David C. Hughes, Writer

“For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your JOY will be complete." –Deuteronomy 16:15

Archive for the tag “Blogging”

My Blog at One Year (2014-08-14 Daily)

On Thursday, August 15, 2013, I debuted my blog site, David C. Hughes, Writer.  I was ecstatic!  Two months of design, layout, and content development culminated in the launch of what’s turned out to be more than a labor of love—it’s the fruit of faith!

I remember June 11, 2013 well.  With my digital recorder in my pocket and my Mead Five Star notebook in the other, I traveled to Southlake to meet with Bob Hamp, author of Think Differently Live Differently: Keys to a Life of Freedom, and the Freedom Minister for Gateway Church at the time.  I originally had plans to meet Bob at the church to interview him for The Epiphany of Joy, but his admin called and asked if I could meet him at a restaurant for lunch instead.  “Sure!” I replied, wondering immediately how well the voice recorder would pick up our conversation over the background noise.   But I was elated nonetheless.

You see, Gateway Church’s Foundations of Freedom video series, featuring Bob Hamp (http://gatewaypeople.com/ministries/freedom-kairos/media1), had inspired me several months earlier to finally quit messing around in the mud of apathy and fear and swan dive into the clear lagoon of full time writing.  I’d absorbed every word Bob had spoken in the video series, and I just knew I had to interview him for the book because, as I saw it, he not only lived his passion, he shared it.  I wanted to get his take on joy and living joyfully.  What I got instead was something much more valuable: a lesson in social media!

Yep, here I was sitting across from one of my heroes, eating grilled fish and sautéed green beans, and he’d deftly charged forward discussing how to use social media to market my brand.  I listened as intently to Bob in real life as I’d listened to him speak on the Foundations of Freedom videos.  He showed me his Twitter feed and explained the potentially exponential spread of a message as other folks picked up the tweet and re-tweeted it.  I nodded in appreciation as I listened to Bob excitedly explain the logic of using Facebook and the common sense of developing and maintaining a blog page.  Until that moment I’d been using email to broadcast my “Dailies,” and I’d been transmitting them to thirty people each time I clicked “send.”  As we wrapped up lunch, he asked me what I wanted to talk about regarding joy.  I conducted a short interview, scribbled a handful of quotes, and left the restaurant knowing what I had to do next.  I was suddenly overjoyed at (and scared of) the prospect of building a blog.

Two months after that interview I opened the curtain on David C. Hughes, Writer, and I’ve been having a ball ever since.  Don’t get me wrong—as my newborn has grown into a toddler, it hasn’t been easy but it’s been worth it.  Having a blog page—an active blog page—sets before me the challenge of regularly sitting down to write.  Imagine that!  Instead of merely hanging out on the sidelines dreaming of writing, when I committed to posting a meaningful essay at least once a week, it forced me to grab that dream by the collar and drag it into reality.  Writing’s hard work, but with practice and passion it becomes doable.  And with time, it can become viable.

Having a blog site gave me the drive to turn the crank on The Epiphany of Joy.  Blogging the book was an amazing experience, and having a vehicle to “test drive” the initial manuscript in a public forum kicked butt.  It’s hard to write a book, even harder to finish it, but publishing the book serially on the blog page kept me motivated and conscientious.  After all, I knew I just couldn’t post an unpolished first draft out there—someone might say something negative and hurt my feelings!  Just kidding . . . . sort of.

Speaking of which, when I jumped into this undertaking, I thought I had thick skin.  I’d been a member of read-and-critique groups off and on for the past twenty years, and I thought I’d developed a tolerance for criticism.  But launching my work into such a public forum pulled the covers off that myth!  The first time I received a less-than-favorable comment on one of my posts, I allowed the remark to toss me into a two-day funk.  Now that I’ve experienced that, I’m coming to realize that, as a writer, not everyone’s going to agree with my opinion all the time.  And as a Christian writer, it will be even more challenging as I face people who have dissenting opinions backed up with zeal.  But I welcome the challenge and look forward to the dialog—just keep your comments short and to the point, please, so they don’t take up three pages of my blog!

But this endeavor is only worth pursuing if it not only inspires me to keep chasing after my passion, but also if it affects the lives of those who take the time to read it.  My job, my obligation as a writer is to write.  My job, my obligation as a Christian writer is to write to glorify God.  God’s job is to bring the readers to my writing, and if one blog post, essay, or book that I’ve written touches a one person’s life and changes it profoundly for the good, then I’ve done my job, I’ve fulfilled my obligation.

So as we celebrate my blog site’s first birthday, I look forward to seeing what happens as my toddler starts developing an attitude!   Thank you all for keeping me motivated to continue turning the crank, and thank you all for your support, prayers, and interest as we travel on this incredible journey together.  Without you my life’s calling would be meaningless.  With you the world is truly blessed.

David

P.S.  I’ve now taken the plunge and set up a Twitter account: @TheJoyGuy.  What else?!

