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141 – Writing with a Full-Time Job

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Writing with a Full Time Job Write from the Deep podcast with Karen Ball and Erin Taylor YoungWriting is never easy, but it can be especially challenging when you have a full-time job. It can seem so hard to find writing time on top of everything else! But we’ve got some great tips and strategies, shared by those facing the same challenges, to help you in this seemingly impossible task.

But first, thank you to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

We recently heard from one of our new listeners that the hardest thing for her about this task of writing was balancing between her day job and time to write. We’ve never done an episode specifically about that, and clearly it’s needed. Thanks for the idea!

Like many struggles on the writing journey, it helps us to hear, and learn from each other’s experiences. Remember Hebrews 10:24-25:

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

With that in mind, we sent an email out to other authors for their feedback, which we’ll be sharing. And because we’ve have both had times when we’ve been writing while working day jobs, we’ll mix in some of our thoughts as well. 

Christina Sinisi, who works as a professor, has this to say:

“Schedule your down time, set boundaries, and be flexible. I know these may seem contradictory, but they’re real. I schedule my work time, including grading at home, so I have a built-in nap, outdoors time, etc. I even schedule expected times for meals. That way, I don’t run out of time and discard important things. And then I protect those times. Students would seek help at all hours in this digital age, but I have cut-offs and stick to them.”  

I (Erin) like the idea of setting boundaries and protecting them. My hubby’s a professor, too, and I can testify that students do seek help at all hours. There will be an email at 10:30 at night about an assignment due at 11:00pm, as if my hubby has nothing to do 24/7 but watch for their emails.

But the same thing can happen with coworkers or your boss. If you answer that email on Saturday afternoon, or at 10pm, instead of waiting until you get back to work, you’re training people to expect that, and it’s hard to retrain them, or not feel guilty when you want to set boundaries. Obviously emergencies happen or there are jobs that require you to be on call, but you get the idea.

Christina goes on to say:

“Finally, I allow myself leeway. It’s the end of the semester, and I didn’t write for my fiction yesterday. That’s okay. I’ll make it up when the semester is over. Priorities have to shift depending on needs, while maintaining health and faith.”

That’s so good to keep in mind. And to stay flexible even when those shifting priorities have unexpected results. Sometimes shifting priorities can feel like a juggling act but having that flexibility can help us not be frustrated, and that saves our emotional energy for writing when we do have time.

Linda Harris shared this with us:

“When I was employed by the US Dept. of Education, the work and environment was structured and rigid. I write historical fiction. My lunch hour was one-hour, no exceptions. If I stayed in my office, I was open to interruptions and work-related issues. I found a place out of my assigned area where I could work in relative quiet…My first five published novels were before personal computers, and work equipment was off limits. I transcribed my noon-time writing to the home typewriter. We lived in the country so I could dictate to my hand-held recorder on the way home. A commercial dictaphone machine made the transcribing go faster. Knowing Shorthand was a plus. Even knowing a few basic strokes and abbreviations for characters would help today when pencil and paper are the only tools available.”

I love the dedication this shows. Linda made a work around for so many of her challenges. She goes on to say:

“I learned to write in scenes instead of chapters. Scenes were easier to rearrange and develop than full chapters. Staying in POV (point of view) is easier in scenes. Dividing into chapters later was a snap. A detailed outline, while time consuming to create, kept me on track. I added historical notations to the outline to keep the flow and not miss an important point… Since time was premium, I allowed 15 minutes to gather my gear and get to my writing spot, and another 15 to gather my gear, get to my office, and be ready to work. Obviously, all minutes saved during these 30 minutes were added to writing time. Fast forward to laptops and computers and marvelous programs like Scrivener, AutoCrit, etc., and production is streamlined.”

What a great job Linda does with optimizing her writing time to make the most of it. Think about your own job and the flow of your day. Are there ways you can optimize your time? Routines you can establish to help make the most of your time?

Linda ends with this:

“God is the ultimate redeemer of my time spent writing for Him.”

What a wonderful reminder that the burden of accomplishing this task doesn’t rest on us, but on HIM! He’s given you this task, and He will enable you, and bring His purposes to fruition. 

Jessica White offered these tips:

“It’s 100% about making the most of the small times. The in between moments. Plotting while you wait. Using an app like OTTER so it transcribes your thoughts and you have a template to start with. Also just knowing yourself and how you write so you can find prime time. For example, my brain is more relaxed [at night] so I can free-write first drafts then, but don’t ask me to edit. But if I try to draft in the morning, my inner editor makes it slow and painful. Working with myself instead of against myself is the key.” 

I love that because it’s another way to optimize your time. You’re being more efficient with the time you have. I realize not everyone can do this. You may need to be at your day job during your most creative time. In that case, maybe take some quick notes during your break times, if you get them, or like Linda Harris did, use your lunchtime if you can. Try to save that time during weekends and your days off, and try to find your second best creative time.

Jessica continues:

“Just being realistic about how much it’s going to take to write a book [helps]. For me it is about an hour a page from first draft to editor’s desk. So if I need a 90,000 word book, that’s going to be about 360 hours. If I could only give it an hour a day, then it would take me a year.” 

As an editor for major publishing houses, I (Karen) can tell you how important it is to turn your manuscript in on time. You need to know how long it takes you to write a book so you can make sure you’re not signing a contract with an unrealistic deadline that’s going to cause you stress, or cause you to produce less than your best effort because you ran out of time.

Kelly Scott shared this with us:

“My biggest tip is using the Google docs app on my phone. Every time a scene came to mind or I had an idea, I could quickly write it out while I was sitting at my work desk. I would also designate Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons to writing.”

Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner offers this advice:

“First, for writers employed full time outside the home, if you spend all your free time wishing you had more time to write, you’ll never find time to write. I cringe when I think of the time I wasted on evenings and weekends, wishing I didn’t spend 8 hours of every weekday as a paralegal at a law office.” 

Paul gives us the foundation to deal with this discontent in Philippians 4: 11-13: “…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Kathleen clearly learned this principle. She goes on to say:

“Then I remind myself how stressed I was when I was depending on hit-or-miss royalty payments and book advances to pay bills that came every month no matter what. And I really do like being a paralegal. It uses the other side of my brain. And though I can’t write about our cases or clients, it does spark ideas just being out in the world that I didn’t have when I was home writing all day.”

I totally agree with what she says about sparking ideas. Part of what builds creativity is taking in stimuli from lots of sources all around you and finding new connections and new ways to solve problems, like for example, writing your character out of the corner you painted him into!

