It’s my pleasure today to welcome debut author Jody Hedlund as the special guest blogger at Thoughts in Progress.
Jody’s historical romance novel, THE PREACHER’S BRIDE, made its formal appearance on store shelves Oct. 1. Jody joins us today to talk about “enjoying our gifts.” In addition, Jody is giving away one copy of her new release to one lucky person who comments on her blog between now and 8 p.m. (EST) on Monday, Oct. 18. Be sure to include your e-mail address if it’s not included in your profile. Now, here’s Jody.
“Writing is a way to escape from the hard realities of life,” my stylist said as she lifted a long strand of my hair and snipped. “Really, when I write, I feel like I’m getting a break.”
“I can completely relate.” I held my head still even though I wanted to jump up and down and nod in agreement.
“My husband just doesn’t get it.” Her fingers and the scissors danced around my head. “But after working full time and taking care of the kids, I need something to take my mind off everything else. My writing and reading do that.”
“I hear you. I need something else to focus on too—besides my kids and homeschooling.” My hair-standing-on-end, wet-dog reflection in the mirror stared back at me. “When we’re busy and life is crazy, writing is really—well, like a gift. Isn’t it?”
The recent conversation with my stylist is similar to ones I’ve had with other friends over the past year. Maybe not all my friends are writers like my stylist or me. But many of us are struggling with the same issues—being busy and trying to balance our time. The pressures and demands of our hectic lives begin to take their toll on us.
What I’ve realized is that writing really is a gift. At this point in my life, when I’m busy with the demands of mothering and teaching and running a house, my stories give me a lovely escape, something else to focus on for a little while besides the everyday craziness around me.
Sure, I still look at my writing as a job, something I take seriously. But it’s also a pleasure and an enjoyment that adds refreshment, creativity, and joy to my life.
Don’t we all need something like that in our lives, something out of the ordinary that takes us away from the mundane tediousness of everyday life?
Maybe it’s gardening, or playing the piano, or running, or reading, or any number of activities. Whatever it is, if it makes us a healthier, better person, then we should embrace it, see it as a gift, something special to treasure.
Life is short. It happens in a blink. And sometimes we get going so fast and furiously that we forget to take the time for the things that bring us joy.
I don’t want to get so caught up in the crazy pace that I forget to savor the pure joys of living—the shared giggles with my twin daughters, the butterfly kisses with my youngest daughter, the whispered dreams of my little guy, and so much more.
And my writing. For all the hardships that accompany the writing life, I don’t want to forget it really is all about the pleasure of weaving stories. It truly is a gift, especially at this busy season in my life.
What about you? Are you savoring life? Are you taking the time to do the things that you enjoy?
Jody, thanks for blogging here today. You make pose a couple of excellent questions. Sometimes I think we don’t stop long enough to savor life or take a few minutes out of the day to truly enjoy something. For me, reading is one of my pleasures so I’m thankful that writers, such as yourself, enjoy writing.
Here’s a brief synopsis of THE PREACHER’S WIFE: In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher--whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aid. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family. Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John's boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher's enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she's more determined than ever to save the child--and man--she's come to love.
Now for a little background on Jody. She is a debut historical romance novelist who was a double finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently Jody makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.
Jody is represented by agent Rachelle Gardner and her debut book, The Preacher’s Bride, is available online and in most bookstores. You can also stop by her blog, Author, Jody Hedlund, where she chronicles her journey to publication and dispenses more of her two-cent writing wisdom