On Writing and New Friends

on writing

Two days ago, I walked away from an experience that changed my life. For the first time, I was surrounded by over eight hundred women who not only understood my desire to write, but matched my passion and yearning to fulfill the dream to write or speak. I was overwhelmed. I was in awe of the way God moved and spoke and stirred hearts that weekend. He met me right where I was at and answered the questions that pulsed deep at the core of me. Was this real? Did I belong there? Should I continue? And the resounding response I received over and over was yes. Yes. Yes.

Two weeks ago, my dear friend Meredith Bernard, who I finally got a chance to meet last weekend, invited me to participate in a blog hop where I would answer three questions about my writing, and then introduce you to three new writers who have impacted me in various ways. So today, I invite you on this fun journey with me.

What am I working on?

Right now I am getting back into the rhythm of blogging after taking a short break and attending She Speaks. Up until two weeks ago, I was working feverishly on a book proposal, which I presented to publishers at the conference. That proposal is in the hands of one publisher now, who will be digging into it over the next week and getting back to me with a response. I am hopeful, nervous, anxious, and everything in between. But when I return to a spirit of prayer, an unspeakable calm comes over me, because I know it’s in the hands of the One who placed the dream in my heart from the beginning. The very best place to be.

Why do I write what I write?

I gave my life to Christ as a result of reading a book. Words matter. They matter to me and to the world. I write with the hope of encouraging another person who may be experiencing the same hope or disappointment or dream or disillusionment. I write because I enjoy reading. I write because I want to draw others closer to the Creator, and hopefully compel them to open THE book. The only book which is living. The Bible. I also write as a way of processing my emotions. I always tell people I’m much better at expressing myself on paper than I am verbally. Writing makes me happy, and the joy it brings shines through to my other roles as a wife, mother, sister, and friend.

How does your writing process work?

There is a Ernest Hemingway quote that I absolutely love which answers this question. He says, “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; Sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” I’ve found this to be so true in my own writing. Sometimes I can sit down and have a blog post in twenty minutes. Other times I’ll sit there for a couple of hours and still be struggling to find the words. I always keep a pen and paper in my purse so that I can jot things down that come to me. I’m constantly looking for a new angle, way to illustrate a point, or unique way to view a common theme.

Now, I am excited to introduce you to three writers who have encouraged and inspired me along this journey:

Kasey Hanson

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Like many of my blogging friends, I met Kasey on Compel Training, which is an online writing class I’ve been taking for about four months. Kasey has been a continual source of encouragement to me on my writing journey and always draws me to the foot of the cross.

Kasey married her childhood sweetheart and they have three big hearted, active children. She is a student at heart and loves to learn. She teaches first through third grade students at their church, and is actively involved in women’s Bible study. Kasey can’t keep quiet when it comes to God’s love and writing is her way of saying thank you to God the for healing and freedom she lives in today. One of the many ways she does this is on her beautiful blog, Kasey Hanson: Finding My Place in HIStory.

Brandi Rennemeyer

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The second person I want to introduce you to is Brandi, who I also met on Compel and recently had the privilege of meeting in person at the She Speaks conference. Brandi’s warm personality drew me instantly to her. She writes about combining her faith with the everyday, hard realities of life and shares her authentic, real experiences on her blog, Faith 2 Shine. After many years loving Jesus but falling into the trap of comparison, and unfulfilled expectations, Brandi boldly decided it was time to let the walls around her fall and live life with an unpretentious kind of faith. In a noisy and pretentious world, Brandi’s blog is a breath of fresh air that I know you will love.

Katie McLaughlin

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Last, but certainly not least, I want you to meet Katie. I met Katie through Blogelina, and she and I have been blogging friends for nearly a year now. She has been a continual support to me through her words on this road, and I love her way her blog cuts straight to the point of the matter. She writes about giving up the philosophy of having it all at her blog, Pick Any Two, and I can always count on her for a quick nugget of wisdom, some inspiration, or a yummy recipe. Her website is a place where women get ideas on how to stop playing supermom and prioritize what’s really important.

I hope you all enjoyed taking this blogging and writing journey with me as much as I enjoyed writing about it. Words matter. Your story matters. Never underestimate the power of it.

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10 thoughts on “On Writing and New Friends

  1. Abby, this post has me smiling from ear to ear for some many reasons. First, welcome home! It sounds like the conference was an amazing experience, and I love that you’re able to feel God’s peace and calm over your proposal as it sits in the publisher’s hands. Second, I wholeheartedly agree that words matter. My life has also been profoundly impacted by books, and I live in gratitude to those who wrote them. And finally, thank you for featuring me here, alongside these amazing and talented women. It’s truly an honor. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us as writers, moms, and virtual friends!

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    • Yes, Katie! The conference was simply amazing and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it. I was happy to feature you here! Thanks again for your constant support and encouragement. It means so much to me! 🙂

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  2. So happy you had a wonderful experience at the conference. Love your new profile picture! Thanks for the introduction to 3 wonderful new writers. Sending up a prayer for your book and good news.

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    • Thank you so much for your prayers, Lisa, and the encouragement. That old profile pic needed to go. 😉 It was a fantastic conference and I’m so blessed I was able to be a part of it.

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  3. Thank you Abby for giving us a glimpse of why you write. I am excited for you as you wait to hear from the publisher. God will use every bit of that process for the good. I’m counting on it for me as well. Thank you for letting me be a part of this post!

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    • I know God will use it for good too, Kasey. Thanks for that reminder. And I so enjoyed doing this! Thanks for participating and I look forward to reading yours.

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  4. Thank you for sharing more of you with us this week, Abby! You are true light in this online world and your words are drawing people closer to Christ…and what a call. I’m so glad to be on this journey with you and can’t wait to see what’s next! So glad to finally get that in RL hug…hope to again soon. 😀

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    • You are such a blessing to me, Meredith. I’m so glad that I was able to get that in RL hug too. That conference blew me away in so many ways. I felt like I was home. God is so good!

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  5. Hey Abby, your post made me smile too! (Just like it did Katie!) Best wishes on your publishing possibility. God has it under control. I loved reading about WHY you write! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Betsy! I’m so glad I was able to meet you. That conference was far more than I ever expected, and part of that was all the wonderful people I was finally able to meet, like you! I’m so encouraged and full this week. What a blessing.

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