As far as how to manage the writing time, Kathleen says:

“First of all, ignore the urge to lament what you don’t have time for and make a plan for the time you do have. Your plan can be a writing schedule or just an acknowledgement that you’ve got a certain number of hours today and using those hours to do something productive and writing related… The best thing I did, other than learn how to write ANYWHERE, including but not limited to cars, airplanes, and waiting rooms, was to get my priorities straight. God first. My daily reading before work happens no matter what.”  

Amen to that! Kathleen also says:

“If I can sneak some writing time in before I leave for the office, I do it…When I get home from work, I’m usually tired. We don’t break for lunch at my office, so after dinner I’m ready to throw myself on the sofa and watch mindless television with hubby. So I do. Yep. I do. But only for a pre-determined amount of time. I don’t have children at home now, but I started writing when my eldest was four. I think writing with children around is great training for writing with a job. You just get on with it. Do the work. Manage as best you can but above all, protect your time, your faith, and your creativity. God will give you the ability. You just have to ask. And listen to His response.”

I love that because our ability really does come from God. You have to protect your time with God. Sometimes in the midst of all the busyness of life and writing, what we need most is to stop moving and be quiet before God for even just a few minutes and let him wash over us. Let him be our rest. Let him refill our well. Take time where we’re not trying to create, not trying to speak, not trying to do anything but soak in the awareness of his presence. And his majesty. You might be surprised how refreshing that can be. 

Psalm 62:5 says, “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.”

Psalm 23:1-3 (NIRV) says, “The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need. He lets me lie down in fields of green grass. He leads me beside quiet waters. He gives me new strength…”

When I (Karen) worked a full-time job as well as being a writer, I had a special difficulty because my full-time job was in publishing. As many of you know, I headed up fiction for Tyndale as well as three other major publishers in Christian publishing. I worked with books all day long. I was editing, brainwashing, and doing all those things with writers. My whole world was about writing and story and all the things that needed to be done as a writer, but I was working as an editor.

It took me awhile to realize that they were two different hats for me. They’re two different functions of the brain. One is a more collaborative, synergistic action, and that’s the editing. In that, I’d use one part of my brain. But then when it came to just letting the right side of my brain out to play, that’s when I went into writing. I had to shift. On the drive home from work, I would decompress from the day and then prepare myself for, when I got home, the writing session.

I had set times for dinner when I got home, and Don and I would spend time together. But I also had a bedroom set aside as an office. When I went into that bedroom to do the writing work, Don knew not to come in and try to talk to me unless it was some kind of emergency, like a severed artery or protruding bone. I had a set amount of time that I spent in there.

I had to be careful not to go in there when I couldn’t sleep. Not to go in there when I was frustrated. Not to use that room for anything other than for just sitting and entering into the phase and the work of writing. I had to protect the space, as well as protect what I did in there.

Linda Goodnight wrote this:

“When I first began pursuing publication, I taught school and had three active children at home. In addition, I was working part-time as a home health care nurse. So, yes, time was tight. I specifically remember brainstorming scenes as I was driving between patient homes each evening and on weekends. I kept a notepad on the seat next to me and when I stopped, I’d jot down snatches of conversation or whatever brainstorm I’d had. I was never good at speaking into a recorder. Frankly, during those days I was so compelled to write that I literally always had a pen and paper. To me, the whole time management thing is about priorities. We find time for the things we really want to do. I hear people say they’re going to write a book when they get time, which means they probably never will.” 

We all say that we have no time, and yet we have time, I know I have time, to sit and watch a movie on TV. If I have something else that’s a higher priority, then I need to put that in place of what is a mindless activity. Although, I want to give you all permission to involve yourself in mindless activity, because there are times when our brains and our creativity need that.

Linda goes on to give these specific tips that helped her: 

  • Set a specific goal. Mine was publication by a major publisher which meant producing full manuscripts,  and I was obsessed with making it happen. A very successful NY Times author told me early on that successful writers aren’t necessarily the most talented. They’re the most persistent. I found that to be true.
  • Always have a pen and paper with you, or a recording device. Write down that clever bit of dialogue. If you don’t, you’ll forget it and be mad at yourself. 
  • Write when waiting: at a doctor’s appointment, while a child is at sports practice, while dinner is cooking, etc. Don’t write at traffic lights. People honk.
  • Prioritize. There are things you can let slide and some you can’t or shouldn’t. The sock drawer doesn’t have to be organized, but kids need you and they grow up fast. I admit to letting my windows get dirty and not vacuuming my car as often needed, but I never missed church or any of my kids’ many school activities.
  • Look at your lifestyle. Where do you waste time? Playing games on your phone? TV? Social media? Mine was TV, so I made 7 to 9PM each night my designated writing time instead of watching TV. By blocking out those two hours, I consistently produced 3-5 books per year.

Becca Wierwille wrote this:

“I work as a kindergarten teacher, and by the time I get home, my creative energy is often drained. While I do occasionally have time to write in the evenings, I’ve learned I can’t count on it. My strategy this year has been to write in the morning before I leave for school. My daily goal is to write for at least ten minutes—ten minutes is enough to get me started, and once I’m into the story, I almost always write for longer than that. Sometimes the excitement from my morning writing time carries into the evening, and then I’m able to continue it later as well.”

What’s so great about this is that Becca is setting herself up to succeed in her daily writing goal because she’s wisely made it easy. Anytime you’re trying to develop a habit, you want to make it so easy that you almost can’t NOT do it. And for getting our writing time going, sometimes the hardest bit is just overcoming inertia. Getting started each day is the biggest battle. If you tell yourself you only have to write one paragraph, or one sentence even, or five or ten minutes, that can get you started, and then more often than not, you’ll be off to the races. 

Becca goes on to say:

“Revisions are a bit more difficult because I find I need larger blocks of time in order to get into a good rhythm for editing. So when I’m revising, I try to set aside time on the weekend, or very intentional time in the evenings on weekdays. I used to do a word count goal for both writing and revising, and I know that works well for some people. But for me, a time goal has been more encouraging and less stressful overall, especially during the school year.”

I (Erin) love time goals, too. I’m a slow writer, and somehow knowing I had to make a certain number of words each session made me self-conscious. But simply working for a set time felt more freeing. The key is to learn what works best for you.

