Tag: NaNoWriMo

Hit The Ground Running!Hit The Ground Running!

It’s been a while since I posted anything and this update is well overdue. For those who have read my previous posts, you’ll know that I became rather burned out after NaNoWriMo. That experience stretched me in ways I never expected, and the result was a complete drain on my creativity. If my imagination were a car, NaNoWriMo put a boot on all four tires. I couldn’t even spin the wheels. As I plunked at the computer keys, everything turned into complete rubbish that I promptly deleted. I growled at the evil blank page before me and wished that if I stared at it long enough words would spontaneously appear.

So, I stepped away from the keyboard for a bit. I took time to rest my mind and spent a ton of time praying. I found myself asking God why I was hitting such a wall when I know he called me to write? And of course, why are you having me write this story when the book isn’t selling? Yep, so far book sales for The Spark have come to a screeching halt. It’s partially my fault. I’m terrible at marketing…for now. Don’t worry, I’ll get the hang of it! But it left me questioning if I was on the right track or not. Who was I to think I could become a full-time author?

After tons of prayers, the Father nudged me with a simple question: do you trust me? Ugh! You had to ask me that question, didn’t you? Such an innocent question, but one that hit me like a load of bricks. Do I truly trust him? I spent many sleepless nights talking at God (Yes, I was talking at him because that’s what I do when I’m frustrated.), but still he persisted; do you trust me? I finally opened my hands and said yes. Like a floodgate opening, my creativity gushed forth. I tidied up book two’s beginning written in haste during November to fulfill the NaNo word count and dove back into Elefrisia.

The Forge is coming along well now. Once again, I’m running beside my characters as they continue on this adventure and face harder trials than ever before. Elefrisian history is coming alive in my dreams and helping me to connect dots. I’m learning along with my characters as they grow and mature. I still don’t know what God is planning for me with this story, but I know he gave me this gift for a reason. If all goes well, I should be on track to publish book two by the end of the year. Prayers are always appreciated. Y’all are amazing and thank you for sticking with me on this crazy journey!

What A Roller-Coaster Month!What A Roller-Coaster Month!

The month of November was crazy. My incredible Opa (grandpa) stepped from this land of shadows into eternity the week before Thanksgiving. The holiday was bittersweet. The entire Saunders clan will miss him, but I’m so happy that he’s finally home with God and reunited with Oma. It wasn’t goodbye; it was, see you later. That same day, my family’s sixteen-year-old Jack Russell passed. And the next day my other grandpa ended up in the hospital. Grandpa is doing well, but it was an emotional week.

Amongst all of that, NaNoWriMo wasn’t what I expected at all. Did I win? Yes. Will I ever do it again? A resounding no! Did I learn a bunch along the way? Another Yes.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month. Honestly, it didn’t sound as hard as it ended up being. I don’t know about anyone else, but I found the urgency to pound out a certain word count every day made my writers block worse. I stared at the screen on so many days, wondering why I couldn’t seem to connect with my story. I found myself more worried about the word count more than the story.

I’m glad I tried. I believe it strengthened my writing in a way. Through it all, I learned to let go of control. Let go and let God. It’s amazing how God can take something like a crazy writing challenge and teach me a lesson that doesn’t seem connected to the challenge in any way.

My first book, The Spark, has been out for one month now. Little did I know how easy it would be to slip into all the worry about marketing, advertising, and getting my book out there. I was driving myself crazy as I checked my sales reports regularly and hardly saw any change. I wondered; am I really supposed to pursue this? I wondered if I could achieve becoming a full-time author. But as I panicked over making it to 1,600 words a day and my story washed farther and farther downstream as I chased after it, I had an epiphany. This story isn’t for me.

I know that probably sounds crazy to most people. Most people think you want to be a writer so you can make money and become famous. I get why many would think that. And I know that a ton of people strike out as a writer for that very goal—but that’s not why I started this. I love storytelling. Something about taking people on a journey. Holding their attention while they laugh, cry, and shout out in shock over the many twists and turns, it’s exhilarating. The thing is, it’s written in my DNA. God is the ultimate storyteller, and he breathed that life into me.

Through my month of racking my brain for the correct word, stressing over the lack of sales, and wondering why I was putting myself through all of it, I was reminded to turn all glory back to God. I may never be famous, I may never even sell 100 books, but God is good. He brought me on this journey. I still don’t know exactly why, but I’ll see it through to the end no matter what.

So, whether my books ever hit the best-seller’s list, or if only my close friends and family get to enjoy it, I give all glory to God. I’ll leave my career in his capable hands.


Here we are, day two of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)! Why, you might ask, put myself through a month of striving to write close to 1,700 words a day? For the same reason the martial artist beats his arm on a wall; to get stronger. When I set out to finally get this story out of my head and onto paper, I thought, I’m going to write a book. This will be fun! Oh, my naïve self. Little did I know just what I was signing up for!

Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of fun. I can lose myself in writing and not even realize an entire day has flown by. But the sheer amount of work that goes into it is insane. And, now that book one is officially published, I’m pressing on to book two. I figured, what better time to start another book than in a month set aside to write one? So, here I am pounding out the words in an attempt to make it to 50,000 in one month. I may or may not still have my sanity by the end! Ha!

Through it all, I’m seeing the overwhelming support of my friends and family as they spur me on. So far, my fans range from 8-75 years old. I can’t get over how incredible that is. Every day I’m blessed more and more by the excitement of my growing group of readers. God started this ball rolling; I can’t wait to see where he takes it!