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Book Update

Managing Time to Write

Last week, I shared about my dreams and goals as a writer and how God is bringing those things to fruition.  Over the Thanksgiving break, when I had four days off, I wrote approximately 3,500 words a day toward my book, and several blog posts.  In the time I was off, I wrote over 15,000 words.  That’s incredible, huh?  I was on fire.  I was ready to write the rest of my book by the end of the week ahead.

But then I returned to work, “life” got in the way, and it was hard for me to write more than 300 words a day, which is the minimum amount I allow myself to write a day.  I have to be honest and share that the week after Thanksgiving that was a difficult one for me.  That week, I worked my normal 9-5 job, had a full schedule of appointments at my second job (6-9PM two nights a week), was involved in several ministries and small groups at church, blogged, and cleaned my house (it’s already messy again!).  During this busy time, I had to make some hard decisions, and my book took a backseat.  And it made me feel terrible about myself.  Why can’t I juggle all the stuff that I’m doing and still have time to do what I love?

When life gets in the way, life has to take priority sometimes.

I’ve learned from several writer friends that God uses the busy seasons in our lives to fuel our writing.  This encouragement set me free from my self-criticism and negative self-talk.  All of the things in my life are for God.  My marriage is for God.  My family is for God.  The GEMS Girls Ministry and College Ministry are both for God.  My job is for God.  My second job is for God.  My book is for God. So doing any of those things are not hindrances, but are blessings.

But how am I able to do all of the above?

Jesus gives us a great example, the perfect example, of how to manage our time.  Jesus focused on what was right in front of Him, not what was coming up or what had already passed.  He did not worry about what was still left to do.  He relied on the rhythms of grace, the grace of His Father.  Knowing this about how Jesus managed His time gives me such peace and such reassurance that God is the one who orders my steps.

Writer friends, do you feel that you need more time to get your writing done?

Last week, I was able to see a preview of Christa Hutchins’ workshop “Boss Your Time Around,” which includes a creative and easy way to manage time.  Christa is a wise, tech-savvy woman who helps writers start up blogs, promote their writing through social media, and now manage your writing time better. The resources she provides involve tips to putting your time in order, whether you blog, write, edit, rewrite, go on conferences, or meet with clients.

The workshop is available online and at two different times: Saturday, December 30th or Saturday, January 6th from 10AM-2PM.  Registration is $35, but use the code PLAN10 to take 10% off. For more information, and to register, click here.

I’ll be going!  Will you be there?


Photo by Kevin on Unsplash

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Book Update

Book Update: Coming out of the Darkness

It is crazy to think that my book journey began three years ago.  I’ve learned from several writers that it is normal to take several years to write a first novel.  However, I am my own worst critic!  As much as it is possible for my first book to be amazing, I need to be patient with myself and just let myself learn.

Generally, the pattern for writing a novel is: come up with a storyline/plot/characters, free write with the storyline/plot/characters in mind, edit raw manuscript, rewrite the manuscript accordingly, repeat steps 2-4 as many times as needed, submit book to publisher, get offer from a publisher, do edits with the publisher, and finally get a finished work.  I’m on step 5b.  I’m rewriting the book, but this is actually not my first time doing so.

The first time I wrote it, it was too “dark” as my mom called it.  I had a lot of raw emotion that I wanted to add to the book, but for the average reader, my emotion would have been too heavy.  It was, as professional writers would say, “telling, not showing.”

Then the second time I wrote the book, I realized that while I was getting better at being descriptive, my storyline was not making sense.  My characters also seemed flat.  I had very specific characters that I wanted to use, but they did not fit the way my book was turning out.

I hate giving up control, but as a Christian, I believe that God directs me to write the book in a specific way to reach a specific audience.  I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to write about, and God has shaped it into something different each time I sit down at the keyboard.  Since the retreat I went on in October, I’ve learned how to develop real characters and a storyline that was interesting and made sense.

So since October 6th, I have been free-writing my third rewrite of this book.  That  means that I write with no agenda.  I sit in front of my Chromebook for an hour and spew whatever works come out of me onto my Google Docs word document.  My goal is been to write 80,000 words by the end of the year.  As of Sunday, when I last worked on it, I have written 66,813 words.  I’ll be finished with the rough manuscript in two weeks!

