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These 8 Little Words are Pushing Me Persevere

by KimHarms 2 Comments

Photo by Kim Harms

The flowers are gone, but I’m keeping the card forever.

The writing part of my life was challenging this fall. I diligently researched and interviewed and wrote and worked on a lot of things that have yet to come to fruition. So many hours of brain-power with so little to show for it.

Between September and December, I submitted a lot of work (devotions, articles, queries) to various places.

From those submissions I’ve received:

  • 9 rejections (3 came in one day)
  • 6 pieces still under consideration
  • 2 “resend this to us in a few months” emails
  • 3 Acceptance emails (3 of 20 sure things, Ugh) (not counting newspaper articles)

I was also contacted by Woman’s Day Magazine for an article they were doing on forgiveness and spent several hours answering a list of questions. I  meticulously reread and edited it to make sure my thoughts were clear and accurate. They later decided not to use my input.

In addition to actually writing, I’ve put hours and hours and hours into the technical side of this website knowing that my time put in would not have a monetary value. And I still get super frustrated with it because it just doesn’t like to cooperate with me.

On top of all those things,  I’m working on a big project. A book. My first. I have a completed proposal, three chapters and lots of research done, but felt God leading me to wait during the fall months. Every time I wanted to push ahead on it, He pulled me back. “Wait, Kimberly. Wait.”

Oh my goodness, waiting is so hard. And writing so much and getting paid so little is so frustrating. Sometimes I just want to go be a greeter at Walmart because I think I could handle saying hello and putting stickers on people’s return items, and I think they’d probably pay me for it.

One day in December, when I was feeling particularly disheartened about my career choice, I kind of fell apart on Corey. He thought we were gonna have a relaxing little sit in our hot tub, and was met with my emotional chaos instead. (Sorry Honey.)

The next day I received a big beautiful bouquet of flowers and the card pictured above.

To Kimberly, A woman of strength, courage, capability and worth. Love, Corey

My hubby is a man of few verbal words and even fewer written words, so the value of each drop of black ink on that tiny little card is immense. If he can watch me work my butt off for pennies and still believe in what I’m doing, then I need to shift my perspective, stop focusing on the world’s version of success and trust the path where God is leading.

Though, if at the end of that path I found a bigger paycheck, I wouldn’t complain. 🙂

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The Backpacking Story that was Years in the Making

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Four years after sending a query to Creation Illustrated hoping to write about my first backpacking trip, I received an invitation to write the story.

Four. Years. (I’ve had to wait quite a while for responses to queries in the past, but four years is crazytown. )

It was worth the wait, however, because that query turned into an 8-page spread in the magazine. I love writing for online publications, but there is something extra sweet about pulling a magazine out of the mailbox and finding your byline in print. The fact that it was backgrounded by a giant photo of Palisade Head on the North Shore of Lake Superior and the article was sprinkled throughout with photos of Corey and me made it even more awesome.

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I’m thankful I married a guy who pushes me out of my comfort zone. If it hadn’t been for his insistence, I never would have taken that first backpacking trip or the half-dozen more we’ve taken since.

I wouldn’t have stood on top of Mount Trudee. I wouldn’t have traversed the infamous “Crawler’s Ledge” on the Kalalau Trail in Kauai. I wouldn’t have showered in a waterfall or bathed in a river. I wouldn’t have eaten guava straight off the tree or had the sound of ocean waves lull me to sleep in my tiny little tent on a beach in Hawaii. I wouldn’t have watched my boys skip rocks across a lake high on a mountain in Colorado and I don’t think I would understand the draw of a trip to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (Corey’s next adventure).

I’m also thankful I get to be a writer. I don’t think I will ever tire of arranging words on a page. Even though sometimes it takes four years to get the go ahead to write 🙂

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This is What it’s Like When Home is Your Office

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When your house looks like this and you need to get some writing done, but you are too much of a hermit to pack up and find a different location from which to work, you move a chair in front of a window and pretend that because you can’t see the mess, it doesn’t exist.

