Life

 

Some quotes that have been resonating with me lately ♥

“Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved, upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are. Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that?”

Elisabeth Elliot

 

“Until the will and affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone accept, His lordship.”

Elisabeth Elliot 

 

Stop beating yourself up for phantom achievements you were “supposed” to achieve.

Unknown

 

“Lord, I give up my own plans and purposes, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions, and I accept Thy will for my life. I give up myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. I hand over to Thy keeping all of my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take second place in my heart. Fill me now and seal me with Thy Spirit. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, for to me to live is Christ. Amen.”

Betty Stam

 

“Remember this. Had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there.”

Charles Spurgeon

 

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait., bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly pray what  He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

Elisabeth Elliot

 

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”

Romans 4:20-22

 

“The supreme test of our confidence in God lies, perhaps, in those moments of complete inner darkness in which we feel as though we are forsaken by God. Our heart feels blunt; our prayers for strength and inspiration sound hollow… An impenetrable wall separates us from God.

An ardent belief in His love; a steadfast conviction that He is near to us even though we are, or imagine ourselves to be, far from Him; an unbroken awareness that ‘He hath first loved us’… these must carry us across the chasms of darkness and lend us strength to blindly let ourselves fall into His arms.”

Dietrich Von Hildebrand

 



Life

personal-update

I am so, so sorry for my ridiculously long absence! I’d intended to keep blogging as usual last month, but then I was transferring my site over to a new host and it was a little bit more time-consuming than I expected. I’ve also been working like a busy bee on a couple of other projects and my brain has shoved everything else to the back-burner, as usual. Multitasking is not one of my talents – let’s just leave it at that 😉

This year flew by so quickly, didn’t it?! I feel like it was just January and now we’re halfway through October. Seriously, how?!

The idea of time going by so quickly panics me just a bit. When I look back over this year, it saddens me to think that I didn’t accomplish all that I’d intended to. I believe in making every day count, and when I fail on that frontier, it’s easy to feel like everything else was a waste.

waiting-for-puerto-rico-to-get-the-memo-like-2

However, if I look at this year through God’s eyes, it takes on a different colored hue. I might not understand or even know why things played out the way that they did, but I do know that He was in control all throughout and He was carrying out His works and purposes, even if it seems like I have little to show for it. 2016 was His year, after all, and my family asked God to do what He would in it.

Anyway, before getting back to posting in my Telling My Story series, I thought I’d do a bit of a life update and talk about some changes related to the blog!

personal + life

A couple of weeks ago Puerto Rico experienced a mass power outage – there was a huge explosion at our main power plant and millions of us lost electricity. CNN even covered the story! It felt like some kind of apocalyptic event, going out to purchase candles. It was stormy weather and the lights in the streets were off – there were police officers at every intersection, manning traffic. But, praise God, my family was only without lights for about thirty-odd hours; within a few days, everything was back to working order. Phew!

Another thing I’m so very grateful for is the fact that Hurricane Matthew completely bypassed Puerto Rico. Considering that it hit almost every other island in the Caribbean, this is remarkable. But my heart does go out to all those who were hit and who are being affected even now… my mother keeps me abreast of all the latest happenings on that frontier, and it breaks my heart to hear how Haiti and Jamaica have been affected. I pray that God would provide the help they need, and also that God would use this catastrophe to usher in more missionaries and preachers of His Word to those desperate people.

On a personal basis, I’ve been keeping myself busy. I’m working on a bunch of creative pieces and I’m also constantly brainstorming ideas for this blog. Starting this week, I’m embarking on yet another project, but I’ll share about that some other time 😉

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It’s so important to keep ourselves from getting bored and unproductive, don’t you think? Laziness breeds inactivity which breeds slothfulness, and having struggled with all three in the past, I try to stay on top of things and not let myself fall into old habits. It’s an uphill battle at times. It’s easy to get bored and unmotivated, especially at this stage of my life, and I definitely struggle BIG TIME with being a procrastinator. But I like meeting goals and I like having something to show for my labor. It’s like being your own boss. And while there are pros and cons to that concept, over-all I think it’s a really positive thing.

blog + theme

Blog-wise, I continue to have epiphanies. Like wanting to talk more about my walk with the Lord and provide encouraging messages for other girls my age, who may be struggling similarly with their current season. As always, my biggest challenge is simply narrowing down what it is I’m here for. A part of me wants to tell stories; another part wants to do life posts; another part wants to write about writing; and yet another part wants to scrap it all and revert to silence! Being indecisive doesn’t help matters. (And yeah, I’m horrendously indecisive. But I’m sure you’ve been able to figure that out by this point!)

