Have you ever met someone so easy to talk to, it felt as if you’d known them for years? If you don’t know her, I want to introduce to one of those amazing people today. Speaker and author, Debbie Kitterman has graciously shared her knowledge and wisdom on the process of writing a book. She should know; she has both self-published and traditionally published.
Her books are Releasing God’s Heart: Through Hearing His Voice and Milk, Eggs, and Prophecy: A Healthy New Take on the Radically Ordinary Nature of Prophecy. BUT her latest releases today. It’s titled, The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement: Hearing the Words of God for Others.
Buy a copy today!
Or read through to find out how you can win a FREE copy!
7 Insights on Writing a Book with Speaker/Author Debbie Kitterman
Meghan: How did you know this book, was the next book for you to focus on and finish?
Debbie: God had other people tell me because I was busy running and not wanting to write another book…
…I had just finished writing my training manual for the classes I teach and it was a long process. I didn’t want to think about writing something else. However, several people kept asking when the next book was and what it was going to be… I would just shrug my shoulders and say, “I don’t know, maybe never.”
I got away with that for about a year until one of my ministry board members took me out for lunch and said, “Enough already, stop running – God says, ‘Write the Book’.” I knew exactly what I was supposed to write but didn’t want to. I had so many doubts and insecurities about my writing as you will understand when you read the answer to the next question.
Most people write a book and then a Bible study or training manual comes from that. I did it backward. I wrote the Bible study training manual for my classes and figure, that was good enough. I am a teacher and I love to dig into the word and impart it to people, so they can be equipped. I didn’t really see writing the Bible Study/training manual as “Writing” as much as teaching and pulling together all the material in one place. LOL – it’s funny how we justify things in our minds, isn’t it? LOL
Even now, I am pretty sure what my next book could be, but I haven’t yet reached out to pitch it to my publisher. Partly because I am focusing on the book launch, but partly because I am afraid. But the idea came as I was talking with someone about the current book “The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement,” and what might be next. You never know when God is going to drop something in your heart that is the next project He has for you.
Meghan: When writing your book, did you experience any setbacks you’d like to share, that could help us grow?
Debbie: Oh yes, like a million. How long do you have?
…But seriously, as a writer, you will experience many setbacks along the way. We writers need to be able to process them, move forward and not let them keep us held back. For me, the first major setback came when I was in college. I always wanted to write. As a little girl my response to what do you want to be when you grow up?? A Wife, mother, and a writer.
I would write all the time, until a college creative writing course (elective class) and a college professor who basically embarrassed me in front of the entire class and said I wasn’t a writer and shouldn’t be writing. I made a vow to never write again. After healing from that I hurtful time, I still didn’t want to write, but I kept getting people telling me to write, and even God began speaking to me about it, so writing is a huge act of obedience and overcoming self-doubt and feelings of not being good enough or qualified.
The second setback came when I tried to find an agent. I walked away from that meeting feeling rejected, but later realized it wasn’t so much me or my message they were rejecting. They didn’t have a context for what I was sharing with them. I think sometimes I am my biggest setback.
Maybe some of you will understand this too but writing for me is something I love to do and I know God has called me to do. However, that doesn’t stop the lies, doubt, unbelief and discouragement from coming. Sometimes writing is all roses, and other times it’s a battlefield. The key is to surround yourself with reminders of God’s promises to you. I also surround myself with truths from God’s word. I write the truths on my mirror on sticky notes and place them everywhere. I find inspirational quotes or Bible verses and place them in areas I will see them every day.
There are more setbacks I could share, but I believe it’s not so much what they are, but how we deal with them, recognize and then choose to move beyond them that really counts. If you are experiencing a setback right now. Find the truth that God says about you and your current situation. Then cling to those promises, choose to believe God is always faithful and speak those promises out over yourself.
Meghan: When writing this, did you ever feel blank when sitting down to write or did you know beforehand what would be written (for the chapter)?