I am finally at the stage where I can name my audience and my plot.  For a while, I was trying to write this book to all people at all times.  However, my book needs to have an audience.  Instead of trying to please everyone, I need to write as if my story was just meant to reach one person.  I now have my person.  My audience is a young person (mature 16 to 24) who struggles with an anxiety disorder, whether it is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, OCD, obsessive thoughts, Anxiety/Depression, Phobias, or just plain worry.  I know someone who deals with each of those things, one of them being the one writing this.  I wrote this book with the question playing in the back of my head: If someone were to write a story that can help me find peace and experience freedom from this trap, what would I write?

Now, I know I can’t answer all the problems of the world.  I know that my voice is a small whisper compared to the shout of those who are suffering.  But I have a story, a story that has helped me find freedom from my anxiety.  And while I still struggle, I believe that God has helped me tremendously with a disorder that has plagued me for so long.  Instead of sharing my testimony, I want to share a story.  I want to share it through the eyes of a fictional character, hoping that doing so will help my readers imagine themselves as the main character, believing that they can experience the same freedom and hope that I have.

The book is about a girl who grows up in a society where everyone is Christian.  But she feels like an outcast, because she struggles with anxiety.  No one is able to help her, so she withdraws herself and does not share how she feels with others.  But when she works at an internship with the castle, she learns from the King what she is missing, and she uses what she learns to do some pretty great things.

Being a writer is taking a long journey.  I’m not a book factory.  I’m a book creator,  and creativity takes time.  I’m thankful that after three years of stumbling through writing a book, there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.


Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

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Book Update

Book Update: My Journey at reNEW

Nine thousand, one hundred, and seventeen.

That’s how many pages I had written toward my third rewrite of my book.  By hand.  All my book needed was time, character development, and a meaty storyline.  I’m pretty sure God gave me all of that when I went on this retreat a few weeks ago.

I’d signed up for reNEW (retreat for New England Writing) over the summer.  One of my friends from church invited me after she saw that I wanted to pursue a career as a writer.  The three of us from church who traveled together on Columbus Day Weekend did not know what to expect.

I’d already told you about what I learned spiritually and emotionally.  You’ll be amazed to know what I learned vocationally.

The retreat took place at Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford, Connecticut.  Having been built in the early 1950s, this retreat center has served as a source of hope, recovery, and a renewed love for Jesus Christ.

Believe it or not, this is what my book was missing!

As you know, my book is about a young woman who struggles with anxiety and learns to deal with the wounds from her past.  My book started as a testimony of how God healed me of anxiety.  Because I wanted to minister to a non-Christian audience (so that they can also find freedom from anxiety), I made God a symbolic, ambiguous character in the story.  When people read the story (even Christians!), they had no idea that the King was supposed to serve as the God character.

Before going on this retreat, I had been wrestling with how much of God I should put in my book.  On this retreat, I learned that God should be where he always was in my life, my marriage, and my writing: right at the center.  After walking through the Stations of the Cross, I could imagine my character walking along the trail, seeing her anxiety through the eyes of her Savior who literally moved Heaven and Earth to save her.  That experience brought healing not only to my soul, but to the soul of my main character, Tori.

If you never read anything from me again, may this message stick with you: Jesus Christ died for all of our sins, defeating death and all that it entails, and rose again three days later, carrying with him the hope of eternal life.  We think that eternal life begins when we die.  Well, we die when we surrender our lives to Christ, and He gives us new life right now.  And that’s how I was finally able to understand how to overcome anxiety, when I realized how dead I was before Jesus came and breathed new life into me.  Now my anxiety has no power over me.  And that’s the message behind my book Kingdom of Truth (title pending).

I’m thankful for the people who made reNEW possible.  I’m so blessed to have met some wonderful ladies who are now encouraging me in my writing and are giving me some interesting material to read as well!  I felt like I was a spark plug in need of an outlet, and this retreat truly helped me get connected and revived.

Now that I’m back to “the real world,” please pray that I would take the time to really invest in this book.  I have very little free time in my schedule, and when I actually have time, I’m tired and just want to curl into a ball and drink some tea.  But the desire to write has been burning within, even more now that I’ve attended this retreat.  My goal is to finish the book by the end of this year.  I’m celebrating each time I write even a hundred words (a paragraph) a day.

