After our first miscarriage, God put on my heart to share our story. I argued with Him for a long time about doing so. The more I put it off, the more the burden grew in my heart to share our story, so I began writing the details down for myself. Oddly enough, when I had finished my initial thoughts, I marked it as “Chapter 1.” With it being only one month after the miscarriage, it was incredibly hard to write, but internally, I knew it would have a purpose one day. Reading the story back to myself was more difficult than getting it on the page initially. It stung. It stings now, though the pain isn’t as raw.
I continued to plug away at documenting our experience over the next month and just felt a lack of motivation. It was nearing Christmas and my heart couldn’t handle being in a celebratory state. It wasn’t until after our second miscarriage this April that I was motivated to continue working on the manuscript. My initial thoughts now had many chapters and could be classified as my first manuscript. A friend from church let me know of an upcoming writing competition hosted by Women of Faith and Word Alive Press. The main criteria for entering was that you needed a non-fiction story of faith. The deadline was also in two weeks and I was far from the word minimum. My body was also still recovering from losing our third child and my energy was low. It seemed like an impossible task, but my supportive husband said I should go for it. So I did!
The winner and shortlisted manuscripts were announced last week and I’m still in disbelief that my manuscript was chosen to be in the top five in a national writing competition. This is a huge deal for me as this was my first attempt at a manuscript and I’m in the company of published authors! While I didn’t win the free publishing contract, the publisher is still interested in publishing my story and presenting it to bookstores. It’s something that I’m prayerfully considering as it will require a large financial investment, and I’m still unable to work right now.
I have a lot of research ahead of me, but there are basically three main avenues to getting published:
1) Self Publishing – Author pays for publishing, editing, printing, and is responsible for marketing and distributing their own book. Some companies offer help with distribution.
2) Traditional Publishing – Author submits their manuscript to the publisher and waits for an acceptance or rejection letter. If the manuscript is accepted, the publisher covers the cost of publishing and printing. The publisher will also distribute the book. Many publishers do not accept manuscripts unless you have a literary agent.
3) Hybrid Publishing – Author pays for publishing, editing and printing, while the publisher will distribute the book. This is what I’ve been offered.
Which one would you choose?
Life remains a bit of a paradox as I mourn my babies in Heaven while I’m carrying this new life within me. My husband and I walk day by day precariously. Our family is unique. Four children – one child’s hand to hold, two that will forever hold our hearts, and one that I cradle in my womb.
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