Blogging a book: Week One!

IMG_20140124_115240645Last summer, I let slip the news that I’d received acceptance of my proposal to write a new book…by blogging it! And I blogged a bit about the early stages, inviting advice from readers who have blogged books. Up until last week, I’ve been trying to pull together a solid table of contents, reconfigure my schedule to fit in writing a book, and research how to make a blog more interactive. (I love my Windows to the Soul blog here, but readers and I tend to communicate through email, not through comments.) I also spent a week researching social media, signing up for various services and testing them out. (If you see weird things up on my facebook, twitter, Google+ or Instagram account, please have patience as I learn how to use these fascinating tools. And feel free to let me know if something is weird, annoying, or not helpful!)

As planned, on Tuesday of last week, my blog Co-Author Your Life with God: A Spiritual, Practical, and Personal Approach to Discernment went live! The purpose of the blog is to explore discernment for the regular Catholic who wants to pay more attention to living God’s will in our daily lives. (Notice that the first person I’m writing the book for is myself!) I timed it to go up for the beginning of Advent and the Year of Consecrated Life, which is part of the reason I’m blogging it–so it can reach young people discerning their vocation now. Written through a story-telling lens, the blog will invite us to look at our lives as stories we co-author with God, with all the twists and turns, all the helps and obstacles, of the typical quest-story.

My inspiration for the blog comes from several places: the inspiration I received from the young women who came to the many Discernment Mini-Courses I offered while I was a vocation director, my own desire to focus daily on discerning the will of God, the repeated requests from one of the sisters that I write a book about discernment, my screenwriting experiences, St. John Paul II’s Letter to Artists, and–most importantly–an invitation from God. (In a future post on Co-Author Your Life with God, I’ll share how God invited me to write this book!)

“All men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.” – Letter to Artists by St. John Paul 

Then, something amazing happened. Lifetime’s reality TV show, The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns, premiered the same day my blog went live. Because the series deals specifically with discerning religious life, I thought it would be fun to tweet and post about it. A number of people following the show saw my tweets and checked out my blog post about the show–and the blog readership jumped from 200 to 1200 in just one day. I’d been praying that all the time I’ve put into blogging the book (rather than simply writing it and publishing it in 2016) would help it to reach people. What an amazing way God has of answering our prayers!

I plan to post on Co-Author Your Life with God three times a week, and I’ll stick with my weekly morning post here on Windows to the Soul, but probably change it to Tuesday. If you have a chance, please check out my new blog-to-book, and post your feedback either there or here in the comments!

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