BEFORE I CHICKEN OUT

If you’ve followed my Tuesday blogs since August 1, 2021 you’ve read my “Year of Courage.”

Today, I share an excerpt from the backstory of my most vulnerable publication: Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator. It’s available at Barnes and Noble and your favorite book outlets.

You can follow my FROG Blog to watch my Year of Courage practice. Before I chicken out, here goes!

Note to Myself

Dear Self,

Write the book that needs to be written. Write even if you and God are the only readers. Write the book that is hardest to write. Someday you could use your journals to write a book. Don’t worry about publishing. Don’t be concerned with the end. Do not fear the messy broken pieces it takes to complete a whole manuscript. Consider these turns of your literary creation as colored chips in your life’s kaleidoscope.

Marjorie Holmes gained a national following with her book, I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God She considered this book a collection of her apron pocket prayers. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Thousands of memoirs like these have gone before me. I don’t need a national following. As a sensitive introvert who requires vast amounts of space and quiet, I don’t want a Marjorie Holmes level of recognition. And yet. And yet. And yet.

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Chris Woods was the first person who believed in my writing enough to publish what I thought would be my only book. I wrote Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn-Out Underwear to answer a friend’s double dare to write what I thought when I ran distance miles. After what I thought was my “Hey, look! I wrote a book. A one-and-done,” Chris challenged me to compile my online FROG Blog posts into a book of short essays. My inner prodding asked, “There are already 8 million book titles available on Amazon alone, why add your word weight to an already obese book market?” Chris recommended including other people to create an anthology, which evolved into book #2: The FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad. Neither of those books had initially flown off the chart. Eighteen positive online reviews hardly warranted writing a third book. And yet. And yet. And yet.

A line from Toby Keith’s song American Soldier kept playing in my mind. “I don’t do it for the money, there’s bills that I can’t pay. I don’t do it for the glory, I just do it anyway.”

Gulp! I filled my lungs with a slug of air and, with shaky FROG legs, I jumped into waters that chilled me to the bone with fear. Tenacity and determination boiled over when I was reminded that with God, I’ll live to tell this story. FROG stands for Fully Rely On God. I need to firmly stand on God and write what He has called me to do for now. Allow Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator to be published.

Christina

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