If this is the first time you’re seeing the new blog since I changed hosts then welcome! It’s still subject to change (because when is it not?) but I like the way it’s looking right now. Switching over to wordpress.org has been great. Plug-ins are so addictive and so much fun, haha.

hope + holidays

On other fronts, I’m feeling hopeful and looking forward to the holidays. We’re praying we have a nice Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Last year’s was just very sad. Most of my siblings have been taking music lessons this year and a couple of them are taking choir, so I’m looking forward to Christmas concerts!

I’ll be back later this week with another post.

See you then, and God bless!

one-does-not-surrender-a-life-in-an-instant-that-which-is-lifelong-can-only-be-surrendered-in-a-lifetime

Life

why I disappeared

When we started out the year, I set my sights high. Life had been painful for awhile and I was looking forward to a new start, a new season, a new chapter. I made my resolutions, wrote optimistic blog posts, and tried to fill my mind and heart with anything bright to mask what had become a constant depression.

And then came February.

Hardly two months into the new year, my worst fear was realized when social workers appeared at our front gate, their white car’s ominous insignia igniting the dread and fear that had colored the years of my childhood and early teen years. I wrote a blog post on it but later took it down. I’m not sure why – only that I’ve found it easier to write about what’s already dead and gone than it is to write about what’s alive and pulsing.

The following weeks were everything you can imagine them to be. We went into hermit mode, so concentrated in our own pain and memories that we could nothing but think, suffer, and pray. A week after that first visit at our gate, another catastrophe unfolded – no less painful… I gave up trying to blog or update my Facebook page. It felt like everything was in pieces. There was now a case in court and every time the dogs barked it meant that they were there – the social workers, the court marshals, the police. If we didn’t immediately attend them, they would turn on this whoop of a warning sound. My heart would fall through the floor. I was convinced I was developing some kind of long-term stress disorder because of the frequency of my heart racing.

The days crawled by, each presenting some new challenge or trial. Somehow we made it through. It’s a blur to think of now. There was a lot of praying. A lot of crying. A lot of pain. Shame, too – I never meant to cry the day the social workers brought court marshals and insisted upon being let into our home to interview the kids, but cry I did. They filled the living room and watched in confusion as I sobbed on the couch like a little girl. It’s a memory I’m still trying to repress. To the social workers (and police) that watched me cry that day – I hope one day you stumble across this post. Then maybe you’d know that it wasn’t forced or fake – that when I saw you fill my living room I was suddenly in another time, another place, where social workers and police equated removal, a nightmare I went through when I was a little girl – a nightmare that trails me to this day, even as I cross the threshold of adulthood.

My father requested in court that the judge would order social services to refrain from more visits to our home, that it scared his children. The judge assented, and I haven’t seen a governmental car at our gate since. It was a relief. There is a reason that an entire chapter of my memoir is titled ‘Strangers at the Gate.’ It was the event that triggered the nightmare.

The whole of the experience lasted about three months. It felt like longer. And yet, I can hardly believe that we are in July – the year is flying by so fast. It has held so much unexpected pain. But it has held answered prayers, too. The archiving of the case last month was an actual fulfillment of a word the Lord had given us. The gifting of a new car was a much sought-after blessing. My heart has stopped racing and I no longer jolt with fear when the dogs start barking.

