I salute you!!

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    1. Thank you, Tina, for your encouragement and sweet words. They very much warm my heart. :)

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  28. Heidi, welcome to Seekerville! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. The journey teaches us so much, enriches us, requires us to trust God with the outcome. But that's not always easy. The analogy with running marathons was spot on.

    Congratulations on your debut! I love historical romances and Freedom's Ring sounds fascinating. I also love Boston. You're blessed to live close to all that inspiration for your novels.

    Janet

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    1. Thank you so much, Janet.

      And I do love living here with all of the local history. It's fun to take my family on "field trips." :)

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  29. HEIDI!!! Please forgive my delay, but it's been a really crazy morning, and I see you've been really crazy busy here as well!!

    I absolutely LOVED this post, my friend, and it touched me deeply, ESPECIALLY this paragraph:

    "I’m learning that it might not be the dream—the race, the book, the hike, the career, whatever it is I am currently pursuing—so much as the journey. God isn’t so material as to help me achieve the good things in this life for the sake of achievement alone. If He helps me attain my dreams it’s to show me something about Himself. To gently prod me closer to His loving arms, to quietly soak me with His divine strength."

    WOW. WOW. WOW!!! This is a critical lesson I also learned, albeit the hard way, so thank you for sharing it with our readers today.

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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    1. Julie, thank you so, so much for these words, which truly touched my heart. You are such an encouragement to me. :)

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  30. Hey, Everyone, by the way -- Freedom's Ring is an exceptional book that you will not want to miss. I had the pleasure of endorsing it, and here is what I said:

    A stunning debut from an ACFW award-winner, Freedom’s Ring is a powerful journey into past and present that will inspire, encourage, and uplift. Prepare to indulge in this masterful love story of God and country that both haunts and heals long after the last page.

    And I meant every single word!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  31. Heidi, I will need to look for your book. I really want to read it. Thank you for this post. One day I hope to have a published novel if I can complete the race.

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  32. This has been a wonderful day so far. Irma has left and hopefully all the after effects will soon be over for everyone. I was without Internet for 22 hours, but many in my town have been without power for 3 days and some have been told it will be at least Friday before their power will be restored. I came out easier.

    This morning I was privileged to meet Beverly Lewis at a book signing, I also got to meet Amy with Bethany Publishers. I recognized her from all the facebook parties. It is rare in the small towns like mine to get to meet Christian authors.

    Hope everyone is doing well. I will have to check out the posts I missed due to the storm and no internet.

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    1. Wilani, I am so thankful you are safe and that your power is back (and that you got to meet Beverly and Amy). Wow. Big day is right!

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  33. Heidi such a great blog and so much wisdom. Of course you can't just walk out the door and be ready for a marathon. And even with really great talent and a love for writing, there is always a lot to learn. Excellent post. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm so IMPRESSED you can run a marathon ... and I love that you combined your love of running and writing to tell this story.

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    1. Mary, thank you so much for your kind words! They mean so much coming from you! And you're absolutely right--there is always a lot to learn. But I like how in that respect, the journey never ends. :)

      Thank you, Mary!

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  34. Welcome, Heidi! I am so happy to meet you here today. I really want to read your book. Please put me in the drawing. I love books that connect two different time periods. My book group is planning to read this next year!

    Great analogy to training for a marathon. I am not a runner. My son was a good cross country and distance runner in track in high school. He has never run a marathon, but has done some 20-mile runs. So I know what a runner has to go through to train. I need to keep these points in mind for my writing. I am almost finished with the first draft of my first novel. I need to hang in there. The finish line is in sight.

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    1. Yes, Sandy, hang in there!! I'm not sure if others would agree, but for me, that first draft of my first novel was the toughest. If you are almost finished, I have confidence you will see it through. Keep going--you got this!

      And I'm so honored that your book group is planning to read Freedom. If you'd like to Skype with me for the meeting, feel free to contact me!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Heidi, I will keep it in mind about Skyping. We have done that with Julie a couple times. Thanks!

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  35. Heidi I've heard people say before, being a writer is a marathon not a sprint, but no one's put it better than this.

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  36. Well, this post is sweet perfection for me today! I definitely feel like a marathon quitter in many aspects of my life so I appreciate your encouragement. I may have slowed down to a snail's pace but there's a finish line somewhere in my future.

    Freedom's Ring sounds like such an amazing story. I hosted a Reader's Choice Giveaway week on my blog about a month ago where I asked readers to recommend soon-to-be-released titles in Christian Fiction that I could add to my TBR wishlist. Freedom's Ring came up over and over again -- one of the most popular titles suggested. Definitely a highly anticipated release. Congratulations on your debut.

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    1. Kav, thank you so much for YOUR encouragement. It truly warms my heart to hear that. Thank you.

