Jan 23

TAG, YOU’RE IT! MY FOCUS, THAT IS.

 

 

tag you are it

 

Many Christian writers struggle with becoming known, preferring to just sit quietly in a corner and write. But if we want to encourage other people’s faith, it is our obligation to help them find us. That means we need to become known.

Part of becoming known is developing a brand so folks understand who you are and what you offer.

For example, BMW’s slogan is “The ultimate driving machine.” Their brand reminds people that the automobiles are not just beautiful; they are high performance machines which are thrilling to drive.

Writers have brands, too. Stephen King’s brand is horror and suspense.

Mark Twain’s brand is wit and wisdom.

To develop a brand requires you to know your mission and how you want to help others. Then you can create a concise tag line—like a slogan—that “says it all” a few words.

When I began writing 17 years ago, I wrote four books for children through an educational publisher. My author tagline was:

Writing to make learning fun

Then I started writing also for adults and included fiction as well as inspirational writing. My new tagline became:

Writing to educate, entertain and inspire

This year, God is nudging me to become more tightly focused. My first and foremost role in writing has become to encourage others through the lessons God is teaching me.

After a lot of prayer about who I am as a writer and hours of study about becoming known, today I announce a new branding focus here at CarolPetersonAuthor.com:

My mission statement (what I seek to pursue in my writing) is:

I write to help others see our lives as part of God’s ongoing plan.

The question I ask my readers is:

Do you seek to find your place in God’s world?
Let’s follow God as He grows our faith and shows us our part in His plan.

The concise tag line that sums it up is:

Seeing our lives as part of God’s plan.

I will continue to write short, humor-filled parables, relating everything back to Jesus. I will continue to create prayers based on the meaning of names. I will continue to post my writing goals as a way to encourage you to live this one and only life Jesus has given you with more passion and purpose.

But this year, in order to be helpful to you in more concrete ways, I will offer a variety of free, downloadable gifts. They would vary periodically but would include short devotionals, Bible study guides and perhaps life verses set on artwork that could be printed and framed or shared with friends.

As part of this re-focus, I am also revising my website. Check out the new “About Me” and “This Site” pages, and the new “Journey” page. The “Carol’s Book Club” page now collects book reviews into one location for your convenience, separated by genre.

Stay tuned for more changes and new stuff to encourage and inspire your faith. Together, let’s look to see our lives as part of God’s plan.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What do you think of my new mission statement? What would you like to see more of here at CarolPetersonAuthor.com?

Jan 16

SNOWBALLS AND PUPPYDOGS

Carol and snowball

 

These gigantic snowballs are the product of recess at our local elementary school.

The snowballs are still sitting on the field over four weeks later. They haven’t grown any bigger because school has been mostly out—due to an unbelievably harsh winter we are having here.

Presently we have about 18″ of snow on the ground, with piles of snow 4′ tall next to driveways. New snow falls almost every day; some days it’s just flurries; other days we find ourselves shoveling twice a day. The build-up of snow on roofs has led to leaks where warm air escapes from our homes and melts the ice back down through heating vents and light fixtures.

But despite the folks saying this is the harshest, coldest and most snow-filled winter we have had since 1882, I love living here. There are still oodles of reasons to love life here:

  1. Snow shoveling is great exercise; especially if you do it a couple of times a day.

  2. Shoveling gets the neighborhood out. I’ve met neighbors I hadn’t met before and connected with others better. We have local “snow angels,” most notably right next door. Some days the dear angels have shoveled our sidewalk and part of our driveway before we even have our boots on. Now I strive to be a show angel to others.

  3. Shoveling is a team sport as 5-6 people focus on one house together and then move on down the block to the next.

  4. Life slows down. Sitting by the window with a cup of tea, watching gigantic floating snow feathers provides time to appreciate the beauty of the frozen world outside.

  5. One of the best forms of entertainment ever is watching the puppydog explore that delightful white stuff.

Other parts of the world have a lot more snow than we have here, but sometimes I watch the snow falling onto the enormous piles we already have and wonder what Jesus has in mind.

The point is though: we can trust that Jesus does have something in mind.

Maybe it’s about getting people out of their homes and working together. Maybe it’s about slowing people down so they can appreciate beauty that exists amid the hardship. Maybe it’s about providing entertainment as we watch puppydogs and school kids enjoy the miracle of fluffy frozen water falling to the ground.

Whatever Jesus has in mind, we can trust Him whether He intends a hardship or whether He just wants us to find the joy amid it. One thing remains constant: when Jesus is at the center of life, it’s all good.

 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior (Habakuk 3:18 NIV)

 

 

Jan 09

What shall we do this year?

2017-goals

Last week I announced my 2017 focus word: Temple.  This week, I’m announcing my writing goals.

Not only does announcing my goals keep me accountable, my hope is that it encourages you to make your own goals for 2017. Then return each quarter we’ll review progress and recommit to the next part of the journey. Here are my writing goals:

BOOKS I WILL WORK ON:

I am Rahab

Rebuilding Your Tattered Temple

Jesus Wants Me to Do WHAT?

Atop the Mountain

My Beautiful Feet (new working title)

From What if to Whatever

I am Deborah

I expect to only release one book this year—I am Rahab, the latest character study in the With Faith Like Hers Bible study series. The other books are still works in progress. They’ve been works in progress for several years already, but that is the way of creating books. They take many years from concept to release.

Fortunately, I keep growing spiritually as God teaches me through the process of creation, while keeping one verse in front of me at all times:

Of making books there is no end…(Ecclesiastes 12:12 NIV)

I will also keep writing for other outlets, maintain this blog, pursue branding, work cooperatively with other writers, reformat this website and pursue picture book illustration.

How I intend to work on the above goals is nestled in a cozy computer file—29 pages of a detailed month-by-month plan. I mention the plan to encourage you to not only settle on what you’d like to accomplish this year, but also how and when.

So now—what do you want to accomplish this year? Do you have a plan to accomplish your goals? Share your what and how and then come back each quarter and review them with us.

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