Robin Lee Hatcher gives this advice:

“I wrote and published my first 9 books over 10 years while working an 8 to 5 job (never worked anywhere that started at 9!). Most of that time, I was a single mom of two. I set myself a schedule and stuck to it, but I also, as a mom, had to be available to my daughters. So I had an open door policy. They could interrupt me any time they needed me. I came home from work and fixed and ate dinner. Then I wrote from 7 to 9PM on Monday through Thursday nights. Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays were reserved for family. Since most of those years my girls were tweens and teens, they usually slept in on Saturdays so I often got to write on Saturday mornings. The key is to think of it as a job, whether or not under contract. I believe that having a set schedule and a set writing place helps with discipline, so that your brain knows, when [you] sit down here with [your] computer, it is time to write. When necessary, a writer can train her brain to switch from creating to dealing with family matters and then switch back again. It may not be ideal, but a writer really can learn to do it when necessary.”

Cara Putman offers this:

  • Think clearly about what you will give up to make space and time for writing. For me that was giving up TV, so that I could turn that time into writing time.
  • Use tools like TheQuill.io (a web version of a writing program similar to Scrivener) so that you can write from any computer to maximize pockets of time. 
  • Be consistent in writing each day — or establish a routine that works for you.
  • Get buy-in from family that this is important and part of what you do.

When I (Erin) was homeschooling my kids, I would try to get all the grading and prep done during the day with them, then after the school day, that was time I’d be writing and they’d do their own thing. It was easy to get buy-in. After having Mom as teacher all day, they were tired of me! Think about the best ways to get buy-in from your family.

Cara has a short video with tips and strategies for maximizing your writing time as well.

This has been a lot of information. However, there’s one important thing to keep in mind about all these strategies and experiences we’ve shared with you: They’re meant to inspire you. To encourage you. To help you get a springboard for ideas about what might work for you.

They are not for you to compare yourself to others, to go on that path where you feel like a failure because you’re not doing what someone else is. You are not allowed to compare yourself to anyone but yourself. Instead, focus on what works for you, using these ideas to help you figure that out.

Colossians 3:15-17 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Let this encourage you. Let this be an inspiration for you. And let it remind you that if God has given you this task, he’ll help you figure out how to do it.

Do you struggle to find time to write because of your job? Have we got some great tips for you! #amwriting #christianwriter @karenball1 Click To Tweet
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What tips do you have for writing with a full-time job?

THE NOVEL MARKETING PODCAST

For the next few months, we have a sponsorship from the Novel Marketing podcast. We’re bringing you Novel Marketing’s 10 Commandments of Book Marketing. We highly recommend this podcast with host Thomas Umstattd Jr., who is a genius on marketing and all things publishing. You can find the podcast at novelmarketing.com.

Today we’re covering commandment #5: Thou shalt not dig thy well whilst thou art thirsty.

It takes time and money to develop your craft and build your platform. A successful writing journey isn’t an overnight trip, so don’t fall prey to anyone who promises that it is. You have to plan ahead and work at a pace you can sustain over the long haul. 

Be leary of anyone who offers you an instant audience for a price, or instant sales. They’re often better at taking your money than anything, and they’re taking advantage of your desire to make a quick profit from your writing.

Instead, create a budget for both your time and money, no matter how small the amount, and stick to it. Don’t go into debt, and don’t bet the farm. Invest. That’s the best way to ensure steady growth over the long term.

For more book promotion and platform help listen to Novel Marketing in your favorite podcast app or at NovelMarketing.com.

THANK YOU!

Thanks to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

Thanks so much to our May sponsor of the month, Stacy McLain! We’re praying for you on your writing journey, Stacy!

Many thanks also to the folks at Podcast P.S. for their fabulous sound editing!

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140 – Overcoming Health Obstacles with Guest Lindsay A. Franklin

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Overcoming Health Obstacles with Guest Lindsay A. Franklin Write from the Deep podcastSo many writers deal with not just one health issue, but multiple issues. It can feel like our bodies are attacking us or even sabotaging our efforts to write. Guest Lindsay A. Franklin understands, and she’s here to share how God is bringing her through her own health struggles and enabling her to meet deadlines and thrive on her writing journey.

About Lindsay A. Franklin

Lindsay A. Franklin is a Carol Award–winning author, freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed marsupial named Wombatman. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin.

Thanks to our sponsors on Patreon, we’re able to offer an edited transcript of the podcast! 

Karen: Welcome, listeners, to the deep. We’re so glad that you’re here with us today. We have a guest, Lindsay A. Franklin, and Erin, the inimitable, is going to introduce her.

Erin: I can’t even say that word! No, this isn’t a do- over like the Groundhog Day movie. We really do have Lindsay Franklin with us for another episode, because we had so much we wanted to talk about. So, just as a reminder, Lindsay A. Franklin is the Carol Award-winning author of five books. She’s a freelance editor and a homeschooling mom of three, and she’s also been diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder: Ehlers Danlos syndrome.

If you heard our last podcast, you heard part of our interview where we talked with her about that long journey to finding the diagnosis in the midst of starting her writing career. If you didn’t hear it, go back and listen. It’s a good one!

Today we want to continue our conversation with her and talk about the practical side of how in the world she managed all those book contracts in the midst of dealing with the repercussions of her disease that she deals with all of the time.

Welcome, Lindsay.

Lindsay: Thank you so much for having me back. I’m excited to be here again.

Erin: We love having you. You had mentioned in our last show that you had to have knee surgery, and right as we were ending, you were like, “Yeah, I had to do all these books.” We thought our listeners would want to know some of the deal with that, the practical side. How did you do that?

Lindsay: That’s such a good question. I think something all of us who struggle with chronic conditions have to wrestle with that a lot. How am I going to do these things that I want to do? How am I going to accomplish what I want to in life, or fulfill my obligations?

At that point, once I had signed on the dotted line, it was like, I have to. I literally have to do this. I agreed to legally, so how am I going to do that? I think there are a few tips that will hopefully resonate for people in a similar position.

Time management is very key for me because I never really know when I’m going to feel good, and when I’m going to be completely not functional. Because that’s kind of how I swing. I know for some people it’s like their baseline is just constantly sort of lower all the time. They have to figure out how they’re going to make the most of the limited amount of energy that they have all the time.

I’m kind of very up and down with my energy levels. Some days I’m just super way up here, and I can get tons of stuff done. Then other days it’s literally nothing, and my husband is pulling all the weight around the house, taking care of the kids and everything. Because I just can’t do anything because my pain levels are too high.

For me, I do a lot of planning where I will look out at my long-term calendar. I look at my short-term calendar. I’m kind of tactile, so I have a paper planner still. We’ve got our digital family calendar that we put all our appointments in. But for my work, I like to look at it on paper so that I can see the whole month at a time. Then I can see the week.