And so my heart has turned to writing once more – to chronicling the stories and the thoughts that tumble about my psyche. My striving to see my book published has been laid to rest, much like my fears. It will happen in its time – in God’s time. In the meantime, I want to write. I want to fill this space with evidences of myself as I am now – because I won’t always be a twenty-one year old girl navigating the fuzzy realities of looming adulthood. One day it could all change and I will wish I had left more traces of myself to remember.

It has been a year full of the unexpected so far. But God has a way of bringing beauty from the ashes, so I’m looking forward to the beautiful things He will do in the coming months. This year may not have been what I was hoping or looking for, but God knew what it would hold, and if it has done anything, it has shown me that God has not forsaken my family, no matter what some people may think. Only He knew how much I needed to know that.

Only He knew.

Faith, Life

suffering

“I am certain that I never did grow in grace one-half so much anywhere as I have upon the bed of pain.”

Charles Spurgeon

Some days, I feel terribly alone.

Some days I open my eyes and I’m filled with dread because I don’t want to get out of bed and face the day.

Some days I wonder if all of hell has been stirred up against me.

Some days, it seems like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Friends and family have turned on me and I wonder if God has, too.

For those of you who experience similar days, I have a message of hope for you. It’s something I have learned over the course of the past few months, and it’s something I cling to in my darkest and loneliest of moments.

It will all be worth it

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

There will come a day where you emerge on the other side of this affliction – whatever it may be. That is a fear, I think, that we all face in the midst of our trials. Will this ever end? Will I ever be happy again? 

Here is a fact: for the child of God who is faithfully serving Him, you have a prize set before you.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Think back on all the times in the past where you were in the valley, alone, hurting, and suffering. You made it out, didn’t you? You will come out of this pain as well. But you will emerge stronger than before, and closer than ever to the glory that God will reveal in you.

Remember that you are not alone

When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Isaiah 43:2

The whole world could be against you; friends and family may abandon you; loved ones may pass on, leaving you grief-stricken and lonely, but in these many waters, this loneliness, Jesus is with you. 

I can’t even comprehend the vastness of that statement. It’s a humbling one; one I can’t even fully grasp. If only we could see in the Spirit the battles He wages on our behalf, the enemies He vanquishes with a single breath, the closeness of His Being to ours… I think we would forget the meaning of fear. We would cast off forever the notion of loneliness.

The Lord knows your pain and sorrow. There is a purpose for it, and He will bring good from it. This He promises us.

If you are in the valley now, I extend these gifts of truth to you. Please accept them from a fellow valley-walker:

  • You have a Savior who died for you, He loved you so much
  • You have a whole family in Heaven, even if you have none on this earth
  • The Lord carries you, as the beautiful Footprints poem reminds us, through the darkest moments of your life
  • You may be surrounded on all sides by what seems like the very host of hell, but Jesus stands at your side and He will never leave you

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deut. 31:6 KJV)

God will deliver you

Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19

In the midst of persecution or affliction (or both), we forget that the Bible has already spoken in this respect: we will face persecution, we will suffer affliction. This is not a one-off; it’s not something out of the ordinary. In fact, this should be a very ordinary reality to the believer (1 Peter 12:9).

But God hasn’t abandoned you. This is a line of thinking that I fall into too easily. I think, “Everything is going wrong. God must be angry with me. He has left me!” instead of thinking, “I am partaking in Christ’s sufferings, and yes, it is grievous. But God is going to deliver me, this I know. He is with me.”

My father always says, “Go back to the last thing God told you and stay there. God’s doing something in your life right now and you’ve just gotta trust Him.”

We are to evaluate our walks and hearts before the Lord, to ensure that we are not offending Him. But if we know we are not, then what is the answer?

You are in your fiery trial. God has allowed it and He is walking you through it. Trust Him. Keep your eyes on Him. Cling to His Word, to His promises, and know that this too shall pass. It is a season. Reminding myself of this always comforts me. It’s a season! And seasons pass. There are blessings ahead. I may be bleeding now, but tomorrow I get to experience His miraculous healing. I may be suffering now, but tomorrow I will be rejoicing!

…Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5 KJV)

You must be doing something right

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Luke 6:22

Do you feel hated by man? Do you feel rejected and cast off? Do they reproach you, saying that you are evil?

