The Call


I firmly believe that every one of us has a God given destiny--a calling to fulfill God's plans and purposes for our lives.

For six years God has compelled me to pursue His calling on my life to communicate, and you'll have to trust me when I tell you it wasn't my idea. I've watched in sheer astonishment as He has opened one writing door after another, even though I'm the least qualified writer on the planet.

Have you ever dreamed a dream so big it seemed ridiculous? I think God gives us ridiculous dreams so that we'll cling to Him like a knit skirt fresh out of the dryer. When we finally succeed, (and there will be plenty of fumbles) we'll know it's the result of His gift at work in us, not because we're all that. Which leads me to The Call.

Details

Over the past year, I've worked on a nonfiction book for women. I've met with a few publishers, editors and agents at writers conferences and gotten a couple of nibbles, but nothing was happening, unless you count head banging.

Until recently.

Though I had nearly given up hope, at the beginning of the year I decided to send out my book proposal one last time to one last agent. If nothing happened, I'd shelve it and pray about my next step.

Then, in the middle of my blog and Twitter break, I heard back from the agent. He was interested (!) and wondered if I had tested the book material on actual women. It hadn't even occurred to me, but I liked his suggestion, made a few phone calls, and to my surprise and delight, a focus group of women quickly formed. We met together for three weeks (to read the first three chapters--normally included in a nonfiction book proposal); a second group of women who couldn't attend the group meetings read the chapters individually. I compiled a survey, threatened every woman with bodily harm if they dared to flatter me or withhold truth, and procured promises of honest feedback.

The test group turned out to be outrageously fun! It superseded all my expectations. The suggestions and ideas I received from the women helped me to adjust and tweak the book, which made it much stronger. I'm so grateful for all their help!

And then, I sent it all back to the agent: the updated proposal and survey results. That same day he e-mailed me back with a contract. *Squeal* We chatted on the phone the next afternoon, since I had lots of questions, which he patiently answered.

So, it's official! I have a literary agent, Les Stobbe. And while there are no promises in today's publishing market, I couldn't be more thrilled that I answered the call.

How about you? Are you pursuing your calling? Do you have a ridiculous dream?


19 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I've met Les before at conferences! He is a very nice man! COngrats on this awesome news!

Diane said...

God did it again! In the past year I have been blogging, God has blessed so many! He is awesome and I am excited to see Him giving the heart's desire to so many. His heart has become their heart. YEAH!!! :O)

Melanie said...

I am thrilled for you, Julie!

Karen said...

Oh, yeah!! He's known by so many. I so excited for you! Whoo Hoo! Blessings+

Anne Lang Bundy said...

Julie, I'm ALL smiles.

God is good! So, I suspect, is your book. ; )

Sista In Arms Lxx said...

I think I'm the queen of ridiculous dreams, congratulations :) Lxx

Sista In Arms Lxx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Julie, I'm working on it. I'm open to HIS calling. Praise God!

Sunshine said...

Congratulations! That's fabulous news. Man, I'd love to be part of a test group. Any idea how to jump on board one of those opportunities?

Cheryl Barker said...

Am so excited for you, Julie! Maybe one day it will happen for me, too. Am not quite ready to start contacting agents but am working in that direction. Blessings!

Krista said...

Even though this isn't new news to me, I read this post and I still have goose bumps! I KNOW God will use you in your obedience Julie. I am beyond excited for you and the women whose lives this book will touch. It is so much fun to watch God at work...thrilling!

Let me know if you finish anymore chapters, I need the rest of the book. Or are you gonna make us hold out til the end?

Laura said...

Julie, this is SO exciting!! I'll be that's why you called me -- in the middle of graduation week and umpteen family members in, I never returned your call (bad me)!!

So excited to hear this. Les is great. I can say only good things. He has helped me so much and has such a heart.

Blessings!

KelliGirl said...

Julie,
Congratulations, that is excellent news! You're a wonderful writer who has a wonderful message to share. God has a plan for you and your book. I hope it includes your book on the shelf of my local bookstore!

The idea of a focus group is a great one, too.

Many blessings,
Kelli

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Congratulations! That is great news that you and we have aspired to. May He annoint your writing and the plans for this book. May your readers be blessed.

Tea With Tiffany said...

What a gift from heaven. I have always believed in your writing, so glad you are on the right track. God's.

:)

Happy dancing for you!

Gwen Stewart said...

Julie, that is fabulous. Congratulations! What a great step in your writing career. God bless you as you move forward with your new agent!

Sandra Heska King said...

Congratulations, Julie! Wonderful news.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Congratulations, Julie. I love hearing news like this.
~ Wendy

prashant said...

He is a very nice man! COngrats on this awesome news!
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