Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Getting Started

After I made the monumental (at least to me) decision to resurrect this book, I evaluated what I needed to get started. First need: stories.

I wrote up writer’s guidelines describing what I was doing and letting writers know that I wanted stories.

I was a member of a writer’s e-mail loop and the loop often posted writing opportunities. However they only posted opportunities that paid writers for their work. I feel strongly that a writer should be paid. I wanted to pay my writers. So in the guidelines I promised to pay $20.00 per story plus one copy of the book per contributor. I didn’t know how many stories I would get or where I’d get the money to pay for them, but I felt strongly about paying my writers. Twenty dollars may not sound like much, but I didn’t know how I’d pay that much let alone more. (And that’s more than I sometimes get paid.) So I promised to pay that fee per story and trusted God to provide the funds. It was an act of faith.

I posted my guidelines on my web site along with a Permissions Form for people to sign whose stories were being told stating we had their permission to tell their story.

I made stacks of copies of my guidelines and took them to writer’s conferences I attended and mailed them to several other writers conferences. Somehow a few folks who wrote marketing columns for writer’s magazines heard about my project and published the information in their columns. Word was getting out.

And the stories started coming in.

Meanwhile, friends introduced me to people they knew who worked in pregnancy centers. They had stories. And they were willing to share them. I interviewed several people and recorded and transcribed their stories. They were great stories—just what I was hoping for.

I received many encouraging notes, comments, and e-mails encouraging me to continue with this book. “It is needed,” many of them said. People seemed to love the idea. Too bad editors at publishing houses and literary agents I talked to didn’t seem to be of the same mind.

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