Thank you all for your support and prayers!


Photo courtesy of Green Chameleon on Unsplash.

 

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Book Update

(Quick) Book Update: While I’m Waiting

Thank you for all the support I’ve received from my friends on social media, at work, and in my Bible study.  Although I’m the one who wrote the book, my book would not go anywhere if it wasn’t for your encouragement and guidance. Ultimately, to God be the glory!

To update my followers on my blog, I just submitted my book to a literary agent.  This is the first step on having my novel published.  I should be hearing back from them within eight weeks.  Until then…I’m going to make the best of my time.

What are your thoughts on these activities that I can do in eight weeks?

  • Couch to 5K: I’ve heard about this app from a few people, but my friend just told me today that I can train my body to run a 5K in just eight weeks.  Challenge accepted?
  • Read: I read for entertainment, but I’d like to develop the art of writing book reviews.  What books do you recommend?
  • Blog: This is a definite.  I’m going to continue Marriage Monday, Wisdom Wednesday, and Throwback Thursday.  What other topics would you like me to discuss?
  • Go outside: I’m inside eight hours a day, five days a week.  I need to spend more time outside.  My husband and I just bought a pass for the beach that works on state parks as well.  Do you have any favorite outdoor activities?

Above all, I’m going to pray and entrust my time to God.  No matter what I do, my goal is to give Him glory for using my dream of writing a book as part of His plan for the world.  I look forward to how He will grow and shape this book, as well as my passion for writing, into a piece of art that will further His kingdom.

I’ll be writing several updates about my book as well, such as questions I’ve heard regarding it, my motivation for writing it, and the journey of my story.  If you have any questions, advice, or comments about my journey, feel free to comment below or message me on any of my social media sites.  (As you can see, I’d really like to be blogging more, so if there’s anything you’d like me to write about, let me know!).

Thank you again for all of your support and prayers!  Stay tuned for Marriage Monday’s post on why those you love hurt you the most.

 

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Book Update

Quick Book Update: When Writing is Like Breathing

Hey, all!  I’ve got some honest news for you.  In the process of rewriting my entire book, I have no emotional energy or mental stamina to write a full update for you.  Let me just send you a big thumbs up and tell you that everything is going great!

I had to take a break from writing my book for a little bit because my husband and I went away for four days.  The drive back and forth from our destination gave me a lot of time to think and process.  From that, I was inspired to write an article that I posted on Monday night. Since then, I’ve been reading a book for my Bible study, working, straightening up the house, and mustering the strength to write a chapter of my book.  I don’t exactly have a hard deadline, but lately, I’ve been writing a chapter a day.

No one (except for myself) is pressuring me to finish this book.

For those of you who do not share my passion for writing, here is an inside look at what it’s like to value writing just as much as you value breathing.  It was very late (about ten o’clock), and my husband and I were settling down to bed.  I knew I had to get up early for work, but for some reason, I could not fall asleep.  I tried sorting out my feelings by venting to my husband, but all the poor guy wanted to do was snooze.  After a few minutes, I gave up and decided to try closing my eyes.

When I finally relaxed, a thought came to my mind. No, not just a thought…a chapter.  In the five seconds it took me to gain consciousness again, I had conjured up a full chapter outline in my mind.  All I had to do was write it down, since I knew that such a genius idea would fly out of my head quite quickly.

There was only one problem: my journal was in my purse…in the other room, and not by my bedside.

Did I really have to get out of bed to write down my fantastic ideas?

Then I remembered: we’d brought the mail into our apartment, and we received a letter that had come in an envelope.  That envelope had enough blank space for me to write the sketch of Chapter 4!

I groped around in the dark, trying to find the envelope that I had tossed on the floor.  My husband leaned over and asked what I was doing, since I was moving the bed in the process. “It’s OK, honey,” I whispered, “just trust me.”  He is not one who values writing as much as breathing, but he did respect my need to get my thoughts on paper.  Finally, I found the envelope on which I could release the thoughts that had been caged inside my mind.

And now, the outline of Chapter 4* is safely written on two sides of said envelope.  Now expanding on my ideas, especially on a Thursday night, has been like pulling teeth.  But it’s fun, trust me!

 


*Chapter 4, as well as the preceding chapters, will be available to read once Chapters 5-31 are rewritten.  Stay tuned!

