In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Ifonia Jean, author of “Strength for the Journey.” You can learn more about Ifonia by visiting her author Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!
Follow Your Passion
Follow your passions and you will discover the path of your purpose. That’s what I learned when I finally published my book earlier this year. I still remember all the hours spent brainstorming, reading, researching and writing. I worked on my book for five long years.
Initially, I had my mind set on writing a novel—a romance to be exact. Yet, I was not as passionate about writing this romance novel as I was thinking about it. I didn’t believe a tale of falling in love was going to give people the hope and strength they needed to survive the tests and trials of life.
There was (and is) just too much going on in the world, so much brokenness. I used to work for my local newspaper. The newsroom was always buzzing with bad news and filled with tension. Every time I looked up at one of the flat panel TVs on the walls, there was “breaking news.” Headlines were popping up on my computer screen through the company’s dashboard. My co-workers were constantly expressing their anger, fears, sadness and doubt about something they read or watched.
Embrace New Opportunities
The negative news was a lot for me to take in sometimes, but I always felt moved to counterattack the national tragedies through writing. I had been writing an education column for about a year, until one day, my boss proposed that I write about my faith. She knew how zealous I was about my relationship with God. I thought it was a great idea and jumped on the opportunity for God to use me.
To my astonishment, the readers were responding to my faith columns. I was receiving hand-written letters and emails on a weekly basis from men and women in the community who were encouraged by my personal experiences and understanding of the Bible. I thought, surely this is a move of God.
One day, I had an epiphany—I would write a book about my faith, combining my personal experiences with biblical accounts of God’s power and faithfulness. If I could encourage my community, then I could encourage my country—not by my strength, but by the Spirit.
I was excited and empowered by this revelation. I knew I would need the strength of God to start and finish my book amidst all the challenges going on in my personal life. I was dealing with debt, infertility, challenges at work, family drama, etc. I was also having a hard time balancing my role as a wife and a student.
God Gives Us Purpose
Through it all, I thought about how God used Paul to encourage the early church in their faith. God also encouraged Paul, enabling him to survive the worst and best parts of his journey. Paul did not have a church to fund his missionary trips or a private jet to get him to different parts of the world. He relied on God to meet his physical and spiritual needs.
I decided that would be my resolve. I depended on the power of God to endure the grueling process of writing and editing. When I lost my job, I thought it was a sign for me to quit working on the book. For a while, I did. I could not deal with the stress of life and write simultaneously.
Thankfully, God put people on my path to cheer me on. He also opened doors for me to meet the financial obligations of publishing my book. It’s refreshing to know that the God, who is fully aware of our shortcomings, empowers us to overcome any obstacle.
– WBP –
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length.