I’m a writer. Writers write.

Writers don’t preach or coach or do TV and radio interviews. They sit in their office and write.

This is what I thought until I wrote a book. And once that happened, all sorts of other things started happening.

fantasy writer

I wish I knew who to give credit to for this awesome picture.

 

I had invitations to do radio interviews, TV shows, podcasts, speaking for women’s groups.

When this first started I wanted to run screaming in the other direction. I was asked before writing the book, what doors I wanted the book to open for me. Did I want a speaking, coaching, workshop ministry?

I said, “No, I just want to write and help others write.”

“Write the vision. Make it plain so those that read it, may run with it,” Habakkuk 2:2.

I was fine with that decision until the invitations began and I started thinking, “Maybe people need to see I am real. Maybe I need to get out there more.”

I mean what good is having a book if people don’t read it? How will people read it if they don’t hear about it? So I began accepting invitations, speaking and doing interviews.

There are a few things I’ve realized in the last few months.

1. Radio and TV interviews don’t sell books. The reason book sales are important to me is to share the message that when you cooperate with God to surrender your weakness, you can access the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Perhaps over time such exposure increases sales, but online articles in publications that reach my audience does more to get books in the hands of people.

2. TV and radio can’t tell the whole story. I’m passionate about my message and will do anything to share it, but a five-minute TV segment doesn’t touch the tip of the iceberg of an issue. Even a 30-minute radio program doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s why I wrote a book!

3.  I don’t have time for TV and radio. Driving across the U.S., getting dressed up, waiting in a TV lobby isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It takes time, which I could use writing, and money, because it is considered promotion rather than a paid engagement. I much prefer sitting in my office in my comfy jeans with my feet up writing like I’m doing right now.

4.  Every open door is not from God. My slippery slope for being drawn back into food addiction has always been being too busy, which makes me feel overwhelmed and then I run to food for moral support. I haven’t done that yet, but I recognize the signs. So, for my health I’m giving myself permission to say, “No” to things that will take me away from the main assignment on my life, which is writing. (Thanks Sandi Krakowski for helping me relearn that word.)

5. This writer needs large blocks of time to write. During the month of January I accepted a challenge to write at least 500 words and blog every day. I did this knowing I had quite a few events and engagements. Still I have kept my agreement. It just reminded me that this is my passion. I will do it no matter what. However, I prefer to set aside large blocks of time barricaded in my home office working uninterrupted.

As I show up to write, it is as if God is waiting to meet me there. I sit down and the flow is easy because He has already been communicating with me through circumstances, people or something I read or experienced.

Sometimes, like right now, I am processing something I need clarification about and you get to sit on the session! Sometimes I am sharing truth from my life. Other times I am simply playing as God downloads a fictional story I’d never thought of before.

This process of writing is who I am. It is down deep in the core of me. It is all I have ever wanted to do and to be pulled away from it because it seems like what authors have to do to sell books, is not me.

When I wrote Sweet Grace last year, I set aside time large chunks of time where I didn’t go to every engagement, got up early, stayed up late. I put others in charge of things that had to be done. I intentionally neglected many things to do what needed to be done. It’s what I will be doing again.

“Write everything I tell you in a book,” Jeremiah 30:2

At the beginning of this year God began downloading book titles and ideas to me. I want to share the lists and categories so you can be let me know which one speaks to you loudest.

 

Nonfiction:

Healthy Living Manifesto: 7 Ingredients for a Healthy Life

Sweet Grace for Your Weight Loss Journey

Change Your Mind

Hungry: Developing an Appetite for God

I Can’t Love You If I Don’t Love Me

How and Why I Eat

Write Your Story

The Amazon Connection

Set Your Child Free

Mothering Yourself

 

Fiction:

Forever Mothers (5 small books each on a different type of mother, a fictional generation series)

Rebuilding Jayne (Story of a morbidly obese woman who rebuilds her life, her home and her vocation)

The Treasure of Hope (An expanded version of this children’s story about hopes and dreams)

 

Bible studies:

The Grace of Surrender

Becoming Me

Forgiveness 101

Becoming Whole

You Can Walk Free

 

If you’re counting that’s 22 and I know I’ll have another one by the time you read this. Every day I get a new idea. I’m telling God to stop and let me catch up.

In 1998, I had a dream where I saw three different books in the air, red, gold and silver. The silver book seemed to have sparks and life and action flowing from it. Each seemed to be a category of books.

There are three categories listed above. I’m not sure which is which. In actuality Sweet Grace, my weight loss memoir, falls in the nonfiction category, and the companion book, Sweet Grace Study Guide, falls in the Bible story category.

What am I saying? I’m saying I can’t not write. I need time to do that and I need time to continue along my health journey. With all these books inside me I will surely explode if I try to stop the flood.

From now on I will no longer be accepting every opportunity. I know all about creating multiple streams of income from coaching, workshops and speaking. I’m not ruling out any of those, but I will be scrutinizing the opportunities much more.

God is bringing huge opportunities to me every day in the form of books He’s encouraging me to write. At this time, that must be my focus. As long as He gives me ideas and words, I will write them because …

I’m a writer. Writers write.

Which book can you just not wait to read?

Get your copy of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor by clicking on the title. Also, grab a copy of Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. If you already have a copy of either the Study Guide or the memoir, I would be honored if you would go to the pages and share a few sentences in the reviews.

 

Subtle Shifts; Monumental Changes
Do you give up?
Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 260 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has two more books, "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help" and "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" in addition to "Sweet Grace" and "Sweet Freedom Study Guides". Her fourth book "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God" will be available in summer 2017. All books are on Amazon. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss or writing tabs at TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.

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