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Book Update

Why I Write (Book Update)

The book To the King has taken an interesting turn.  I thought I was ready to have it published.  I thought I was going to have an answer from a literary agent by now.  But I was wrong on both of those points.  Although I’ve been working on my book since I started this blog (yes, three years ago!) I’m still not ready to publish it.

And guess what?  It’s OK with me.

You see, there’s a part about writing that I forgot to calculate.  There’s an element of my story that’s missing.  There’s a piece of the puzzle that I didn’t think was necessary, but without it, the picture would not make sense!

That oversight, that missing element, that piece of the puzzle…is you.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve excitedly entered into the world of social media.  I’ve invested my time heavily into Facebook, Twitter (@writing_free1) and now Instagram (@writing_free1). Through these avenues, I’ve met so many interesting people, and I’ve seen how people like you think.  I’ve seen the conversations that have been trending, the shows that people are watching, the blunders that “famous people” (let’s just call them that) have been making…and overall, it has shifted the way my book was headed.

For those of you who don’t know, during my last week of college (a few short days away from graduation), my friend gave me a parting gift: a journal.  Actually, it was a group of my friends who signed it and blessed me with encouragement toward my writing.  I made a decision to write my heart out in that journal, and when I would write on the last page…whatever I had written would be published.

Well, that plan started off as a great idea…but then I realized: if I wanted to write a book for me, this would work.  But ultimately, my dream of writing a book is not simply about me.  Especially this week, God put it on my heart that my true mission is to be a voice of hope, encouragement, and light in the midst of negativity, hopelessness, and darkness.

This week, I’ve seen celebrities and public figures misrepresented in the media.

This week, I’ve seen people my age post about how they’re “done” and how their lives are falling apart.

This week, I’ve seen people I follow on Twitter and Instagram deal with the same issues that I’ve dealt with in life…the very same issues that are highlighted in my book.

This week, I’ve been reminded of God’s redemptive work in my life: the work that took what was dead, broken, and hopeless and made it alive, free, and whole.  I may not be able to fix the world, but through my writing, I can point people to the one who IS able to heal all broken hearts and unite us together in love.

In order to do that in my novel, my book needs a little bit of redemption as well.  The book is not all garbage; as I said, it was just written to me.  So now, I’m taking the time to write it thoroughly and with you in mind.

You, my audience, are what inspires me to keep writing.  Stay tuned for my book to be finished. It may take longer, but if I do it this way, it will help more people.  And THAT is why I write.

 

I love hearing feedback on my writing.  If you have anything you would like me to write about, or would like to throw some encouragement my way, please comment on my posts (whether it be on social media or on WordPress). 

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Book Update

Book Update: I’m Ready for Rejection (NOT!)

So, folks, this is the part of my writing experience that has kept me from becoming a Creative Writing major in college.  This is the part that will determine if this book was a waste of time.  This is the part where, statistically speaking, I will very likely get several rejection letters.

And I’m scared.

I could avoid rejection.  I could go the easy (well, easier) route of self-publishing, but I truly feel that going through a publisher will allow me to have a wider audience.  I appreciate all of my friends who have already promised they will buy a copy of my book, but I know that God has led me to share this book with even more people than just those in my sphere of influence.  In order to do that, I have to jump over a few hurdles before my book will reach the public.

In writing this book, I never wanted to go the easy way; I wanted to go the right way.

My book is realistic fiction.  Having done much research, I’ve discovered that publishers will rarely look at a fiction book unless it has been reviewed and recommended by a literary agent.  When talking to my friends about it, I’ve compared literary agents to real estate agents.  Can you buy a house without a broker?  Absolutely.  But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can end up making mistakes that might have been avoidable had you gone with a broker.  Since, quite honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing, I want the help of a literary agent, so that I do not get discouraged in the process.

My goal for this week is to apply to three different literary agents, and then pray.  Several sources have said that rejection is bound to happen, so I’m mentally preparing myself for rejection.  I have faith that this book will eventually get published, but I know that failure and obstacles are part of the process (insert motivational quotation here…).

I realize that it might take some time for my book to be published (most likely several months), so God is going to be growing my patience through the waiting!  While I wait, I hope to expand my platform (as in, the people waiting for my book and anticipating a copy).