In those days, when I had five books under contract at once, I had an hourly. You know, like a daily planner that had everything broken down by hour, because then what I could do was block out my days. These are the times I simply have to pick up the kids from school, or these are the times I’ve got a doctor’s appointment or whatever, you know, those appointments you can’t move around. I would block those out first.

Then I would look at what deadlines are coming up. What are the kids’ school deadlines, school obligations coming up that I need to be involved with? It’s helpful that they’re older now. When they were littler, that was a much bigger slice of my daily pie, so to speak.

Karen: Okay, so I have four and a half minutes on Thursday next week where I can write…

Lindsay: That’s pretty much what it was. When my kids were little and I was homeschooling them full-time, my husband would get home. I think it was on Wednesday evenings and Friday evenings, those were my times to write. I would leave the house because that was the only way that I could really disconnect mentally from what was going on at home and all of my obligations there. He would just be like, “Okay, I’m here. I got dinner. Go.”

I would eat dinner out, just by myself, and write until 9 or 10, whenever my coffee shop closed. I wrote an entire, 100,000 word fantasy novel that way over the course of however many months it took me to do that.

So what I do practically really does vary depending on the season of life that I’m in. I was lucky that when I had all these books under contract, my kids were a little older, a little bit more independent. I was able to focus a little more time on writing.

Being realistic about what I can actually do, not looking at the paper and saying, “Oh, well, if I work every single spare minute that I have open on my calendar, then I can turn this in earlier.”

I’m always tempted to do that. “Oh, I can also take on an editing project while I write…No. Don’t do it, Lindsay. Stop.”

Those are lessons I’ve had to learn because my instinct is to do that. So I would say yes, agree to all these different things and you know, realize that I’d made a mistake and no, I can’t actually do all those things.

Erin: I love that, though, Lindsay. That’s so smart to put that on paper because there’s no fudging. You can’t pretend that those blocks aren’t full when they’re full. I think that helps you have permission to say no to certain things.

Lindsay: Yeah. And to really see it, to see it on paper, and to see how little some of those open blocks are. Like one day, I’m going to have 45 minutes to work. I mean, I simply can’t look at that and say, “Oh yes, I have time for X, Y, Z,” because it’s obvious that I don’t.

Erin: Right. Very cool. I’m curious, you had said that you deal with these ups and these downs. Do you find yourself ever struggling with feeling guilty when you’re in that down and you can’t do anything? And if so, how do you get past that?

Lindsay: Absolutely. That it has been a really big struggle for me. Because I do like to say yes. I like to say yes to a lot of things. So when I say yes to something and then I’m struck down and can’t follow through in the way that I wanted to, or I’m late with following through on something, I really do struggle with feeling guilty about that.

It does give me permission to say no at the outset more when I know that I’m going to feel worse. I hate to say no, I really do. Especially when a young writer contacts me. “Would you maybe be willing to read my book for endorsement?” I always want to say yes to that, because it’s so hard to ask people that question.

I know that feeling, so that kind of stuff, it just kills me to have to say no upfront. But I also know that it’s worse for me and for them to say yes to something like that, and then to have no time to actually be able to follow through with that, because then they’re all hopeful waiting for that endorsement that may come in. Then I have to say, “I’m so sorry. I did not have time in my schedule to be able to work it in.”

Karen: The thing to always keep in mind in those situations, so that you don’t end up falling into guilty feelings, is that God knows the exact right people to be endorsing that person’s book. You can say no with the full confidence that it’s not like God turns around and says, “What did she say? She was supposed to do this.”

He doesn’t do that. And if you say yes when you know you shouldn’t, then you are short circuiting what God is trying to accomplish with someone else.

Lindsay: It’s so true. That’s such a good point. I think it’s really easy, and maybe this is especially true for women. I don’t know, maybe guys are like this, too. But I think it’s really easy to feel like all of this depends on us. That if we’re not doing it, nobody else is going to. I just feel like my female friends are right there in that camp with me, where we feel like we have to be all things to all people or else the world’s gonna fall apart. And that’s just not true. It’s not true.

God has it. He’s got the big-picture plan already laid out. I keep telling myself over and over, “You’re not that important, Lindsay.”

Karen: That’s exactly right.

Lindsay: The world is not going to fall apart if you have to say no to something, it’s really not that serious. So yeah, that’s a good word.

The world is not going to fall apart if you have to say no to something. @LinzyAFranklin #amwriting #Christianwriter @karenball1 Click To Tweet

Karen: It’s way too easy for us in the Christian world for Christian women to feel as though we’re both the cause of and solution to all the problems around us. “It’s my fault. Somehow it’s my fault. I have to do something to fix this and if I don’t, nobody else is going to.”

And God’s like, “Would you mind getting out of the way, please?”

Erin: “I’m trying to do something here. Move over.”

Lindsay: “I’ve got this.” Yes. So true. Relatable. I wish it weren’t so relatable, but it is.

Erin: We understand! The other thing we wanted to talk about was when COVID was shutting everything down last year, that was right about when the third book of your Weaver trilogy came out. You had said, “Yeah, that’s an interesting story.”

We’re like, “Well, now we have to hear that.” So tell us what happened with that.

Lindsay: It’s kind of funny because yes, The Story Hunter, which is book three, released in May of 2020. So a very difficult time pandemic-wise. A tumultuous time politically, socially. There was a lot going on in May, 2020. And I think if my life has taught me anything, it has really forced me to be flexible.

It forced me to be flexible because I’m probably not naturally the most flexible person. This cracks me up. I have to just throw this in here, because I’m such a nerd, but the health conditions that I have make me laugh because I am physically a very flexible person. Because of my disorder, I’m hyper mobile. I’m literally flexible, and yet inside, not so much.

Oh, I also have a heart condition where I was born with a congenital defect with my heart, which is not actually related to the connective tissue disorder.

Erin: Is there any disorder you don’t have? Is there anything missing in your family?

Lindsay: Right? And my hair is way too frizzy, so I just don’t know.

Karen: I have a host of medical issues as well, and I went to my parents at one point, laughingly, but I said, “Thank you so much for the shallow end of the gene pool, from which I sprung.”

Lindsay: Right? I joke about this. Because I have one older sister, biological, older sister, and she has none of these issues. I was like, you guys saved it all for me. I got the heart from my dad. I got the connective tissue disorder from my mom. I’m like, “What is going on, you guys?”

Karen: They just think you’re so special.

Lindsay: We joke about my heart, too, because I was born into a family of very emotional feelers. I’m the one person in the family who is a T. You know, if you’re into Myers-Briggs, I’m the only T in my entire family. I’m the thinker, they’re all feelers. So we joke about my broken heart and my lack of flexibility.

