Happy Saturday, all!
What a week it has been. My head is just spinning, and it has been all week long. I cannot say enough how amazed and overwhelmed Laura and I have felt over the gracious, encouraging feedback we've received in the past five days. On New Year's Day, the readership here included 197 subscribers with just over twenty email subscriptions. As of this morning, subscriber numbers have swelled to 294 and email subscriptions have nearly doubled. The idea that people are interested in what we are writing energizes and motivates Laura and I beyond what words can express. We are deeply, genuinely humbled.
We wanted to share a couple of housekeeping notes:
1) We do want to be able to inspire and participate in conversation about parenting new babies here on the blog. Although I normally try to respond individually to comments via email, we think that to best promote conversation in the comments, the best approach to take is to respond directly in the comments.
2) A couple of people had asked about choosing to publish our thoughts in an ebook or possibly going the self-publishing route. Laura and I are definitely open to any direction the Lord leads us in this, and that may mean taking a different route than the one we are on now. Our primary reason for wanting to try traditional publication first is because the audience we are hoping to reach are not people who would ordinarily be drawn to a natural living blog, and they may be people who are not inclined to look to the internet at all for discovering new philosophies on parenting. The ideas we want to share with our audience have been discussed in different ways in all kinds of online venues - message boards, blogs, email lists, etc.
Our dream is that when a Christian mother is looking for a parenting philosophy they can identify with, that rather than combing through archived discussions online, they can have an actual book in hand to sit down and spend quiet, uncomplicated time reading and reflecting on. If a new mom or mom-to-be is browsing the shelves at her Christian bookstore, we would love for her to be able to hear a perspective that falls outside of what has become the mainstream in Christian parenting. As I mentioned earlier, there are one or two books that always seem to be passed around and handed down within Christian parenting circles. We would love to be able to add to the conversation about parenting from a Christian worldview and maybe create tangible reassurance to new moms and dads that there is more than way to approach life with a new baby.
3) Speaking of our Christian worldview, I wanted to make sure to say that we absolutely are looking to hear from people of any and every spiritual background. Whether you consider yourself Christian or not, your feedback is valuable to us. I would be saddened to think that any of the people I have come to know and connect with through this blog that don't share in our beliefs would feel excluded from the conversations we have will be having here!
4) Additionally, we really, really want to hear from our readers who are not yet parents. This is the audience we have in mind as we are writing, and to hear insights from you before you start your parenting journey would be so helpful!
5) Many of you have graciously offered to include Laura and I and this process in your prayers. We want to take a minute to open up about what you could be specifically praying about for us. And if you aren't the praying kind, we'll take all the positive thoughts and energy you want to send our way, too!
* We are putting the finishing touches on our first author query letter. This was our first real step in the process and it feels great to have that done. The next step is much complicated and sorta overwhelming - the formal book proposal. This will be fairly time-intensive, but will also allow us to really think through some of the things that have remained question marks for us.
Please pray that we will hear from have guidance as we arrange our chapters in order, name our chapters, research our market, and generally consider how best to pitch our idea to agents and publishers.
* As part of the proposal process, we need to have the first three chapters polished and ready to go. These are still in first draft form, so we have some re-writing and re-tooling to do in the weeks ahead. Pray that we will hear from the Lord and respond to what He lays on our heart. Pray that we will have words to communicate our message.
* We have decided on a working title - As He Leads Us: Parenting on the Path of Servanthood in Baby's First Year. We feel pretty good about it, but pray that we'll be open to other suggestions.
* We have an agent in mind to whom we will send our first query. We also have had offers through mutual friends to pitch our proposal directly to people at Christian publishing houses. Please pray that the Lord will go ahead of us and prepare the hearts of those who will hear our ideas and that God's direction for this project will me made clear through their answers. (gulp. that's hard to pray)
* Finally, writing - even re-writing - is such a time-consuming process. Please, please pray that we will hear from the Lord on how to manage our time so that we are able to write without neglecting our husbands, our children, our homes, and our communities.
Thank you all so very much for partnering in us with this. Again, we are just overwhelmed and extremely humbled.
photo courtesy of _StaR_DusT_