Speaking of platform, as I’ve said in my other book updates, if you have been enjoying my blog posts every week, or if the topic of my book resonates with you, please feel free to share it with your friends/family on social media.  Publishers want to see that I have a lot of people who want to read my book/blog.  I know a lot of you have shown support by word of mouth, and I thank you for that, but it would be really helpful if you also commented/viewed/shared my blog.

For those who need a refresher, this is the summary of my book: “What does it look like to be set free?  Torri was locked within the cage of her own insecurities, masking her emotions with false positivity.  It is only until she discovers who she really is that she is able to find out what it means to live in freedom.  And it all started with reaching out to the King.  If you find yourself craving more than your life has to offer, join Torri in believing that hope is out there.”

In short, it’s a book about being freed from anxiety and defense mechanisms. You’re gonna love it.

Before I end this post, I want to thank all of those who added me on Twitter this past week!  I have so appreciated the tips, resources, and programs that have been recommended to me on social media.  Pray for me as I need discernment with submitting to reputable literary agents, working out contracts with them, and submitting to publishers.  Thanks again for all your support!

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Book Update

Book Update: Tweet and You Shall Receive

A hearty thanks to those who have already been asking about my book!  Your encouragement has given me the strength to move along, and your questions have challenged me to pursue different ideas that I had not considered.

My mom has been my editor since I was writing essays in third grade.  When I was young, she knew that I had the passion to one day write books, and she grew and nurtured that passion in me from an early age.  When kids my age were getting trophies for writing the first sentence that came to mind, my mom was chasing me and my homework around the house with a red pen, ready to edit my creative writing assignments.  I remember having to answer writing prompts at least once a week in third grade.  After every writing assignment, my mom would give me at least one new piece of advice.  From her, I learned about word usage, avoiding run-on sentences, and so much more!  It has been a pleasure hearing her feedback about my book.  I wanted her to run through the book and make sure the story line made sense before I sent it to a literary agent to get it checked.

They say that success is all about who you know.  God blessed me with a great mother who encouraged me to be successful in writing.  I made a lot of wonderful friends in college who urged me not to give up on my dreams.  Now that I’ve written this blog, I’ve had so many opportunities to meet people who love writing just as much as I do, or who have resources that can benefit me as a writer.  Social media (particularly Twitter and Facebook) have opened doors to new possibilities for me to promote my writing.

Because of social media, I’ve been made aware of several conferences for writers.

Because of social media, I’ve been able to have conversations with others about emotions and anxiety, which is a major theme in my book.

Because of social media, I’ve been asking for help and getting answers.

Because of social media, I’ve discovered new writers who are trying to get their books published as well (and I will be creepy and encourage them, since it’s OK to do that on social media!).

Because of social media, I’ve promoted a story that I wrote, and it might be in a newsletter soon!

Basically, I didn’t realize the resources that I had in Twitter and Facebook.  While Facebook connects me to people I know, Twitter connects me to companies, authors, publishers, articles, books, and news agencies.  On Facebook, I can spread hope among my peers, and on Twitter I can gain the resources I need to spread that hope even further.

So…this week, I will be utilizing more social media.  I think I’ve gotten the hang of Facebook, but there’s much to explore on Twitter.

This week’s goal is to find a literary agent (one who can professionally edit my book and will connect me to a nice publisher).  Say some prayers that God leads me in the right direction with that.  I’d always thought I would be self-publishing my book, but I think that it would be better to have my book published with a well-known company.  So the whole idea of a literary agent and a publisher and submitting a manuscript is totally new for me.

If you have any feedback to help with promoting my book, finding a publisher/literary agent, or using social media, drop a comment below!  Thanks again for all who are reading.  Keep a lookout next week for another update!

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Book Update

Are You Looking for Something More? Check Out My Book.

What does it look like to be set free?  Torri was locked within the cage of her own insecurities, masking her emotions with false positivity.  It is only until she discovers who she really is that she is able to find out what it means to live in freedom.  And it all started with reaching out to the King.  If you find yourself craving more than your life has to offer, join Torri in believing that hope is out there.