It’s funny. God has a sense of humor. He does. I’m just convinced. But yes, the book launch, I have learned to be flexible. Especially in publishing where you can plan and plan, and everybody’s got these great production calendars, and you’ve got all of these dates and everything is lined up. Then the delays started happening, or the problem over here with Amazon, or the problem with the printer, or just whatever. You know, there’s always something popping up in publishing.

With The Story Hunter, I was so chill about all of those things that came up. I was just like, okay, well, if the release is delayed, it’s delayed. Again, I’m not that important. Nothing is going to explode or implode if my book doesn’t release exactly on time, or if there’s a delay in shipping. I mean, that’s hard for my readers because I ended book two on a cliffhanger, and they’ve been waiting for this book for like a year at that point. That’s a bummer for them, and I feel bad about that. But really, we just have to go with the flow on these things.

The second book in the series, The Story Raider, which came out in 2019 actually had a harder, more delay-ridden, more tumultuous journey to the shelf than The Story Hunter did. So I was prepared. I was like, nothing can be worse than The Story Raider. It’s gotta be better. And it was. It was fine, you know?

Erin: Wow. So you didn’t feel like there was really any negative impact or anything like that?

Lindsay: I think that because of the pandemic, I think people were actually reading a little bit more. You know, they were stuck at home, especially at that time early on in the pandemic.

I know that some of my friends had very difficult launches, so I don’t want to minimize any of that, you know, difficult launches in 2020. But right where I hit, I think that people were looking for a bit of an escape. They were looking for novels to read. So I didn’t notice a real big impact sales-wise or just anything.

It just kind of rolled the way it was supposed to, and everything was okay. We had a much choppier experience with Raider the year before. Because there was just business stuff outside of my control, outside of my publisher’s control. That was a really rocky road.

Just like with all my health stuff, I feel like I got prepped with something that was harder. I kind of cut my teeth on something that was harder. Then, when what looks on paper like it would be the big disaster in 2020, when that came along, it was like, everything’s going to be okay. ‘Cause I’ve already been through, as far as book launches are concerned, I’ve been through worse. So it’s going to be fine.

Erin: That’s very cool. So we’re getting near again to the end of our time. Do you have some final words of wisdom that you would want to tell, maybe young writers out there, or people struggling with their own chronic illness, or family members with chronic illness, or anything completely off topic?

Lindsay: I think, and it’s almost cliche at this point in the chronic illness community, we’ve all heard probably the concept of spoons at this point.

Karen: The only spoons I know is a game.

Lindsay: That’s fun too. Oh, yay. I’m so excited to share this. Okay, the concept of spoons is that spoons are like your energy or your capacity to do things, basically. When you have a chronic illness, you just start the day with a certain number of spoons. One day might be like a two-spoon day when you’ve got almost nothing.  Just getting up and getting into the shower to clean yourself, costs you a spoon. Then you’re down to just one, and what are you going to do with that spoon for the day?

This is a really helpful way for me to explain to people who don’t have chronic illnesses what it’s like. I may wake up with say, 20 spoons in a day. And I’m going to spend a certain number of those just being a mom, and being a wife, and taking care of my kids, taking care of my house. Then you’re left with a certain number and what are you going to do with those?

And self-care costs spoons. Working out costs me spoons, which is important for my joints. I have to work out. That’s not like a luxury, you know?

So, that idea of having a limited amount of resources and energy, that is important in explaining to other people what it’s like. And how even the small things that they don’t even think about, like my husband is such a healthy guy and he’s got all the energy, I feel like he has unlimited spoons. Of course he doesn’t, because nobody does, but he starts with so many.

He doesn’t even think about stuff like going and taking a shower, that that would cost any kind of energy for him. He just does that. For me, that does cost me some of my spoons.

I find that very helpful in helping people understand, but also in reframing the way I think about my day. My time, my life. It’s just acknowledging that I have a limited number of spoons. What am I going to say yes to? What do I want to spend those spoons on? Because it’s not unlimited.

I want to spend my spoons doing things that I love, not just things that I like. That really helps me to decide what I want to say yes to. I want to say yes to being a fantasy novelist.

I want to spend my spoons doing things that I love, not just things that I like. That really helps me to decide what I want to say yes to. @LinzyAFranklin @Karenball1 #amwriting Click To Tweet

Do I want to say yes to being a volunteer over here? Or doing this other kind of book? Or you know, any of the other opportunities that come up to me. I really have to weigh that. Do I want to spend however many spoons it’s going to cost me for whatever period of time on that project?

So it’s helpful to explain to other people, but it’s been really important to me in reframing how I think about my life.

Erin: I love that.

Karen: Lindsay, it’s been so good to have you on again, to talk through all these things. And it’s encouraging because it helps remind us that we can only do what we can do. We shouldn’t be trying to get in there doing other people’s jobs. We shouldn’t be trying to get in there and do God’s job.

These things that are in our lives that come to us, health, family, all of it, it comes for a reason and God uses them for these amazing tools to teach us and refine us. I went from being a high energy level, type-A personality “gotta do it, gotta be the best,” to being, “Oh, well, God’s got this.” And I’m very comfortable with that.

I’m comfortable with saying I can do what I can do, and the rest is up to God. It’s not on me. I think more of us need to come to that place, as you have with what you’ve learned. Thank you so much for sharing with our listeners today. We really appreciate it.

Erin: We do!

Lindsay: It’s been my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me back on.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Do you feel like your body is sabotaging your writing journey? What helps you keep writing?

THE NOVEL MARKETING PODCAST

For the next few months, we have a sponsorship from the Novel Marketing podcast.

This helps you guys and us because we’re going to bring you Novel Marketing’s 10 Commandments of Book Marketing. We highly recommend this podcast with host Thomas Umstattd Jr., who is a genius on marketing and all things publishing. You can find the podcast at novelmarketing.com.

Today we’re covering commandment number four: Thou shalt measure thy marketing.

It doesn’t do you any good to spend time or marketing dollars on tactics that don’t generate sales for you, and the only way you’re going to know that is to measure it. You’ve got to look at the data. We have limited resources. Our time, our money. So we have to be wise in how we invest.

You also have to be careful about copying someone else’s tactics that might’ve worked for them. They might not work for you. Or worse, maybe it doesn’t work for them, either, only they don’t know that because they didn’t measure their data.

Another bonus to measuring your marketing is that it frees you from blindly following any marketing fads or superstitions that may be out there. You don’t have to feel guilty about not doing some new hot marketing thing that everyone else is doing if you know it’s not going to work for you.

