As of today, February 22, 2022, (TWOS DAY, Y’ALL) I have been a published author for exactly 5 years.
That’s a big whoop. And, because that’s such a big whoop, today is extra special in terms of surprises! Just read on to find out what I have in store for y’all, as well as the most important lessons I’ve learned over the past year!
If you haven’t yet read about years one through four, check those posts out below:
- My First Year as a Published Author
- My Second Year as a Published Author
- My Third Year as a Published Author
- My Fourth Year as a Published Author
Lesson One: Writing and Publishing Books is my Ministry for God, and I Never Need to Forget That
I cover this topic far more extensively in my new nonfiction book, Writing by Faith: Following God’s Calling to be a Christian Author, but suffice it to say that, after my second and third book releases, and the unexpected death of my now mother-in-law in mid-2019, I was in a rough patch with my faith. While I still believed in God, and claimed to be writing for Him, I was angry at Him for several months and, pridefully, thought I could take my author career into my own hands to make it “successful”.
…yeah, that didn’t work. Obviously.
Over the past year, I was forced to slow down and focus on planning and preparing for my wedding, and during that time, I slowly but surely let God in again, and surrendered to His leadership. I’ve started reading the Bible again and praying regularly, and my former resentment toward God has vanquished. During the past year, I’ve learned that we can get nowhere on our own without God, and that He doesn’t allow us to go through painful situations to hurt us. Instead, God uses tough situations to teach us to draw near to Him, because He is our ultimate Protector and Leader.
While my situations haven’t changed (I mean, we can’t bring my mother-in-law back, and I’m still not a “financially successful” author), I’m learning to be content in where God has me, and am slowly but surely forming the habit of thinking of authorship as my ministry for God’s glory rather than a career for my own. Don’t get me wrong; I still worry about sales from time to time, but for the past year, I’ve found myself caring less about financials and more about the books reaching people who need them. This mindset shift has been extremely freeing, and I’m praying I can hold on to this shift for years to come.
Lesson Two: Sometimes, You Need to Give Yourself Grace
Going back to the wedding preparation season I mentioned earlier, though I was initially aggravated and restless over not being able to devote as much time to writing, editing, publishing, and marketing books as I would have liked, I honestly ended up enjoying slowing down and learning to relax again. For the past five years, 95% of my weekends have been dedicated to working on author duties, since I work a full-time job during the week. Last year, it was nice to give myself grace and not force myself to produce, post, and promote all the time.
Though the wedding was four months ago and I’m now back in the author duties game, the habit I developed of slowing down and not forcing myself to do *all the things* has stayed put, so far. While I still spend time on Saturday mornings, and maybe a few hours after work on some nights, working on book-related things, for the most part, I’m not letting it stress me out and I’m not expecting myself to get it all done as soon as possible. For the first time in a long time, I’m treating myself like a human, not a robot of mass-production, and it feels amazing. Writing and marketing have also been more fun for me because of it.
Lesson Three: Never Doubt God in Whatever Season You’re In
Last year, I was semi-depressed for the first few months of my wedding prep season because I considered it an “unproductive” writing and publishing year, but God enabled me to finish writing two books within a month of each other (Writing by Faith in November, The Dream (The Ballad of Emery Brooks, #3) in December), the first time I’ve ever finished writing two books in a year. And by allowing me to do that, He’s prepared me to be able to release two books this year for the first time ever… something I never would have dreamed I’d be able to do this time last year.
God works in mysterious ways, and He can take even what seems to us as a destitute or unproductive season and use it for good. For the majority of last year, I was down in the dumps thinking my author career would fall even further behind since it would be that much longer before I could publish anything, but then God gave me the idea to publish Writing by Faith as a free ebook, something I hadn’t considered at all before then; I was content with it being a blog series, but then saw how much further reach it could have as an ebook.
While we have such narrow view of what the future holds compared to where we are right now, God sees the full picture, and He will lead us to bigger and better things so long as we trust Him. I’m hoping I will continue to keep last year’s reminder of this at the forefront of my mind when it comes to my author ministry as I continue to write and publish books, not getting caught up in how “financially unsuccessful” my books have been during the first half decade of publishing.
Now that our feature presentation is over, it’s time for *sound the horns* some special announcements!
Announcement 1) My 5th Author Anniversary eBook Sale!
To thank y’all for supporting me during this author journey over the last five years, all of my published ebooks are on sale this week!
My debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl is FREE
Speak Your Mind, my upper middle grade novel, is $0.99
The Crush (The Ballad of Emery Brooks, #1) is on sale FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER at only $1.99!
I’m not sure when all three books will be on sale together again, so be sure to snag your discounted copies while the sale lasts! You can find all the ebooks on all their available retailers at this link: https://books2read.com/ap/xrgMOP/Allyson-Kennedy
Announcement 2) Writing By Faith is Out Now!
If you are an aspiring Christian writer or published author who enjoyed my Writing by Faith blog series that concluded in December 2021, you can now download the compiled and edited series as a free ebook on all my available ebook retailers!
NOTE: Because of Amazon’s publication policy, I had to de-list all 12 of my Writing by Faith posts from my blog in order to publish the free ebook there. So, if you cannot find the posts any longer, that is why. I would rather have kept the posts here on the blog too, but to make the information more readily available for more Christian authors, publishing the book on Amazon is necessary.
Because I want Writing by Faith: Following God’s Calling to be a Christian Author to be readily available to as many Christian writers and authors as possible, this nonfiction book will be a permafree ebook.
As of today, I don’t have a full paperback cover readily available to publish the book in paperback, but I’m hoping to make that option available soon! ❤
If you’d like to help me celebrate Writing by Faith’s release day and grab a copy of Writing by Faith, you can do so here: https://books2read.com/u/3GrgZ8
I’d also like to give a huge shoutout to my ARC team members for all your sweet feedback on the book! I couldn’t have done this without y’all. ❤
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
If you’re a published author, what lessons have you learned over the years?
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.