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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Three Things to Remember When Your Book is in Limbo

Publishing is tricky. Really tricky. If you’re leaping into the independent publishing process with the mindset that it will be simple and straightforward I have some bad news for you… 
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Thursday Thought: The Art of Defeat

Defeat stinks. There’s just no way around it. It really stinks. People don’t feel halfway about it. It’s not like we have people getting the rug pulled out from under their feet and then saying “I actually kind of enjoyed that!”. Defeat is painful, uncomfortable, and heartbreaking. 
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Thursday Thought: Weakness Watch

My church is working through the book of Galatians right now and it's been nothing short of eye-opening. Galatians as a whole is a none to gentle reprimand to believers who were falling back into some old bad habits and looking to other things to justify them in their faith. Paul doesn’t pull any punches as he starts his letter and honestly the more I read it, the more I can feel the sheepish cringing on behalf of the Galatians. 
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Hard Work To Hard Copy: Three Tips for Working with an Illustrator

You’ve spent months, maybe years, developing your book. The actual writing is nice and polished, but there’s still some tremendous work to be done. Work that goes beyond the realm of writing. Here’s the thing, you could learn how to do all these nuanced parts of the publishing process and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you did. The trick is that now might not be the best time for you to learn all that. I’ve been trying to improve in my sketching, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m ready to illustrate my next book. If that were the case you’d best be prepared to look at a lot of stick figures… 
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Thursday Thought: Life Is Heavy, Travel Light

 If I had a nickel for every time I wished my life was easier, more comfortable, or more secure I would probably have enough money to make it all of those things. I come to God and without even realizing it I go “Do you see this? Do you see all the things I don’t have? This can’t be right. Something must have gone wrong! What do I do??” Because somewhere along the line I once again bought into the terrific lie that comfort and accomplishment equal Christian success. 

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Hard Work to Hard Copy: 5 Things Your Editor Wants You to Know

Why, hello dear readers of Avalon’s blog! Pleasure to meet you, I’m Kendall, Avalon’s humble editor friend.

 

I’ve edited a few of her projects over the last few years, including The Fantastic Adventures of Captain Acorn. My background includes a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a few academic publications under my belt. I’ve never truly identified as a writer but I’m always ready to give a whack at any piece of writing a friend or colleague threw at my inbox. There’s just something great about seeing someone else’s work and helping them make it just a bit clearer, cleaner, or consistent.

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Thursday Thought: Seashell Sanctuary

Life, by the very virtue of it being life, is incredibly difficult. It’s not so much a matter of if it will be difficult, but when (and just how bad). We don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. We know our own life story and what we’ve struggled with. Whatever life has thrown at us, it’s thrown the same at those in our orbit. No one can escape it, so what are we to do?
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Thursday Thought: The Comparison Game

We live in a seriously brutal age of comparison. It’s everywhere. Social media has done some really cool things, but it’s also dangerously heightened our sense of comparison. It’s all too easy to open our phones in the morning, glance through what everyone is posting, and then immediately berate ourselves (consciously or unconsciously) for not achieving those same milestones. I do it all the time without even realizing it and it’s madness. Total madness. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Three Things You Should Know Before Independent Publishing

Independent publishing. Not so long ago this was viewed as the last resort of publishing, the option for those who couldn’t hack it as a “real” author. Then the internet and huge entities like Amazon became a part of our daily lives and the conversation changed. In today’s world, independent publishing is quickly closing the gap to traditional publishing, making itself an alluring choice for writer’s eager to get their book in the hands of readers. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: The Publishing Pros and Cons

In the midst of all your book preparations, there’s a very important decision you have to make: how to publish. Now, in the midst of all your revising and editing, is the time to decide and start. You don’t need to wait! Although if you’re anything like me, you’ll be somewhat inclined to put off the decision given it’s a pretty big one.

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Thursday Thought: Moses and Midian

I’ll tell you something about myself. I absolutely loathe the idea of staying in one place for too long. It eats me up inside and I get downright antsy. Every time I watch a nature documentary that comments on sharks and their constant need for motion all I can think is “Sounds good to me!”. Let’s just say fear of missing out runs pretty strong in my veins. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Three Tips for Successfully Editing Your Book

It’s no small thing, the moment you get your book back from an editor or beta reader. You feel a lot of things: excitement, anticipation, curiosity, nervousness. Definitely a lot of nervousness. Did they like your book? Did you get enough feedback? What if they hated it? What if they don’t even think it’s worth editing? You know, the usual rabbit trails of nervousness. 
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Thursday Thought: Dependable Failure