Welcome to the Body of Christ!

They did the same to Jesus! JESUS! Your Lord and Savior! And He told you of this… He told you that the world would hate you, because it hated Him. You are one of His. You are partaking in the sufferings of Christ Himself.

You probably don’t feel like rejoicing… and I understand. I didn’t (and don’t, at times) either. But I always smile a little at this thought: we must be doing something right. You can bet your bottom dollar that satan doesn’t get stirred up over any old little threat. Nope. He goes after the big ones, the ones who are wreaking havoc on the kingdom of darkness. Doesn’t that make you giggle just a little?

And he’s already defeated! That’s the best part!

This too shall pass

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelations 21:4

There is a beautiful song, one I sing to myself often.

This too shall pass

Like every night that’s come before it

He’ll never give you 

More than you can bear

The lyrics of this song could be the anthem of the valley-walkers. Listen to it. Let the words sink in. This too shall pass. You will make it out of this valley, out of this trial. Cling to the Lord in the meantime, and set your eyes on the mountain. Praise Him because He knows – because He will deliver you – because there is day coming where He will wipe the tears from your eyes, and there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain.

I look forward to that day. I pray that you might have the strength to do so, too.

Life

inspiration quotes

I’ve been having a series of uninspired days. I don’t feel like doing much of anything. If you’re having one of those days (or weeks) too, then this post is for you! Enjoy.

○  ○  ○

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes

○  ○  ○

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

Mulan

○  ○  ○

“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”

Chad Sugg

○  ○  ○

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Maya Angelou

○  ○  ○

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

Lance Armstrong

○  ○  ○

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

○  ○  ○

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Philippians 4:13

○  ○  ○

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

Vincent Van Gogh

○  ○  ○

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Psalm 126:5

○  ○  ○

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Jack London

○  ○  ○

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”

C. Joybell C.

○  ○  ○

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

○  ○  ○

“Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”

Suzanne Weyn

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“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton

○  ○  ○

I hope these quotes inspired you like they did me. Feel free to share!

Life

goals 2016

Making goals for the new year is one of my favorite things to do. But, just like the next guy, I usually fall short when it comes time to work on them. Not this year! I’m giving this year first to the Lord, and all my dreams and desires I’m placing in His hands. He will bring about those things I long to see fulfilled, and He will give me the grace and wisdom to work towards those things He would have me do.

This year, let us dissolve all our hopes into a single hope, to know Christ and be found in Him. May this be the year to desire a radically transformed, deeper, truer, knowing [of] Christ as our all-sufficient One.

Elisabeth Elliot

These are the four areas that I want to focus on in the coming year.

  1. Growth in my relationship with the Lord 

To me, this means praying more, studying the Word more, and spending more time meditating on Him. I want Him to be at the center of my life and my hopes for the new year!

2. By His grace (and if it’s His will) self-publish my memoir

I’m praying that this is the year that our story is finally heard. I know there’s going to be a lot of work that goes into it: we’re talking translating, formatting, marketing, promoting, and launching a book – all on my own! Gah!

3. Write and complete my second book

I have a good chunk of it written already, but I need to begin writing more consistently as I did the previous year when I was completing my first book. I also need to learn how to balance writing a book and keeping up this blog (just thinking about it exhausts me, ha!)

4. Blog more often and more purposefully

For so long, I was unsure about why I was blogging and what it was I wanted to say. I believe I’ve finally discovered my approach: writing is a subject I am so passionate about. Combining that God-given passion with my passion for Jesus is something I could write about endlessly!

I will be touching on each of these goals in my upcoming posts, so keep an eye out for that. And tell me – what are your goals for 2016? 

 

Life

new year

This last year has been one of the most triumphant, rewarding, frustrating, overwhelming, and ultimately painful years that I have ever experienced.

2015 began on an impossibly high note. I had just completed my memoir and was getting ready to start looking for a publisher. Life was busy and exciting: my family was able to catch up with old friends over the holidays, visit with family members that we hadn’t seen in years, and plan for the new year ahead.