For more book promotion and platform help, listen to Novel Marketing in your favorite podcast app or at novelmarketing.com.

BOOKS MENTIONED IN THE PODCAST

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Story Raider by Lindsay A Franklin

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

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THANK YOU!

Thanks to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

Special thanks to our April sponsor of the month, Tammy Partlow! She’s a speaker at women’s retreats, and her debut novel Blood Beneath the Pines, a suspense set in the deep South, is now available. She’s hard at work on the next book in the series!

Many thanks also to the folks at Podcast P.S. for their fabulous sound editing!

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139 – Waiting for Answers with Guest Lindsay A. Franklin

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Waiting for Answers with Guest Lindsay A. Franklin on Write from the Deep podcast with Karen Ball and Erin Taylor YoungSo many times on our writing journey, and in our lives, we find ourselves waiting…and waiting…and waiting for answers we need. It can even feel as though God has forgotten us. Guest Lindsay Franklin shares her experiences with waiting for answers and what amazing insights God taught her as she waited.

About Lindsay A. Franklin

Lindsay A. Franklin is a Carol Award–winning author, freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed marsupial named Wombatman. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin.

Thanks to our sponsors on Patreon, we’re able to offer an edited transcript of the podcast! 

Karen: Welcome, listeners, to the deep. We have an exciting show for you today because we have a guest, Lindsay A. Franklin, and Erin is going to introduce her.

Erin: I love it when I get to introduce somebody. I first met Lindsay at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference way back before she was published, and now she’s a Carol-Award winning author. Yes, indeed. Her first book, The Story Peddler, which is a YA fantasy, published by Enclave, won the Carol Award for debut novel. That was the first book of a three book trilogy, and that third just came out I think last year, when COVID was shutting everything down. So that may have been interesting. We may even talk about that a little today. Lindsay is a freelance editor as well, and a homeschooling mom of three. And this is my favorite thing, guys: she would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable.

Karen: She’s wearing them now.

Erin: I’m wearing them too.

Karen: I’m so out of it with my jeans.

Erin: Well, Lindsay, as you can see, we are glad to have you. Welcome!

Lindsay: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Erin: In your pajama pants.

Lindsay: When I can get away with it.

Erin: Lindsay, our first thing we always want to find out from listeners is what does the deep mean to you?

Lindsay: Ooh, that’s a really great question.

To me, the deep is like an intense, quiet place. Does that make sense? Does that description kind of capture it? The places that are the deep places for me are the ones where it’s just me and it’s God and that’s it.

I’m really excited to talk to your listeners today about some of these things, because I feel like I spend half my life pulling from the deep. I’m sure many of your listeners can relate, and you guys probably can too.

Erin: Yes we can, in fact. Let’s start from the beginning. We met, I mentioned, at a writer’s conference. So what were you doing there? What made you pursue writing to begin with?

Lindsay: I think like a lot of writers, maybe especially fiction authors, I always wrote stories. That was just something I did. I didn’t realize that was unusual. I was like 11 years old writing a novel, and I just didn’t know that wasn’t a thing that a lot of people did as a pastime. Honestly, it never occurred to me all throughout my childhood, my adolescent years, I didn’t realize that it could be a career.

Obviously, I knew people did that, but it never occurred to me that that could be something I would get into as a career. I wanted to be an attorney. I thought about being an English teacher. Those seemed like careers to me. Writing books, telling stories, that was just the thing that I did.

I didn’t think about it very seriously until I wrote a book as an adult. I wrote a fantasy manuscript as an adult and thought, “Maybe other people would want to read this. I should look into what publishing is all about. That might be a thing I should do.”

This was like in 2009 or so. There wasn’t the information out there about indie publishing that, if I were doing those searches now, there would be a whole different world for me to discover as a young writer. Maybe I would’ve pursued that avenue. But in 2009, indie publishing was  certainly gaining steam, but it wasn’t quite the thing that it is in 2021.

I ended up researching what traditional publication was like. I found out that literary agents were a thing. I was very green, let’s put it that way. I found my future agent on online through various searching and clicking and all of these different things. I just really connected with her bio on the agency website.

I saw on her schedule that she was planning to be at a writer’s conference coming up in two weeks. My husband said, “You should do this.” He booked me a flight and I went. We had little children at the time. Looking back, it’s like, what in the world were we thinking? But that’s how I ended up at my first writer’s conference.

I pitched to that agent. I had no clue what I was doing, and she saw potential. Let’s put it that way. She told me to submit. So I went home and rewrote my entire manuscript because I learned about point of view. I learned about “show, don’t tell” at that conference.

I knew I needed to rewrite my draft because it was such a mess. But I did that and then submitted the full to her some months later. By the end of that year, I was signed with her.

Karen: Very cool. That was the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and your agent is Rachel Kent.

Erin: I remember one of the visits that I had at Mount Herman, where you and I met each other, I remember we had a conversation about some health issues that you were dealing with. What happened with that?

Lindsay: This is a complicated question because my family is a medically complicated family. We may have talked at the time about my son’s issues. We may have talked about my issues.

Erin: I think you were still looking for answers for your issues.

Lindsay: Yes. That’s probably accurate given the timeframe. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. That is a connective tissue disorder. It basically means that the collagen in my body is put together in a structurally unsound way, if that’s a helpful description of it. My collagen is faulty.

You don’t think about collagen probably unless you have a collagen disorder, but it’s in everything. It’s in your bones, it’s in your eyes, it’s in your skin, it’s in your organs. I mean, it’s just everywhere in your body. You can imagine that if your collagen is even just a little bit wonky, it affects everything. Everything in your body.

I was someone who was chronically ill or in pain or struggling with something health-related. But doctors looked at me, they ran tests on me, and there would be indicators of illness and indicators of, you know, something, but I was healthy by most of their standards. So they would notice like severe vitamin deficiencies, but never really have a reason why I was severely vitamin deficient despite having a healthy diet or supplementing.

So there were indicators. I mean, I ended up in the ER one time because I was sitting there watching TV and half of my face went completely numb. I thought I was having a stroke. My tongue even went numb. It was so bizarre, such a bizarre feeling.

I ended up in the ER, but you know, they did all of the tests. They did MRIs. My brain looked fine. They couldn’t figure out what in the world had happened. Ever since then, I’ve continued to randomly get transient numbness in certain parts of my body for no good reason, really, except that everything is just not put together quite the way it’s supposed to be.

Karen: Yeah.

Erin: How do you deal with that and be a writer at the same time? And how did it come to be known as the disease that you now know you have?

