Friday, May 13, 2016

Where the Ball Hits the Leather


If you read my last post, you know I'm working hard to throw out my first book pitch ever. A book pitch takes practice, research and learning all you can from those who've gone before you on this writing journey, and listening intently to the Head Coach along the way. Although I've attended three other writer's conferences, I've only attended to listen and learn.

The past few weeks have been quite overwhelming with all the gritty details of preparing for this four day excursion. I feel like I'm headed into a college classroom for the first time not knowing what to expect, but also knowing with full assurance this is where I'm supposed to be.

Everyday, several times a day, I'm checking the conference Facebook page for updates, information, last minute suggestions, and skimming over past information to see if I've missed anything. This call to write can be exhausting, especially if you omit the resting part, but we must rest in the arms of the One who's called us to do this hard thing in the first place.

When I rest in Him, I hear Him say, "Breathe. Just breathe, baby girl. I've got this, and I've got you." 

I've been working on chapter titles for a book proposal, Scripture references, writing and re-writing sections. I'm finalizing my one sheet which is like the back of a book cover. (You know, the part you read first, deciding whether or not you want to read the whole book. It has to be better than 'good'!)

Then, the other part is practicing my elevator pitch. It's the bull pen warm ups for baseball pitchers. It's how you cleverly respond when asked about your book out and about campus. It's like being asked what you do while going up or down in an elevator.

Next comes the real pitch.

At a scheduled appointment with an editor, agent or publisher of your choice, this is where the ball hits the leather. This is the ultimate purpose of writing conferences - to pitch your book. Besides networking, taking classes, honing your craft, the object is eventually making it to the pitcher's mound. This ball has to be thrown perfectly across the plate, enticing the publisher to want to know more about your book, leading them to ask for your one sheet (the back cover of the book). From that point, you continue to pray that they will want a proposal for the book, and then, by the grace of God, if you haven't thrown them a curve ball, they will maybe talk with you about a possible book contract. Intense? Yeah!

Patience. Press on. Rejections. Press on. Endurance. Press on. Successes. Press on.

All are part of the process of refining our craft, but more importantly, our character in Christ and the message we desire to tell well. 

14 years ago, in 2002, God began to extract a deep desire to write, all while still in a very active music ministry. Through much prayer, listening and obeying, I have become a writer. As God has built my writer/speaker platform through Living Real Magazine, I'm continuously seeking His direction for our next move. Acting on what I've heard, in a couple of weeks, I will be following through with the long awaited pitch.

Just in the last two weeks as the enemy's darts of doubt have been swirling, God continues to affirm His call and my steps:

  • Because of a sinus infection last week, I went to the doctor. He asked me what I had been up to. I told him the new issue of the magazine was out and I had just left some in his lobby. Then, I told him I was in the process of writing a book. He asked, "What's it called?" I told him the title and it sparked a deeper, spiritual conversation, one like we had never had before. He was extremely interested and told me if I had found the secret to the subject of discussion, he would promote my book however he could. WOW!
  • I presented my book idea and one sheet to an author who helped me and is willing to pre-endorse my book. TEARS!
  • Then, as I was praying and reading about what agent, publisher or editor to make my pitch to, one line from one person's bio struck a chord and connected me to this person immediately. That night, as God does on occasion, He spoke through a dream, confirming this person and how I need to begin my pitch with visuals and all. AMAZED!


Does this mean I will get a book contract when I go? Not at all. It is all part of the process of being obedient in the journey. We're called to walk by faith - one step at a time.

Why am I telling you all of this? First, I want you to know where I've been and what I'm up to. Next, I covet your prayers on this adventure, and I want to encourage you to follow through with whatever God is calling you to do. We are all called with one purpose which is to glorify Jesus Christ in everything we do, say, or think. 

What is God specifically calling you to do?

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him (1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV).

My Pleasure,
Melanie