I started up my first blog using Blogspot. It was definitely a learning experiencing, but eventually I grew frustrated at how little I was accomplishing and it drove me to re-evaluate my goals. I ended up ditching the old blog and began a new one (the one you’re reading today!) and so far, the running of this blog has been so much more enjoyable. (I definitely prefer WordPress to Blogspot!) My blog still has a lot of room to grow in and that’s one of my New Year goals – but more on that later!

Besides blogging, I took a publishing course and learned a whole lot more about the publishing industry. After a lot of prayer and tears of frustration, the Lord eventually showed me to pursue self-publishing. I felt such peace in my heart at this decision. I laid aside my unfinished book proposal and query letter, and began learning as much as I could about the self-publishing world.

I also looked into translation. I live in Puerto Rico, but I’m American – my first language is English, and I wrote my memoir in English. Getting my book translated to Spanish was an absolute must. I ran into a lot of walls and closed doors; a prominent psychologist friend of my family even asked around at the state university but was unable to find anyone that met my criteria. I felt so overwhelmed, and prayed often, asking God for direction.

I stumbled upon Translator’s Base one day. I got 22 bids within a couple of days. I felt a strong pull in my heart to contact one particular woman… and I am currently in the process of reviewing her work and deciding whether or not we’re going to go forward with her. Say a prayer for me that God would confirm if this is the translator for the job or not!

There is so much to learn about self-publishing, and I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Finances are currently an issue because I can’t go forward until I have some kind of budget to work with. My family is waiting on God to provide. Again, this is something I’d love some prayer about! 

In family news, my siblings’ choir was chugging along. They sang on the radio as well as at outdoor venues; they even filmed their first music video. We met with a couple of interested producers; there was even talk about making a film based on my family’s story.

In the past couple of months, a lot has changed. It has been an incredibly painful time for my family. Sadly, the music video may never be released, for reasons I can’t share here. The choir is also on an indefinite sabbatical. God knows why He has allowed these trials, and my hope is that He will bring good out of our present circumstances.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

I am learning so much in this time. My circumstances almost had me convinced at first that my purpose had been stripped away; that my destiny had been irrevocably changed. This is not the case. In fact, I have been assured that nothing, absolutely nothing, can get in the way of what God is going to do. Not satan, not any of his minions, not the plans of the wicked. God is going to do what He is going to do – and no one can stop Him!

I am so looking forward to the coming year. I know that it’s going to have its share of hardships but I know that there are rewards and blessings ahead. I feel like I’m taking a huge step forward and I’m not going to be looking back any longer! The past is the past. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me!

What kind of year was 2015 for you? In my next post, I’m going to be talking about my goals and resolutions for 2016. See you then!

Life

christmas + thankfulness.jpg

The holidays weren’t very joyous this year for my family.

Maybe they weren’t very joyous for you either. If that be the case, let’s do something, shall we? Let’s find as many things as we can think of that we are grateful for, and let’s thank God for them!

Here’s my list:

  1. Jesus – His birth, His sacrifice, His gift of grace, His love, His Holy Spirit, and His mercy
  2. My health and the health of my family members
  3. Our beautiful house
  4. Our gorgeous property
  5. The freshly cut lawn 
  6. Our mountain
  7. Electricity
  8. Running water
  9. A working washing machine
  10. A working water heater
  11. Food on the table
  12. Being able to have sushi this week
  13. Christmas cookies
  14. This song. I don’t understand most of it (it’s in Portuguese) but I cry almost every time I hear it.
  15. My brothers and sisters
  16. Pine trees
  17. My sister’s humor
  18. Homemade bread every morning
  19. My sister, who makes our bread
  20. Books
  21. Rain
  22. A working car
  23. My almost-2 year old brother + his hugs
  24. A new year 
  25. Our Christmas tree
  26. God’s love and how it fixes everything

What are you thankful for during this season?

I hope everyone is having a merry Christmas!

 

Life

Today, I came to the conclusion that life is about to get very, very, very busy.