Lindsay: Because this is something that I’ve always lived with, and I’ve always had plans and goals and interests and things that I wanted to do with my life, maybe that’s one—this is going to sound very strange when I first say it—but maybe that’s one kind of benefit of a chronic illness that you’re born with. It’s part of your existence. Either you’re going to let that swallow everything about your future and everything about what you want in life, or you’re going to adapt and find some way to still pursue your dreams, to still have the things that you want, that you’re able to pursue in life.

Either you're going to let chronic illness swallow everything about your future and everything you want in life, or you're going to adapt and find some way to still pursue your dreams. #amwriting @LinzyAFranklin @karenball1 Click To Tweet

Sometimes our illnesses do take things off the table for us. That’s a very real fact. I’m definitely not trying to discount that. There are certain things in life that I would love to do that I just won’t or can’t. There’s a grieving process with that sort of thing.

But on the other hand, I’ve always been driven. I’ve always had goals, so I just need to keep pressing forward, recognizing that my life doesn’t belong to me. My source of energy and strength is coming from elsewhere anyways. So I’m just going to use what’s available to me in any given moment and keep pressing forward. That’s how I approach things.

I also try to be really realistic about what I am able to handle. That varies for me during different seasons. Sometimes I have a ton of energy. I’m feeling really great. If I’m not having a cycle of migraines and cluster headaches, for example, I’m doing great. I can work eight hours a day like anybody else and stay on top of my work life.

Other seasons, it’s not that at all. I have to build extra time into deadlines, extra time into pretty much everything because my illness is unpredictable. I don’t know when I’m suddenly going to go numb or have a migraine or be dealing with joint pain or any of those things. So I have to plan to not be able to plan.

Karen: You’re not the only one in your family dealing with this, though, right?

Lindsay: Correct. It’s a genetic disease. My mom and I actually laugh about this now. For so many years throughout my later teens—I got married when I was 18, so I was out of the house fairly young—I’d be calling up my mom in my late teens, or throughout my early to mid twenties and telling her, because this disease progresses as you age, your body is a little less resilient. So if you have hyper-mobility issues, which comes with Ehlers-Danlos, you might have a bunch of dislocations as a kid, and then as you get older, you have dislocations and subluxations, but they might result in ligament tears because you’re getting older. So it’s progressive in that sense.

I would call my mom up and say, “You know, this weird thing happened…” I remember one time I was just standing there doing something and all of a sudden a blood vessel bursts in my hand. For no reason. I didn’t hit it on anything. I was just like, what in the world? I called my mom and she goes, “Oh yeah, that happens sometimes,” because she has the same genetic condition that I do, and she didn’t know it. We kind of became this self- perpetuating cycle of affirming that these strange things happening to our bodies were normal because it was happening to both of us. But it’s because I have her genes.

She has EDS. We think she got it from my grandpa. Then I have three children and my two younger children have also been diagnosed with EDS.

Erin: How did it finally get diagnosed? Who discovered this finally?

Lindsay: I want to say, I guess it would have been in 2016. I was in a yoga class, and because I’m hyper mobile, I’m very flexible. So I was doing some show off-y kind of pose. I did the pose just fine but didn’t very gently come out of it, so something happened with my leg, and my knee cap actually dislocated for the second time. That happened to me when I was 18 and the paramedics had to come and pop my knee back into place. But I recovered okay from that because I was 18.

When this happened in 2016 I was, I don’t know, mid-thirties somewhere in there. I’m 38 now, so we can do the math backwards. When that dislocated, one of my ligaments in my knee tore. I had to have surgery to correct that, and EDS tissue doesn’t always heal very well from surgery. My recovery was complicated and long. I just thought, “Something is not right here. Something is off.”

My physical therapist, who was working with me after that surgery, I was seeing her three times a week for months. I had a weird complication with my recovery where I developed adhesions all over the place in my knee. So I had to go back under anesthesia, and the surgeon had to manually break the adhesions. He’s this orthopedic surgeon, and he says, “You’re my youngest patient. You’re my healthiest patient. I don’t know why you are the one having this complication.” He’s like, “These kinds of things keep me up at night. What is the deal with you? I don’t get you.”

I’m like, “Me either. If you can never figure it out, let me know.”

It was actually the physical therapist, because we chatted so much while she was torturing me during therapy, trying to get my knee to bend again. We would talk about my headaches, and we would talk about some of my other symptoms. She was actually the first medical professional to look at the whole picture of my health, honestly, in the way a general practitioner probably should be looking at the big picture.

So I don’t really have an explanation as to why it went under the radar for so long when I did seek help for a number of different things. You’d think somebody would be thinking at some point that there’s a systemic issue here and we should be looking at those kinds of things.

I think that we’re just sort of now catching up in the US. The UK is a little bit ahead of us in regard to connective tissue disorders, so there’s a lot more information out there and help. The NHS is a little more aware of these conditions for whatever reason. They’ve done more research there. With my son’s rare condition, we’ve done more research here in the US, so it just kind of depends.

So, my physical therapist was the one who said, “You really need to talk to the surgeon about this again and see if he’ll refer you out to a rheumatologist or geneticist or somebody.” Because she’s like, “I think you’ve got something going on with your connective tissue.”

It was the geneticist who finally diagnosed me, but it was that physical therapist who set the wheels in motion.

Karen: I listen to you and being able to hear all that and look back, it’s as though God oversaw the whole thing. Well, of course he did, but you can see his hand in all of it. That you wanted to be a writer and not an Olympian. That you had a mother who was able to affirm to you that, yes, this happens to me as well. Even though you didn’t find a medical professional who got it until 2016, that person was there for you and had the wherewithal to look at it and send you where you needed to go for a diagnosis.

As somebody who has a number of health issues that weren’t diagnosed, because there wasn’t a lot of information. Like for fibromyalgia, I have fibromyalgia, so does Erin in fact, and you know, being told it’s all in your head, you’re a hypochondriac. All those kinds of things. You know, the proof is there. They can’t deny the physical proof. They just can’t explain it. So God’s hand, was there providing all along the way for you.

How did your faith develop in the face of all this? I remember being so angry when I didn’t know what was going on. My body was working against me , and I couldn’t figure out why. I couldn’t figure out, if I’m wonderfully made, then why am I so messed up? Am I a hypochondriac? And just really having wrestling matches with God and saying, “I trust you, help me with my lack of trust.”

Lindsay: I love that verse—I think even before I was actually a believer and I was sitting there as a teenager with my first student Bible or whatever, and it was in Mark, it may be also in others of the gospels, but the one that I saw specifically was in Mark and it was, “Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.” I was like, “Right here, my man. I understand. He is my heart friend. I feel you, sir.”

