Welcome to another installment of my new occasional feature on the Frankfort Writers Center blog called Words to Life, where I’ll highlight the work I do with clients. In addition to describing the client project I’ve helped them with, I also highlight other aspects of their writing and/or their work so you can get to know them a little more. I hope their stories will inspire you as you bring your own Words to Life.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to T.H. Meyer (also known as Tammy Hendricksmeyer). T.H. lived in Asia and Europe before settling among dairy and poultry farms in an oasis of rye fields and Bermuda pastures on acreage in east Texas. Far removed from big-city slickers, she enjoys family, back porch “dates” with her hubby, intimate gatherings of friends, and eating out anywhere someone else does the cooking. You can follow her spiritual and writing journey on her website: The Art of Fear Not: Putting Spunk into the Creative Life.
Recently, I asked T.H. a few questions about her writing process and what led her to self-publish her latest book, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith.
Charity Singleton Craig: How long have you been writing?
T.H. Meyer: I’ve been actively writing and honing my craft for 7 years, since 2009, through numerous blogging platforms, writer collaborations, and now books. But as a teenager, I also wrote poetry and short stories. Now I write non-fiction that focuses on faith-building and encouragement for women. I can tell you that it’s taken me several years to feel comfortable with my “voice” or writing style. It has been a long process before I grew into my own sense of who I am as a writer.
CSC: What led you to write A Life of Creative Purpose?
THM: For several years on my blog I’d been sharing how God was or had been speaking to me about overcoming my own obstacles to embrace scary things in my spiritual journey. I’ve since become passionate about inspiring women to experience God’s empowerment to fulfill His purposes. But it wasn’t until November of 2014, that I felt I wanted to share a longer format for this type of encouragement.
In the book, I share my stories as a springboard to hopefully engage readers to think of how God may also be speaking in or through their own testimonies. My highest hope and passion is for God to be personal and intimately known, for them to hear Him speak. Hopefully, the overarching focus invites readers to explore their individual calling or giftings in God. I believe that our first and foremost purpose is to know God better, to grow with Him, and search out His wisdom. And from that relationship, I want to help women to move forward for God’s kingdom, not to be stuck or frozen by paralysis. Since we’re each created unique every one of God’s purpose for us is a creative one. Ultimately, I pray the book assists women to dig deeper for God’s Presence in their lives, living more fully alive outwardly (and inwardly) for His creative purposes.
CSC: How long did it take you to write?
THM: After chewing on this topic for several years through my blog, I drafted the chapters in January 2015 and began typing or pulling pieces from various places until I had a very rough, crappy manuscript. I spent all of the March, April, & May working on self edits before I handed my final edited version to Charity for formal editing. All in all, it took 8 months from rough draft to a final manuscript.
CSC: How did you decide to hire an editor and self publish? What factors influenced your decision?
THM: I’m very much influenced by having met a person first-hand. And since I’d met Charity a couple of times at a writer’s retreat, I started there. Plus, I and a co-author worked with Charity on edits for a traditional book proposal, and I appreciated how she enhanced what we were already saying without changing our writing “voices.” I chose to hire an editor because I was too close to the words and project to see where I needed to flesh out more thoughts for the reader to get the full scope of what I was saying or where I needed to add clarity. Even though I knew what I wanted or was trying to say, it doesn’t mean that necessarily transfers to the reader. So a human editor draws out those weaknesses.
CSC: What is your goal with self-publishing? How’s it going so far?
THM: My goal with self-publishing is to be able to share a message and have more creative control over content, timing of release, cover designs, editing, and so on. However, I currently have two very different books published, so that makes it harder because it appeals to different readers. My first book was geared more toward helping small businesses and entrepreneurs take advantage of social media with attention to soul-care. That being said, A Life of Creative Purpose is much different. Since I’m just getting started, I have a lot of work ahead of me. So far, I love the access and freedom to listen to God’s heart and share. But it definitely requires lots of long hours and work behind the scenes to stay focused and productive.
CSC: What is your next writing project?
THM: I’m working on two writing projects in 2017. One with a co-author, Amy Breitmann, on spiritual seasons. And another one that’ll be a larger collaboration of writers. Both should be out soon so stay tuned.
To find out more about T.H. Meyer, visit her at her website or on Facebook. A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith is available to order from Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.