This is my writing strategy for the day. 🙂

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Real Ink

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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I love writing for online publications. It still blows me away that I have the opportunity to write for TCW. But there is something special about finding my words in a real print magazine with actual paper pages I can turn with my hands.  The enclosed check is pretty nice too 🙂

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Today’s Christian Woman Regular Contributor

by KimHarms 6 Comments

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I had to screen shot this. That’s me right there next to Joni Eareckson Tada. What?!?

I know that all Today’s Christian Woman writers are just regular people like me who happen to love Jesus and the printed word.

But bear with me as I have a moment or two of awestruckness. Because every now and then a girl has to let her emotions take her where they may. And I think being asked to become a regular contributor at TCW warrants a few moments of walking in the clouds.

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The Rotten Apple that Helped Me Believe I Could Write

In honor of heading to Chicago for my third Write-to-Publish Conference, I am posting the very first non-newspaper item that I ever had published. It was a children’s devotion called The Rotten Apple, and it was the result of a writing exercise at one of the classes I took at my first Write-to-Publish Conference.

Because Terri Kelly (then editor at Devokids) chose to publish it, I started to believe I could do this writing thing. Now several years and many acceptance letters (and many rejection letters) later, I am looking forward to soaking in as much writing knowledge as I can in my whirlwind two-day Chicago trip.

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” —Larry L. King, WD

The Rotten Apple

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My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.

Proverbs 3:21NIV

“Ewww. Gross!” Jeff hollered from the deck. He had just watched his little brother Paul sink his teeth into an apple he found on the ground beneath Grandma’s apple tree. Jeff rushed to Paul’s side just as the five-year-old grimaced and spit the bite of rotten apple into the grass.

With a trickle of apple juice dribbling down his chin, Paul looked from the discarded fruit on the ground up into Jeff’s eyes. “That apple looked yummy, but it was gross.”

Many things look good at first glance. Just like the apple. Paul saw a shiny apple on the ground, but he didn’t look close enough to discover the underside was rotten.

Sometimes we do that too. Bad things can seem attractive simply because we don’t look close enough. Like buying a magazine just because our favorite athlete is on the cover only to find that the advertisements inside are inappropriate. Or watching a television show because the kids at school say it is funny only to find out that the content is not pleasing to God.

It is always wise to take a serious look at opportunities before we make decisions we regret. No one wants to mistakenly sink their teeth into a rotten apple.

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Something’s Gotta Give

If you are a regular around here, I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. Sometimes something’s gotta give and right now for me, that is this blog.

In an effort to focus on my freelancing and 500 Dresses, I’ve decided 26 Letters is going to take a back seat for a while.

Querying and article writing take a considerable amount of time and brain power. I’m super-excited about a couple upcoming magazine articles and some soon-to-be published devotions, but after I spend time working on them it seems I don’t have much left in the tank to put together something interesting for this blog.

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500 Dresses is also growing, and I am confident God wants me (and mom) to keep on accepting each new task he drops in our laps. We’ve got enough formal gowns to fill a box for Haiti, we’ve had a number of lightweight sewing machines donated to ship to Haiti and Uganda, and we’ve got lots of sundresses ready to be boxed up too. Plus I’ve got a brand new ministry opportunity to share soon.

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I will be posting regularly over at 500 Dresses, so if you want to keep up with my words (and lots of photos), head on over there and follow us, or find us on facebook.

In addition to freelancing and 500 Dresses, I have three small(ish) boys and one big boy with whom I want to enjoy summer. Between swimming, camping, popsicle eating, smore making, and grandparent visiting I think we’ll stay pretty busy. And I’m sure I’ll spend less time at the keyboard.

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I will post something new now and then, but I’m guessing you might rather be out enjoying your summer than hanging around here anyway. 🙂

 

 

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Don’t We All Hate Some of Life’s Problems?

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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I am happy to know that I’m not the only person in my family who expresses my frustrations in writing. Sometimes you just have to let the paper know how you feel.

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