I think by the time my own diagnosis came, I had processed so much related to chronic illness because of my oldest son. My one son who does not have EDS was born with a rare lesion on his brain. So my husband is the only healthy, whole person in our family. He’s just like, “It’s fine. I will take care of all of you. It’s totally fine.”

But yes, our oldest has what’s called a hypothalamic hamartoma. If I can get those words all out, it’s a mouthful. From the time he was an infant, he was having seizures. There’s a whole host of issues that come. You can imagine having any kind of lesion in your brain can lead to a lot of different things. For some kids they’ll get precocious puberty. So you have like babies going through puberty because of where the lesion is on their brain.

That didn’t really happen to my son, but he was shaving by the time he was nine or something. It happened a little bit to him, but it wasn’t as bad as like the infant going through puberty. But he had a really difficult time with seizures. He’s on the autism spectrum. There’s just a lot of stuff that came with that.

I was 18 when I had him. My husband was 20, so we were very young parents dealing with a kid who was sick. I was new in my faith. Our marriage was new. It was an intense season for sure. He did not get diagnosed, my son did not get a full diagnosis, until he was 13 years old. He’s 20 now.

That was quite a long journey, and I went through all of the emotions that you’re describing. I had that with my son’s condition where, you know, there were moments where I felt like, “God, why are you being so mean to my baby? Why is this happening to him?”

I can recall trying to make deals with God. Like, “Okay, I will do this, this, and this, if you will just give some relief to the situation.”

I definitely went through all of that. In a season so intense where my husband and I had so few tools at our disposal because we had no clue what we were doing. We were kids ourselves raising this baby. So it was like, okay, we are going to rely on God completely, because there was no sense that, “Oh, I’ve got this, I can handle this on my own.” I didn’t even know how to change a diaper when I had my baby. So, when you already feel that clueless with the basic stuff and then you’re like, “Oh, and my kid’s having seizures. That’s great.”

We just didn’t even have a choice except to absolutely rely on God to just show us the very next thing that he wanted us to do. I am a long range planner. I like to see the whole picture. I like to consider all of the options and then make really good choices based on everything I see. That’s how I’m built.

God was like, “No, we’re not going to do any of that. I’m going to teach you. Trial by fire. I’m going to teach you to only look at the very next step and make the very best choice that you can in that moment, relying on me, on the Holy Spirit. We’re just going to move forward through your life. One stepping stone at a time.”

Sometimes I felt like I was just getting enough of the next stepping stone to put my toes on. Then the fog would clear a little bit more, then I could put the ball of my foot on the stepping stone.

That is how I lived my life for so many years that it almost becomes habit when you don’t have a choice except to trust. So, by the time my diagnosis came along, I was very like Zen about the whole thing. We finally have a name for the dragon that we’ve been fighting for…I think I was 35 when I finally got diagnosed.

I was like, that’s awesome. Great. You know, bonus.  Now I can actually name this condition. I can research it. I can figure out what’s the best thing I can do for myself. What’s the best thing I can do to help my two younger kids prepare for their lives, lived and spent with EDS and, you know, really equip them so that they will have more tools.

I didn’t have any tools. They will be able to have tools. I just always have to make sure that with them, because they’re going to have a much better leg up into this stuff than I did, I always make sure to point them back to, “Look at the tools that the Lord has given us so that you guys don’t have to be in as much pain.” Because man, I don’t wish the kind of early adulthood that I had, that my husband had, on anybody else. But it really did force us to trust and make our faith the center of everything. I hope that my kids will have that experience too, maybe without so much of the hardship, but we’ll see. Sometimes we need hardship.

Karen: Yeah. Sometimes I think, in fact I know, it’s the hardships that drive us down to, “I know nothing but Christ and him crucified.” That’s the only thing I have to hold on to. And that’s everything. I mean, that’s sufficient, but in our minds we say things like, “I can just trust God,” or, “All I can do is pray.”

When you come on the other side of it and you look at it, you’re like, “You guys, you can pray!” I mean, can I just tell you how powerful that is?

Lindsay: You know, we talk about prayer like it’s passive and it’s not.

Karen: Exactly. It’s warfare. Prayer is warfare. I wish people saw it that way more often. Well, we have hit the end of our time in being able to talk with you. We’re going to have to have you back on, because Lindsay, I want to know how in the world you wrote in the midst of all this. Everything that you were going through sounds to me like pretty much a full time occupation. So how you wrote in the midst of it all, I really want to know that and how God led you in that. So we’ll have you back on.

Thank you so much for what you’ve shared with us today, and that powerful truth that when we finally recognize we are not able, that God is able and he gives us just what we need. He doesn’t give us beyond that, but he gives us what he knows we need to keep moving forward.

I’m so grateful that God has been with you and that he has shown himself to you in the way he has. That’s very encouraging to me and I’m sure it is to our listeners as well. So thank you for being here and for sharing all this with us.

Lindsay: Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a privilege to be able to talk to you ladies and your listeners about this.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What do you do when you’re waiting for answers? How has God proven himself trustworthy in your waiting times?

THE NOVEL MARKETING PODCAST

For the next few months, we have a sponsorship from the Novel Marketing podcast.

This helps you guys and us because we’re going to bring you Novel Marketing’s 10 Commandments of Book Marketing. We highly recommend this podcast with host Thomas Umstattd Jr., who is a genius on marketing and all things publishing. You can find the podcast at novelmarketing.com.

This week we’re talking about commandment number three: Thou shalt persist in thy craft. Let’s face it guys. We all learned to write somewhere in grade school, right? We can make sentences and paragraphs, and sometimes we even punctuate properly. But writing well is another story altogether. Really communicating well and knowing how to create a good structure for a book, or even that there is structure, takes time and practice. To say someone who can make sentences on a page can write a great book is kind of like saying anyone who can talk can win an Academy Award for acting.

Most writers don’t even know what they don’t know. You need to get help from professionals and listen to them. And you need to read and study excellent books on craft and your genre. Writing is a skill and it deserves your best effort.

For more book promotion and platform help, listen to novel marketing in your favorite podcast app or at novelmarketing.com.

Books mentioned in the podcast

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

THANK YOU!

Thanks to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

Special thanks to our April sponsor of the month, Tammy Partlow! She’s a speaker at women’s retreats, and her debut novel Blood Beneath the Pines, a suspense set in the deep South, is now available. She’s hard at work on the next book in the series!

Many thanks also to the folks at Podcast Production Services for their fabulous sound editing!

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