…There were definitely times when I knew what I needed to write about, those were the easy days. Then there were those days, that I had no clue and I would sit before the blank page or computer screen. Then I would sit before the Lord and ask Him to breathe upon my head, heart and fingers as I would write. Sometimes it happened right away, sometimes, the blank was there for days.
Meghan: Do you have advice to writers who are unsure of the theme/message they should focus on, or for those who know but are having a difficult time finishing well?
Debbie: My advice is to just write…
…Take time to write the things that God places on your heart, don’t so much focus on the idea that it has to be for a book, but more so, just be obedient to the call to write. Don’t quit and don’t give up. Writers – write… So, If you feel the call to write, then write. Even if you don’t think anyone will ever read it, or if you’ve been turned down for a traditional publishing deal, write and consider self-publishing.
Don’t let fear hold you back from writing and when things get difficult or you are having a hard time pushing through, go back to why you started in the first place. Remember that writing isn’t always easy, the important thing is that we keep doing it and we finish well. I always encourage the people that I mentor or who ask me for advice to get a word, promise or specific Scripture from God. This is so when things get hard or they might want to throw in the towel they have something to hold on to. For me, when things got difficult and I wanted to walk away and not finish, I was able to cling to what I felt the Lord say to me about why I was to write the book.
Meghan: I know you’ve self-published before–and this book is traditionally published. Do you have wisdom for writers who are unsure which way to lean? Was there a benefit or drawback to either from your perspective?
Debbie: There are pluses and minuses to both.
First, let me say, there is no shame in self-publishing. If you are called to go that way, then be obedient and do it. For the longest time, I didn’t want to self-publish because I felt it wasn’t legit or that I wasn’t a real author. I even had people say things like that. The fact is, that not everyone can be traditionally published, but everyone has a message. If you feel led to self-publish -then do it.
The benefits of self-publishing are:
- You have total creative control
- You work on your timetable
- You get the benefits from the sales
- You own the material
The drawbacks of self-publishing are:
- You have to figure out all the pieces, such as layout, editing, graphics, etc.
- You have to market & promote yourself
- You don’t have the collaboration of a team of experts (unless you have personal friends, or you hire them).
The benefits of being traditionally published are:
- Working with a team of experts
- A collaborative effort on all fronts
- The editing process was amazing
- People to cheer you on and hold you accountable
The drawbacks of traditional published are:
- Not having much creative control (title, book graphics, etc.)
- You are on their timetable
- You give up your rights to your material
- You get fewer proceeds from the book sales
Meghan: How do you balance ministry and writing (and being wife & mom!)? Any tips?
Debbie: Ooooh, this is a good question…
…At any given time, I have multiple plates spinning in the air. I haven’t always gotten this one right, but here are my tips/thoughts.
The most important thing to remember is God and family come first. Then ministry and writing. God will honor us as we honor Him and our families. Take time to make memories and enjoy life. This means, being purposeful to schedule time to unplug, recharge, and enjoy your family/friends. Truthfully, I haven’t always been good at planning recharge time or days off. However, I have learned, rest and recharging is a necessity for the longevity of ministry and being obedient to the call of God. Plus, when I am running below half or on empty, I am not good to anyone.
Meghan: Use this as space to share what God puts on your heart for us readers. Does anything come to mind? A prayer…whatever it is, we are grateful.
Debbie: We need to love God, love ourselves, and love others. Those are the most important things.
Scripture says the greatest commandment is to love the Lord will all our heart, mind, soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we can’t love ourselves, we can love others the way we need to. Loving God and loving others is all about relationship. Relationship with Him and relationship with others. We need to be real and transparent.
We need to live and write authentically. Be who God created you to be and don’t compare yourself or your journey to anyone else. You are unique and therefore your journey is unique. Finally be willing to help others and ask for help when you need it.
WIN A FREE COPY of Debbie’s new book by:
1 Commenting on this blog post. 2 Sharing this post on a social media outlet and tag us if possible. 3 Like, comment on or share my Facebook live interview with Debbie so others can benefit!
–> Everyone who does all 3 steps will be entered to win. The giveaway window will close Sunday night August 26th at midnight. I will draw a name Tuesday on another Facebook live! <–
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