This paragraph is the summary of the realistic fiction book, To the King, into which I have poured my heart for the past three years.  It has been my dream to be a writer since I was about six years old (you can read more about my writing passion in my first post on this site).  This dream developed out of my own love for reading; I wanted to write a book that others can enjoy reading.  I felt led to write a book after college, but then life (AKA my fears of rejection and my lack of confidence in my writing) got in the way, and I put it off.  I kept coming back to it, but between getting a full-time job, finding the love of my life, and moving into two new apartments, it was difficult to invest in this book.  I felt stuck.

It was only after I received the encouragement from my friends, family, and husband that I was able to finally find the time (AKA the confidence and faith) to finish my book.  I made it my New Year’s Resolution to work on my book and get it published.  The small group my husband and I attend challenged me to write/edit/research at least one hour a day until my book is finished.  And now, I can say with quite confidence that it is finished.

So…I wrote a book. Now what?

Here’s the cool part: If you are reading this, you have the opportunity to be apart of this. Every Thursday, I will be promoting my book and the story behind it on this blog.  If you believe that this book is worth reading, I encourage you to share my posts with others via Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. If you are a published author and have advice or encouragement you would like to share, please comment (if you know me personally, you can contact me via e-mail or Facebook).  Finally, if you like to pray, please pray that God would give me strength, wisdom, and courage as I research publishing companies and submit my manuscript to various publishers.  Anyone who would like to pray and encourage me can also comment on this post or any other post in the future.

I’ve realized pretty early on in my life that it is difficult to do anything alone.  I would not be where I am today without the relentless encouragement of my mother, the level-headed wisdom of my father, the refining love of my husband, the smiles and support from my loved ones, and the guiding care of my Heavenly Father.  I welcome you to be a part of my dream of writing a book that others will enjoy reading.

For those who read my blog every Monday night: I will still continue to write a story every week.  Tune in this Monday to read about busyness and motivation.

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Book Update

How to Write a Good Blog Post

I’ve been trying to keep up with my blog, but in reality I have no time or motivation for writing. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE writing. However, I have begun to lose that zeal that I felt when I graduated college. When I graduated, I was full of good ideas. I had no problem dishing out a 500-word blog post per day. I wrote to my heart’s content, having plenty of time and energy to write both this blog post and my 5-page journal entries every night. It was great.

But then responsibilities kicked in…

I am thankful for my part-time job. I am thankful for my TEFL certification class. I am thankful for my observation and conversation classes. But I have had no time to write.

Still, my passion has not left me. I still want to write. I still want to encourage others with my voice. So what do I do?

Here is what I have discovered about being a writer/teacher/student/woman/daughter/worshiper:

  1. I’m writing for me. Sure, I want to encourage other people, but when I write, I’m using my voice, not the voice of what others tell me. People may get offended at my voice. People might think my voice doesn’t matter. And obviously, I might have to change my tone, depending on my audience. However, writing truly comes from the heart. If I don’t have the opportunity to express what is on my heart, my writing is just not going to be good. So…I’m finding my voice. And that’s OK.
  2. It’s going to take time. One time, my mom asked me how long it takes to write a blog post. It actually only took me four hours to write, edit, and submit a blog post. But now that other meaningful activities take up my brain’s attention, the time it takes to come up with a blog post has increased drastically. By the time I have a good idea, I don’t even have the energy to write it down. It’s going to take time. And that’s OK.

  3. I have high expectations of myself. I work a lot. I teach about an hour away from where I live. I study and prepare for my weekly homework and for my teaching practicum. And I still expect myself to whip out a blog post for the whole world to see. The way my life is set up right now, that’s not going to happen. I’m going to have to take breaks. I’m going to have to learn my boundaries. I’m going to have to make my posts a bit shorter 😛 And, you know what? That’s OK too.

I’m human, and I’m figuring it out. I put so many responsibilites on myself that I don’t know what others expect of me. But for now, I’m finding my voice. I’m writing to communicate a message. I’m learning to be patient. I’m learning to be OK with my pace of writing. I’m ready to be used by God through my writing.

As usual, although I’m venting and coordinating my thoughts, I hope that this post encourages you. To all those people who want to write but don’t have the time, energy, or motivation: you can do it. It’s possible. Don’t give up; start small and keep going. To all those people who are writing but feel like they’re writing is going nowhere: don’t stop. Even if only one person reads your insightful blog posts, that’s one person who has been influenced by your work. That is definitely worth it.