From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Rebecca Halton, author “Words from the Other Woman.”
As I wrote Words from the Other Woman in 2010, my mind filled with excited ideas of celebrity authordom. I was convinced God was “in it,” so I thought success was imminent. I believed it would be as effortless as success seemed for other authors.
How little did I know—and how much I had to learn! Since my book’s release in 2011, I’ve realized my metrics for success were rooted in worldly measurements. And I’ve since learned that being an “overnight success” would have ruined me.
Imagine for a second that you haven’t gone running in … well, maybe ever. Now imagine waking up tomorrow—less than twenty-four hours from now—and having to run a marathon (26.2 miles).
First of all, your body wouldn’t be conditioned for that kind of race. You’d likely (and painfully) injure yourself. And you’d probably resent your coach. I thought I could handle the success that I wanted for my book; thankfully, God, my coach knew better.
Three years later, I’m more capable of handling longer distances. But that didn’t happen overnight. I also hadn’t yet proven worthy of certain opportunities. We are entrusted with chances to impact people’s lives—we are not entitled to them!
There’s one other reason I wouldn’t trade the past three years for fifteen minutes of fame: people like Rachel. A couple years ago, I hosted a meet-and-greet at a local bookstore. I was excited and exact in my planning—and expecting a great turnout.
Hardly anyone showed: not including my mom, and curious bookstore patrons. But Rachel showed up—with a plate of homemade cookies and a big batch of belief in me. And she wasn’t any less proud of me because there wasn’t a line out the door.
There was no way either of us could have guessed that a couple of years later, it would be my turn to come to her side. Even as she lay in the hospital, she couldn’t have been prouder or more encouraging of my writing, of my calling—of me.
And I couldn’t be more grateful, for what she will continue to mean to me. My dear friend did pass away, but my memory of that day in the bookstore endures. Because it reminds me of the one thing that will always be better than success:
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space
Beautiful! Simply beautiful! Only someone else who’s been there-is there-can truly understand! I ding I must first live the truth/s, I must first live it! Otherwise, no true impact. So, I live through and in the pain to give understanding then comfort from Gods healing. Eric
Hi Eric! Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I’m grateful my story encouraged you. Sounds like you also have a story that encourages people. That’s awesome. God bless!
Great article by Rebecca Halton and one so many of us first-time authors need to hear. I was so moved by the perspective she gained by her experience and how this spoke to me in my own writing experience. My wife even shared with me that the message I hoped to convey in my book may well have been meant for me. I thank God for the people he puts into our lives in great ways and small who enrich our lives for his glory.
Paul, thank you for your comment: well said! And sounds like you have a great partner there, a wise wife. I’m so grateful God knows better than I, what I’ll need in the long run. Would you share here what message your wife was talking about? Or share a lesson you’ve learned from your experience? I’m grateful to learn from others, as much as I am thankful to share.
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These were words I needed to hear. I have been feeling invisible and unvalidated for along time. But the truth is, I am at a place in my life in which the hated and despised invisibility I have been so wanting to escape may actually be God’s protection for me. Thank you for the encouragement. May God bless you!
I’m so glad I could encourage you. I cherish that. That is a very wise insight: I’ve had seasons of feeling overlooked or unseen, and then got a taste of what He was actually protecting me from. Giving me a safe space to grow in Him without great pressure or distraction. It’s also helped me to remember that many, many, many of the people God used powerfully in the Bible, had seasons of being concealed or prolonged waiting. God bless you — thank you so much for sharing here.
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