      And keep seeking that finish line as you seek God's will. He will reveal it!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  37. Heidi, your story sounds amazing! Congratulations! And the cover is beautiful! Thanks for such an encouraging post today!

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    1. Thank you for stopping in, Jackie! And yes, the cover is beautiful-Tyndale does an amazing job, I'm very grateful.

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  38. Heidi,
    I love what you said about a divine strength, It touched me today. Congrats on your new book! :D

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    1. So glad you were blessed, Sabrina. Thank you so much for your comment, and for stopping by!

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  39. You're inspiring, Heidi!

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, and for stopping by, Phyllis!

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  40. Thanks for the inspiration today, Heidi! I don't think I'll ever run a marathon, but finishing a manuscript is doable. Your book sounds fascinating. I'd love to read it.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! Yes, you can finish that manuscript, Barbara! Keep at it.

      Thanks so much for your kind comment. :)

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  41. Heidi, I love reading about your journey. Like you, I reflect on the rejections and disappointments and can now see how crucial they were to my development as a writer and to learning the industry. The lines that spoke most to me are these: "Again and again, He reminds me that it’s not about me. It’s about Him, and who He is." I look back at the past 18 months in awe of God and the blessings He allowed me to experience. I'm such a control freak, but this journey has been out of my control in so many ways. I love that I can look back and say, "You did that, God. Not me." Thank you for sharing your heart, Heidi!

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    1. P.S. Thank you for making me pause a moment this afternoon to remember this. :)

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    2. I am so glad you were blessed, Karen. And truthfully, those lines are my favorite too. So much freedom in this fact--freedom to write or pursue whatever we're going after, without all the pressure. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Karen.

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  42. Heidi, I so appreciate your post. The analogy between writing and a marathon is perfect. It's a lot of hard work. Some failure is a given, and we have to choose how we going to move from that point. Forward. Or out. I'm glad you moved forward. I look forward to reading your book!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Jeanne! And I like how you put that--kind of using failure as a springboard for our journey. I like that.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  43. Hi Heidi,

    I'm so happy to see you here today. I feel like we should be friends! I snapped up your book immediately because of one of my failures. I ADORE reading everything about the American Revolution and my first book was set during that period. It garnered rejection after rejection.

    I kept hearing versions of, "I love your voice, but no one wants to read American Revolution." I actually turned that story into a time slip/dual timelines book with my Genesis winning manuscript. But then I got sidetracked writing for Love Inspired Suspense. Your book makes me want to pull mine out again!

    Best of luck on the rest of your journey.

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    1. Hey Cate! Yes, we should be friends! lol

      So neat about your Revolutionary story and how you turned it into a time slip! Sounds like something I'd like to read... ;)

      I can only imagine how God is using you in wonderful ways as you write for LI. Hoping the timing for your time-slip story eventually comes and I'll get to read it!

      Thanks for stopping in, and for your comment. All the best! :)

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  44. Great post, Heidi. So happy for the wonderful reception your book is getting! I too had the pleasure of endorsing this amazing book! Grab a copy. You won't regret it!
    Cheers,
    Sue

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    1. Awww, thanks so much, Susan. Your endorsement meant so much to me. Thank you! <3

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  45. Very interesting Heidi. My son runs cross country and track so I'm learning a lot about running (purely from the cheering section). This was great information!

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    1. Oh fun, Sharee! My son just had his first cross country meet today, so it brings back so many fond running memories.

      Thanks for stopping in!

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  46. You want to hike the grand canyon? I want to hike the entirety of the National Appellation Scenic Trail... which would take like six months... yeah, good luck to me.

    Congratulations on your book publication, and for finishing that marathon. That's not something I don't think I'll ever want to do. I don't run, plus the first guy who ran the marathon kind of died. That'd be me if I tried running a marathon.

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    1. LOL, Nicki! Oh hiking the Appalachian Trail would be AMAZING!

      Thanks so much for the congratulations!

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  47. Sorry I'm so late stopping by. Thanks for such an encouraging post, Heidi. And congratulations on your book - sounds so interesting!

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I'm glad you DID stop by. :)

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  48. Thanks so much for being with us today in Seekerville. Praying for continued success for you and your writing and marathoning.

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  49. Hi Heidi. I've read such great reviews of this book and I hope to read it soon. Congratulations on its publication and your success in accomplishing your goals.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  50. Heidi, I'm so sorry I missed your wonderful post! I hope you'll get to see this comment.

    Thank you so much for this quote: 'God isn’t so material as to help me achieve the good things in this life for the sake of achievement alone. If He helps me attain my dreams it’s to show me something about Himself. To gently prod me closer to His loving arms, to quietly soak me with His divine strength."

    That really touched me today and goes right along with my Bible reading today. Maybe God had me miss your posting day so I would read it when I really needed it. :)

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