I’ve (practically) finished my book, which is the memoir that I have been writing since the age of thirteen. At first, I thought I would be stuffing the events of my entire life (but focusing on the years wherein life was flipped over and inside out) into one single, long book. At fifteen, my mom gave me a suggestion: “How about you split the story into two parts, and from now on, work exclusively on the first half without worrying about the second?” I thought it was a good idea, and immediately a weight was lifted. Trying to cram in the details of our story into one single book didn’t seem legitimately possible.

After all, when you think about a life, a body, a family, you are thinking about the three-dimensional aspects that constitute one. The hundreds of conversations. The hundreds of facial expressions. Tones, sounds, scents, inflections, movements, phrases, ideas, thoughts, feelings. How do you capture the essence of a person, of a memory, of an event, and put it into words? How do you do the same for more than one person? For a life-changing event?

And on that topic, how you do even begin to explore the realm of grief and death and loss, when at the time that these occurred, you were only ten years old, and thus too young to even grasp the depth of it?

As you can probably tell, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this stuff.

Mashing all those different elements into one thick book was the original plan. Like I said, that changed. However, by the time I was seventeen, and had a firmer grasp on the objectives of my endeavor, I had changed my mind again: I didn’t think anybody would pay hard-earned money on two books that described the same themes, the same family, the same gruesome, dragged out tale. It’s a sad story, there’s no doubt about that. And I don’t know about you, but I like to pace my sad-story-intake. Better lump it all in the same volume, I surmised.

Well, plans changed. Again.

Here I am, at twenty, with the nearly finished first half of my story. I still feel the same way, about how I don’t think people will want to purchase two books, but my family has repeatedly told me the same: it would be better to split it into two parts. There’s too much to say, and I wouldn’t want to risk cutting out or skimping on certain details in order to make it more package-able. So. Two books it is.

This year, I have fully immersed myself into understanding the publishing universe (oh, and its a doozy). At this point, I get what a literary agent is, a book proposal, a query letter, a publicist, a publisher, an editor, a platform, etc.

I’m still a little foggy on these topics:

  • a book launch (who organizes it? who helps with that?)
  • translation (whose job is that? mine or the publishers? and is it possible to publish both an English version and a Spanish version simultaneously?)
  • marketing and promotion (when does that officially start, and is it all on me, the author, or can I pass it off to a professional?)
  • and endorsements (apparently, these are different from reviews – just learned that – and I’m not sure when it is that I’m supposed to start seeking them. I’ve started recently, but I don’t even have a publisher yet, so I don’t know if I’m jumping the gun or what).

What I’ve definitely learned beyond a shadow of a doubt is that networking is a must, and forming connections with people who care about your project is so important. 

Aside from learning all this stuff this past year…

  • I started blogging (thrice… but three times the charm, eh?)
  • rewrote small sections of my manuscript
  • began a book proposal (but haven’t worked on it, because I still don’t know what route to take in terms of publishing)
  • started bookmarking literary agents and Houses I would like submit to if I knew for sure that I was going straight to traditional publishing (I’ll do a post on this later, explaining my dilemma)
  • and at this point, halfway through the year (whaaaat?), all that remains is for me to finish up the final chapter of my memoir before beginning the second book (which I have a lot of written already, and wow, I use parentheses a lot).

So what does all this tell you?

I’m about to get really, really good at multitasking.

Blogging, writing, social media-ing, and publishing a book, all within the next six months. Talk about an adventure in the art of not losing my mind whilst accomplishing huge life goals… Despite the fact that blogging is on my Will Accomplish list, it’s also the means to chronicle this whole experience. (The only small problem being my perfectionism demands that I spend exorbitant amounts of time on piddly-diddly things so everything gets slowed down in the process… and that, my friends, is why I’ll never be a daily blogger.)

If somebody reading this has any tips for me on any of these topics, then leave me a comment below! How do you juggle blogging and day-to-day life? Do you carve out chunks of time to work on it, or is it more like whenever the inspiration hits you?

GIVE ME YOUR SECRETS.