I met author Deana Rogers at the Breathe Conference this past October. We talked about the paths we've taken on this journey of writing. By the end of the conference we were talking like old friends. I asked Deanna to share her story. I love the way she discovered the complexities of writing through this one seemingly simple project. If you live in the continental US and would like a chance to win a signed print copy of Deana's book, Wrapped in Grace, enter a comment below. You may also enter by sharing the post on your FB page with a comment or by Tweeting the link to this post using @WatersAuthor in your tweet. All comments are welcome, but again, the giveaway is limited to the continental U.S. only. (Sorry)
An Answered Prayer by Deana Rogers
It was autumn, 2014; almost time to go back to the Breathe Conference for Christian writers in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I couldn’t believe that a whole year had passed and I had barely made headway on the whole platform idea.
I’d first heard about platform building at Breathe 2013, and determined to make this writing life work, I spent countless hours during 2014 listening to tutorials in the library in an attempt to learn the foreign language of website building. It took so much time to build the website that I didn’t know when to write.
When I finally posted and got the word out, I did receive encouraging and heartfelt responses from a few readers. But I didn’t know the difference between a blog post and a 5-day in-depth study of the names of God, so I couldn’t post enough to keep anyone’s attention.
Just before heading back to Grand Rapids for the conference, I made the decision to look for readers in a more focused way.
What if I could write something and give it away? Advent would be easy, I thought. I love Christmas and the season has defined boundaries. I could start with pieces I’d already written, fit it around a four-week schedule, give it away at first, and have something more focused to blog about.
I had no idea how much work it would be, or how long it would take, or to be honest, what real editing even meant. The biggest surprise was how much God would teach me about his story through the process.
Not knowing where to begin, I started here:
Father in Heaven,
It is almost October. Here are my fingers and this keyboard and unlimited blank documents.
Christmas changes me. Every year.
I give this Advent project to you. I do not want to make things up just to meet a need or gain recognition for being a good writer. I want to nudge people to the manger so that you can change them like you change me.
The journey to Bethlehem is one of my favorite stories. Keep me focused. Point me in the right direction. As I write, steer my words into sentences and paragraphs that bring honor to your name.
In Jesus’ name,
I think God answered that prayer. He didn’t just keep me focused; he captured my attention and my heart all over again with his ancient story and made it new.
Friends and family read and reread the early manuscripts and helped me shape the book into a much more organized and user-friendly book than I could have done alone. My brilliantly talented nieces and daughter became my graphic design and photography team.
This Advent season, hundreds of people are reading and journaling through the book. I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God and they way he has entrusted us to tell his story.
Heavenly Father, as we write, steer our words into sentences and paragraphs that bring honor to your name.
Deana Lynn Rogers loves Christmas, sunshine, her giant family, libraries, and walks at sunset with her husband Dale. She can’t get over the brilliance of God’s redemptive story and how he chooses to tell it through the lives of imperfect and ordinary people. Deana and Dale live in Mesa, Arizona with any of their college-age children who happen to be passing through for a while.
Deana’s first book, Wrappedin Grace: The Birth Story the Changes Everything, is available at deanalynnrogers.com and on Amazon.com.