September 16, 2016

How Deep Does Your Passion Run?

I remember when I started out writing. I had a story line running through my head and it wouldn’t leave. So, I sat down at the computer. Four months later, after abandoning my children to the likes of hamburger helper and frozen pizza, I had written a full length novel. Writing the book was the easy part. Doing something with it was much more difficult.

We had our local copy shop print and bind the manuscript. We promptly rested it on our bookshelf and every now and again, we dusted it off.

For several years the 95K word document did nothing but take up space. I sent out one query letter. I had a few friends read it. I submitted it to ChristianManuscriptSubmissions.com and then I waited. We received one offer from a subsidy publisher who wanted us to buy 1000 copies of my paperback at $10 bucks a pop. Whew. That’s a lot of cash. My imaginary book publishing balloon quickly deflated and once again, the manuscript took up residence on that book shelf.

Several years later, after my husband’s company was laying everyone off, we looked at one another and said…are we going to do this thing or aren’t we? 

We decided then and there that we believed in what I wrote and we were in it for the long haul—come what may.

We began doing everything we could do to see that book published. We knew nothing about the publishing industry. I did end up with three offers to publish, one from a traditional publisher and two from subsidy publishers. We ended up going with a subsidy publisher. Handing over intellectually property rights didn’t sit well with my husband and we decided to maintain control of the publishing process.

After paying nearly $4000 and a year and a quarter of being published, we knew it was time to get our rights back and publish the book ourselves. We did just that. In one week we saw more sales and the message reach more people than we had the entire time the book was with the publisher.

Since then I have written and published 11 more books. My husband has published four. We have made thousands of dollars from our writing. Sometimes thousands in a single month.

We must live like kings, right?

Wrong. We live in the ghetto. We drive older vehicles. We invest everything we make into our business. In fact, my daughter just chastised me for hoarding my good lotion for dry skin. Why do we do this? Because God has placed a calling on us and in order to see it fully come to pass our passion to do His will must be stronger than our fleshly desire for comfort and appeasement.

This means we do what it takes to get where we’re going. Even if it means a little dry skin.

This is why I’ll see you on September 23 and 24th, ready to teach, ready to learn, and ready to be used as God sees fit. What are you willing to do to see God’s calling in your life come to fruition? Are you willing to do what it takes? No matter the cost? Perhaps it’s time to measure just how deep your passion runs.

                                                                                Darlene Shortridge


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