Reflections on My First 50 Blog Posts

On August 15, 2013, exactly two weeks after I handed in my badge to the nice out-processing people at my former company, I took the next step of faith and posted my first blog post.  “Hi!” I wrote.  “And welcome to my brand-spankin-new blog site.  I hope you’re as excited as I am!” And was I ever excited!  And nervous.  And scared.  And I wondered almost constantly if I’d made the right decision to sever ties with a company with whom I’d carried on a seamless 22-year relationship. But that first blog post generated 196 hits, a couple comments, and the assurance I’d at least managed to figure out, from scratch, how to crank up a blog.  Then the work really began . . . .

On February 19, 2014, almost exactly six months after I posted that first hello to the world, I published my 50th blog post, and I have to say, it’s been a heck of a lot of work!  But you know what? I absolutely LOVE IT!  Over these past six months my worry about making ends meet has dwindled to almost nothing as the Lord continues to bless my family with little kisses on the cheek to say “I’m here, I’ve been here, and I’ll continue to be here.  Quit worrying, stop fretting, and just enjoy this adventure with Me.  This is what I intended for you to do all along, and I am faithful to My promises.”  And man-o-man has He been faithful!  I’ve got a whole book planned to “make known His marvelous deeds.”  And the writing?  Oh, the writing . . . . It’s also been nothing short of miraculous.  And for that, I thank not only God for giving me the talent, the means, and the persistence, but I also thank you, my loyal blog followers, for sticking with me, encouraging me, and helping me to feel more comfortable wearing this avocation.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So what’s been happening over the last six months?  A bunch!  Let me fill you in on some of the excitement:

1) I managed to post 25 “Dailies,” my little devotionals, reflections, and essays on what it means to be a Christian man, father, husband, son, brother, and friend in these exciting and challenging times. All I can say is “Yay, Jesus!”

2) I’ve posted ten of the 23 chapters of The Epiphany of Joy, the book God ordained for me to write back in June of 2011.  Since then I’ve completed all but seven of the chapters, and I’ve provided the work-in-progress to Progressive Rising Phoenix Press for their publishing consideration.  Your encouragement and support of this project has been exciting and heartwarming, and I hope to hear from Progressive Rising Phoenix soon.  Please pray for me!

3) In response to Pastor Marc Owings’ request, I provided four “guest” devotionals to be emailed to the elevateHim Ministries distribution.  My first one, “Overflowing with Hope,” has already generated a response which glorifies God and confirms I’m firmly planted in His will.

4) You know the old cliché, “God works in mysterious ways.”  When I first considered committing to writing fulltime, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d wind up becoming a professional editor as well!  But that’s what happened, and it’s been eye-opening, to say the least.  Since October I’ve had the pleasure of editing three books, one of which has been picked up for publication by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press.  Emma Gingerich’s book, Runaway Amish Girl, is currently in the design phase, and should be released soon.  Progressive Rising Phoenix also asked me to write a review of Emma’s memoir, and this review will be included on the back cover of Runaway Amish Girl!

5) A couple months ago I consulted with Courtney Gonzales, a young woman who’s four-year-old son was born with omphalocele, a condition where the fetus develops with its abdominal organs on the outside of its body.  She related to me the details of her pregnancy, the medical challenges her child faced, the decisions she made, and the prayer covering cast across the United States for the health of her baby.  She told me about the birth and how, against impossible odds, her child was able to go home after only three weeks in the hospital, and how after 5 ½ months Landon had his one and only surgery to tidy up the hole in his belly.  After telling me this emotional story, she asked if I’d be willing to write a book about it.  I agreed.  I plan to start Love Me from the Inside Out as soon as I complete the final manuscript of The Epiphany of Joy.  It is an honor to help this young lady to share her miraculous testimony with the world, and at the same time encourage other women whose babies have been diagnosed with the same condition.

I fully recognize the huge responsibility this gift comes with, and as I’ve mentioned before, this labor of love would be meaningless without your participation, whether it be actively reading these blogs, engaging with me on Facebook and LinkedIn, sending me emails, encouraging me in person, or, soon, coming to one of my book signings!  As Jesus said in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  I will continue to be faithful with the gifts and talents I’ve been given, and I ask for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support as I move forward with my next 50 blog posts.  And the 50 after that.  And the 50 after that . . . .

Oh, by the way, if you’re not following my blog, please go to my blog site and click on the “Follow my blog!” link in the lower right-hand corner of the website’s home page.  Enter your email address, and you’ll automatically receive notification when I make a post, which is usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Please also encourage other folks who might be interested to check out my blog page as well.

Also, I’ve had folks tell me they’d like to make comments on my posts, but can’t find the place on the website to do that.  On the blog format I chose, it’s not that obvious, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the post, in the “tags” section, “Leave a Comment” is the very last hyperlink in the list.  I know, it’s weird.  Alternatively, you can click on the date of the post and a “Leave a Comment” radio button will appear underneath the date.  If you read my posts via email, a prominent “Leave a Comment” button is included at the bottom of the post.  I would LOVE to hear from you!

Thanks again for your continued support, love, and encouragement, and please feel free to get in touch with me any time with comments, suggestions, and ideas you’d like to see me write about.  God bless you!

Copyright © 2014 David C Hughes

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