Today I’m honored to have Shailendra Thomas, coauthor of Coveted Conversations visit to share a few lessons she’s learned over the years.
For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of sharing my life with two phenomenal Christian women. We met every four to six weeks to share, eat, laugh, cry, and write. Let me share with you a few lessons learned from our three-year journey.
- Trust God in your writing process. As you seek Him, He will give you the words that he wants you to share with His people.
- People were created with the need for connectivity. It has been wonderful to share the joys and challenges of life with these two women. We each have grown spiritually, emotionally, and relationally because of the encouragement and inspiration we have received from one another.
- Building relationships and working on a project together is not always easy. Each of us had to sacrifice time, energy, and some of our personal desires to bring this project to fruition. We learned to value each other’s opinions and viewpoints and to build consensus.
- Everyone brings a different gift to the table. One of my co-authors was great at developing storylines; the other co-author was instrumental in the editing process. One of my major contributions was the typing and formatting. All gifts were needed to bring this project to life.
- Writing is hard work. We spent many hours/days brainstorming, gathering our thoughts, and researching best literary practices and grammar rules, but the effort was well worth the end product. We are much better writers today than when we started.
- We needed to write this book just as much for ourselves as for future readers. All of us know women who poured into our lives. Writing provided an avenue for us to do the same for other women. Edifying and uplifting individuals became a passion for us.
- Authenticity can be difficult. The decision was made early to pen “real-life” stories. We live in a world where people spend a lot of time, money, and energy creating the perfect image. It’s a little unsettling to write about not being perfect. You automatically wonder, “What will people say and think when I am transparent in my writing?”
- Everyone has a story. Most stories can be used to encourage, inspire, and refresh someone else. Never be afraid or embarrassed to share what you have been through. It just may be what someone needs to inspire them to continue their journey.
- We learned from our literary mistakes. We are all human and making mistakes is a natural part of the human experience. We did not waste time discussing the mistake or placing blame; we corrected it, and moved forward.
- Never give up. Continue to move forward even when you don’t feel like it. Many days we did not want to write, but we persevered. Some sessions that began with “writers block” were the most successful.
- Stay humble and seek help when you need it. No one person (or three) knows all the answers. When we had a question, we asked individuals that were experts in that field. That helped us save valuable time and energy.
All of the aforementioned lessons learned are transferable and can be used to fulfill any goal. Life is a wonderful journey and if we pay attention along the way, we can gain knowledge from every experience that can be used to prepare us for our next assignment.
Shailendra Thomas, Marilyn Randle, and Jennifer Smith are the authors of Coveted Conversations. This inspirational book was written especially for women who value connectivity and growth. Coveted Conversations starts with down-to-earth stories depicting women in various authentic situations. Readers will see themselves over and over as the authors bear witness to the joys, challenges, and sorrows of life. Coveted Conversations is available online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com.