The concept of trying is plastered everywhere in our society. You don’t have to go far to find a motivational picture with some variance of the words “Keep Trying!” calling out to you. It’s inescapable. And yet, for all the pithy slogans, we still get gummed up in the sheer weight of what it means to try.
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Hard work to Hard Copy: Three Tips for Finding Great Beta Readers

In the midst of all this editing your book, there’s another, less well-known step. A step that can not only really improve the quality of your book, but also give you a great deal of reassurance and confidence as a writer. That step is using beta readers. 
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Thursday Thought: When Your Best Isn't Enough

There are some things we just don’t like to think about. When we’ll die, squished cupcakes, embarrassing things we did when we were thirteen, and so on. Standing proudly on that list is the fear of coming up short.
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Thursday Thought: Jonah and the Art of Running Away


Jonah. I don’t even know where to start with poor Jonah. If there’s any book of the Bible that I find myself avoiding from sheer discomfort (besides Revelation, of course), it’s the book of Jonah. Besides it being more of a downer of a story, I’m all too often left feeling uncomfortable with how familiar it all feels. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Overcoming Writer's Doubt

I had glorious plans to write another blog post about editing and proofreading this week. But as I reflected on my time on that stage, I skipped down the memory lane of that period, and what I remembered from that time was suddenly front and center in my mind. 


Writer’s doubt. 

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Thursday Thought: Between Salvation and Heaven

No one likes the idea of living a life dogged by hardship. I can pretty much guarantee no one wakes up in the morning and says “Hurray! Today’s going to be really difficult!”. It just doesn’t happen. So instead we actively look for ways to relieve life’s hardships. The disappointing thing is that we do so with very little relief. Life somehow just stays hard. Even when we accept Christ and find the answers to life we’ve been looking for, we’re still followed by hardship and struggle. I have sat with people who have asked (and more than once have wondered myself) if I’ve accepted Christ, why is my life still so difficult? Am I doing something wrong? Did I make a mistake somewhere? Am I not doing enough?
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Thursday Thought: Lessons from Peter on Failure

There’s a story in the Bible that just about everyone knows. Everyone knows it to the point it’s jumped into worldly vernacular with the phrase “walking on water”. Obviously, I’m talking about Jesus strolling across Galilee to meet his disciples in their boat. There are not many other instances of walking on water that I know of…
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Thursday Thought: Three Lessons from Fear

The other day, I was walking along the beach here. It was a windy day, and the water was crashing relentlessly against the sand. I was just about eating my hair it was blowing into my face so much. Into this weather, I watched a mommy duck lead three little babies charging into the water. They were splashed about mightily, and once or twice a duckling capsized before they righted themselves and made it past the break. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: Three Strategies for Effective Editing

Editing. Just the word alone is enough to make most writers shiver. It conjures up all sorts of terrifying images of red ink, scratched out lines, crumpled up pages, and raised eyebrows. As writers, it’s all fine and good editing someone else’s work until it comes time to ours. Then all bets are off. 
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Thursday Thought: Expecting Hardship in Christian Life

I don’t think anyone will disagree with me when I say that there are a lot of things wrong in the world today. I think a few people will start disagreeing with me when I say it’s always been that way and we don’t really have much of a right to be surprised by it. I’ve heard people bemoan the state of current events and that they can’t believe things would ever get like this. With love, I want to suggest that they absolutely should believe it and they should have been anticipating it.
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Thursday Thought: The Art of Vulnerability

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks “You know what I want to do today? Be incredibly vulnerable!”. It’s not exactly the top, desirable priority in anyone’s life, and yet time and time again we see how important it is. At some point in your life, you’ll have to open up with someone about what’s going on and deal with whatever hardship that’s becoming too great for you to handle all alone. But this post is not about the value of being vulnerable with those who care about you. This post is about some of the harsher realities of vulnerability that may keep you holding back from engaging. 
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Hard Work to Hard Copy: The Next Chapter of Your Book

So you have a manuscript. Whether you’re a multiple drafts kind of person or a all stages of drafting at once person like me, we all arrive at the same point where the bulk of actual writing is finished and we’re ready to move on to the next stage. Before we talk about the world of editors, beta-readers, edits, publishing platforms and decisions, and book design, I want to talk about something that completely caught me off guard in the process of creating my first book. I so wish I had known this ahead of producing my book, which is mainly why I’m writing about it now. 
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Thursday Thought: When God Feels Far Away

I once had someone ask me: "What do you do when God feels far away?" I wanted nothing more than to give them a straightforward, end-all answer, but I wasn't going to fool myself into thinking that was a possibility.

I wish it was a possibility! There were even things I knew I could say that was definitely true (He's not far away! Just have a little more faith! It will get better, you'll see!) but just like any moment of pain, it wouldn't help to hear those things, no matter how true they are. When we are struggling, we want answers and we want them now. 

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