I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Chris Carter, new author of Help and Hope While You’re Healing.
Chris and I met in an online blogging support group several years ago and have had the privilege of striking up a friendship. She was an incredible source of encouragement to me when I published my book last year – frequently checking in to share in my excitement and also make sure I was handling my third round at mothering well. I will forever be grateful for her compassion and kindness toward me during a very tender season of my life.
Her kindness and compassion is undeniably evident throughout the pages of her new book, standing in the gap with those who suffer physically. She is the friend you need – with hand and heart extended – ready to walk with you on your journey toward health. It is my great honor to share her book with you, along with an incredible interview on some of her writing insight.
Thanks for being with us Chris!
How is your writing process the same/different for a blog verses a book?
For me, my book is very similar to my style of writing so there isn’t much difference except that it has more of a progressive structure of continuity from beginning to end. My blog posts are quite random and lack any continuity or predictable pattern! I usually write about something that has recently occurred, or about a new idea or revelation that inspires me to write, therefore there isn’t a true intentional consistency to my posts. I wanted the chapters in my book to be a progressive guide for the reader with specific steps toward wellness that parallels their experience in recovery. I think authoring a book is a much bigger writing pursuit so my expectations in having that immediate gratification of completing a post had to shift into investing in a long term project with patience and perseverance. That was challenging, but also a great experience as a writer.
What are the pros/cons of self-publishing?
Well, I am a first time author, despite contributing to a few anthologies where I wasn’t involved in the publishing process. I am not affiliated with any major publishing company and I really wanted this book to be my own, with no added responsibilities or obligations. I don’t know yet much about either option, so I really don’t feel I have the wisdom or experience to speak on either publishing route except for my beginning experience with self-publishing this book.
I was fortunate enough to have a dear friend, Bonnie Smith from Ground Truth Press, who had just started her editing and press business, take me on as her first client. Our professional and personal relationship was a huge blessing in the editorial and publishing process. Her expertise in both areas was critical to my success in producing a well written book and successfully publishing it on Amazon. I couldn’t have done it without her! I am blessed to still own all my royalties and be the sole decision maker of my book, along with benefiting from the wealth of information, guidance and input from my editor/publisher. It’s a bit of a unique situation, and I believe it was a wise decision on my part to have the best of both worlds! I’ll get back to you more on this publishing experience in about a year. LOL
How have you balanced writing content for your blog and writing content for your book?
That was tough for me. I kept putting off my book to continue with blogging responsibilities as well as my pursuit to be published on other various sites. I found it so hard to pull myself away from all my online responsibilities that took most of my writing time. I knew my book would be a big venture, and I procrastinated starting it because it seemed so overwhelming. God had planted a seed with this call to write the book, and yet I kept putting it off, despite the constant reminders He sent me. I’d receive a text here and there from friends asking how my book was coming along. I’d often see my blog’s two particular posts on the book topic continue to have the greatest amount of traffic on my site. I’d read comments and messages from people thanking me for those posts… And I STILL put the book off. I kept saying to myself and to God, “Oh yeah, I really do need to get on that.”
I felt a deep burden to write the book, but continued to pursue what was right in front of me, instead of being obedient to what God had called me to do. As weeks, then months passed neglecting His call, I literally hit the wall with my writing. I was stuck, burned out, exhausted, and feeling uninspired. That night I prayed for guidance and inspiration with an angst in my heart so heavy. It was one of those incredible moments in prayer where I clearly heard God say: “Write the BOOK!!!” I felt utter conviction and a new revelation as to why I had been losing steam and feeling a sense of discouragement. I had lost touch with what He called me to do.
That night I promised God that I would put my book first, and from then on that’s what I did. It’s not easy to manage a blog and other online responsibilities with moderating a large Facebook group, connecting with and supporting other bloggers, and building relationships with other women. It is a FULL plate of work, but boundaries must be set for all areas in our lives to make room for our priorities. I limited my online time greatly, so that I could invest my full attention to writing my book. It was challenging every day, and by the last phase of editorial rounds, I grew inpatient and excited all at once. Each round of edits I made, I realized how much better the book would be. This took much more time than I had anticipated. It isn’t a blog post that you can just write, edit and DONE! It’s a tedious, detailed and diligent process for all the right reasons. I’m so glad I invested all the energy, time, and effort to produce a book I feel is a worthy read.
I’ve learned through it all, that there will always be the ongoing push and tug and pull to be doing so much more than we possibly can. Accepting our limits and praying for discernment in our every day choices is key. There is not one day I fulfill all that I intend to do. Not one day! It’s impossible. I am still learning to address what I can and complete what I’m able in the time permitted, and trust that God will bless my efforts. Just as it is in our offline life, our online life must be managed with prayerful intention and faithful decisions.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I don’t have to go anywhere for creative inspiration. I just have to live my life. I remember someone sharing on FB that they have officially run out of writing ideas. I told her to stop sitting in front of the computer screen and go LIVE! When we experience moments in our every day, we can find extraordinary ones along the way. We can meet people, do things, and see things that can inspire new avenues to pursue in our writing. My book was inspired from my own personal experience with surgery, injury, and illness. I realized through the response on some of my blog posts written on these topics, that there is a great need for guidance and encouragement for women who are in this season. This book was inspired by what I had lived through, and I use my experience to help others through this book and my blog. I truly believe God designed our life in a way that will always bring purpose in His Plan. We are all so unique in who we are and how we live and what we voice, that each and every one of us can offer an extraordinary perspective. That in itself is always a gift to the reader.
About the Book
Help and Hope While You’re Healing:
A Woman’s Guide Toward Wellness While Recovering from Injury, Surgery, or Illness
At some point in her life, almost every woman will experience an injury, surgery, or illness, catapulting her into a season of stillness and often painful recovery. Christine’s encouraging words and directives guide us in managing the physical pain and emotional struggles of recovery. She inspires with thoughtful and motivating insights from her own experiences, explaining the value of letting go and receiving help–two challenging concepts every woman faces. In coaching us how to honor our healing and pace ourselves with patience and self-love, she gently reminds us that self-worth is not measured by productivity. With Christine’s help, we can discover a treasure trove packed with new passion and purpose in the downtime as she points us toward deep meaning and significance–if we are willing to surrender what we must and grab hold of what we can.
If you face an upcoming surgery, suffer from chronic illness, or are down for the count with a sudden injury, let Christine walk alongside you. Use this working guide to lead you through transforming exercises offering a new perspective on your recovery–one filled with gratitude, a little bit of fun, and hope through the healing!
Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at TheMomCafe.com for six years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith. You can also find her work on For Every Mom, Blunt Moms, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Mamapedia, Her View From Home, Huffington Post, MomBabble, and Scary Mommy. She is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or GooglePlus.
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