#youarenotalone: Jordan Elizabeth talks about depression and writing

Hey guys!

I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, and I’m terribly sorry for that. But life…

Anyway, today, Jordan Elizabeth, a fellow Clean Reads author, is guest posting on my blog today. Let’s give her a hearty welcome!

***

I wouldn’t call myself a depressed person.  I wouldn’t call myself a sad person.  I have, though, struggled with depression and sadness in the past.  People always say to “let out your emotions through writing.”  When I’m sad, I’ve done that.  

My dog passed away nine years ago.  I was devastated.  At the time, she was my everything, and most days I found myself going through life with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I needed to express that emotion somehow, and yes, I did talk about it.  People said they understood what I was going through, and I’m sure they did – they too had lost beloved pets.  Their words didn’t help, though.  So, I sat down at my desk and started writing. 

I wrote about my grandmother, actually.  I had lived with her since I was 16 to help take care of her while she battled dementia.  The GOAT CHILDREN came about through my experiences with her.  Yes, much of it is fictionalized, but the emotion was there.  There were a lot of scenes I cut during the editing phase because they were too raw.  Rereading them brought all of that back. 

What does GOAT CHILDREN have to do with my dog?  Well, I gave the main character a little sister: Phebe.  Phebe was based off my dog.  At the end of the story, someone passes away, and I put all of my emotion over losing my dog into that.  I’ve had people tell me how the ending chapters made them cry because of all that emotion. 

Another time I wrote about sadness was when I broke up with my first official boyfriend.  That story is currently unpublished, but I shoved all that emotion into Tabitha breaking up with James, and I felt awesome about it.  I loved taking it all out on poor James.  Nah, he deserved it!

You’re probably wondering now what stories reflect my depression.

None of them.

I can’t write while depressed.  I close in on myself.  I ponder, and eventually I come out of it, but in the meantime, I can’t write anything.  The words are all stuck and emotionless.  Depression makes me numb.  I devote myself to marketing so that I know I’m still doing something, but it isn’t the same.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to write during my depressions, but in the meantime, I’ll write when I’m happy and when I’m sad, and if you cross me…well, you might show up someday as a villain.

***

The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth

Thanks, Jordan. Have any of you experienced anything like this before? I have. Sometimes, it’s just hard to write. But there’s

always hope for brighter days ahead!

If you’re interested in learning more about THE GOAT CHILDREN, Jordan is running a Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale on it! Check it out on Amazon for 99¢.

 

 

 

More about Jordan:

IMG_7391

 

Jordan Elizabeth writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog. Jordan roams Central New York, but she loves to travel.

Visit Jordan’s website and learn more about her!

Advertisements

Questions and doubt aren’t a sign of lackluster faith. #youarenotalone

I haven’t had a chance to post a #youarenotalone post in a while, and when one of my friends was hosting a blog tour for New Name by A.C. Williams, it seemed like the perfect book to feature in the #youarenotalone category. So, let’s all welcome A.C. Williams to the blog today! new-name-blog-tour


I grew up in a solid Christian home, attended a solid Christian church, and had mentors who were all solid Christians. And somewhere along the line, I assumed that being a Christian meant that you were always solid. You didn’t doubt. You didn’t question. You didn’t ask why. You just had faith.

Faith. That ethereal, unreachable, incomprehensible concept with very little practical application. Or if it has practical application, no one knows how to explain it. We just take things on faith. We just believe things on faith. And while those are exceptionally poetic and beautiful statements, they’re immensely idealistic and frankly not very useful when it comes to real life.

It’s easy to tell someone to have faith when they feel abandoned or neglected. It’s a fast, quick answer for the down-trodden: “God has a plan.” It’s the stock reply when it feels like life is spiraling out of control. Have faith. Romans 8:28. Just keep believing.

Newsflash: Faith is hard. And anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

For years, I thought of myself as a lackluster Christian, someone who just wasn’t good enough, because I had deep doubts and trust issues when it came to God. I wanted to believe Him, but I just felt like He’d let me down too many times. And I honestly don’t remember when it happened, but one day the truth hit me like a truck.

God loves me. And if I want to get to know Him better, I have to ask Him questions. Doubt comes naturally to us human beings, and the only way to overcome doubt is to ask questions, to seek answers, to look for truth. And in all of the Bible, not a single person who ever came to the Lord with honest questions was ever turned away.

God welcomes my questions. Questions and doubt aren’t a sign of lackluster faith; they’re a sign of a faith that is growing and alive and real.

So when I started writing the Destiny Trilogy, of which New Name is the final installment, I wanted to tackle this issue of faith in action. I wanted to write character who struggled with believing that God was worth trusting because so many of us are there today. And I wanted to present it in a way that readers could understand that doubting God is okay.

Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you automatically have a superhero kind of faith. It doesn’t make you perfect. It doesn’t make you better than everyone else. Christians are still human beings, and we struggle with faith like everyone else. We still screw up. We still blow our lives up with bad choices, and we still have to face consequences. And we still wonder why we’re following Jesus when nothing in life is going right.

At least, that’s my story. And in New Name, that’s Aura’s story too. She’s done everything right. She’s held on to her faith in spite of danger and pain and horror, and in spite of all of that, things keep going wrong. The question New Name asks isn’t, “Are you a good enough Christian?” The question it asks is, “Can you keep having faith even when nothing goes right?”

That’s faith. And you won’t have that kind of faith unless you struggle, unless you doubt, and unless you ask questions. But the awesome part of God is that He’s big enough to handle it. He doesn’t sit up in the heavens fretting and wringing His hands because we don’t believe Him. He isn’t bothered when we can’t wrap our puny brains around His plan. Nowhere in the Bible (as far as I know) does God denounce having doubt. But He does state that the only way to impress Him is having faith.

Are you a doubting Thomas? Are you a Christian who struggles with taking God at His word? Are you afraid to express reluctance in following Him because you just aren’t sure He can be trusted? Guess what? You’re not alone. Every Christ-follower struggles with those same things, and if they’re honest they would tell you that. But Church culture has beaten that honesty out of many of us and replaced it with an everything’s-always-okay mask.

Don’t give in to that. It’s okay to doubt. Doubting is part of having faith. It’s a step on the journey of getting to know Jesus, so don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be ashamed. And don’t be quiet. Ask questions.

God may be too big for us to understand, but that makes Him big enough to handle our doubts and insecurities too.

About A.C. Williams

acwilliams_headshotAmy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Connect with Amy:

Email: blogtour@amycwilliams.com

Website: amycwilliams.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AmytheStoryteller

Twitter: @acwilliams05

Instagram: instagram.com/acwilliams05

Pinterest: pinterest.com/storytelleramy

About New Name

An unlikely sisterhood.
An unwanted child.
An unthinkable sacrifice.
Aura Morningstar takes the last fragment of the time travel stone and escapes the Knightshade Syndicate by stowing away on a mercenary ship. Despite a rocky start to their relationship, Aura builds a new life with the crew, eccentric mercenary sisters Snow and Rain Stormcloud.new-name-cover

But the consequences of refusing to change history are only beginning.

Aura discovers she is pregnant with Darien Stone’s child. The Stormcloud sisters are pressuring Aura to terminate the pregnancy, but Aura knows all too well the easy choice isn’t always the right one. Can she ever truly accept a child born of rape? Can she face the constant reminder of all she has lost? And if she keeps the child, will Snow and Rain continue to shelter her? Without their protection, Knightshade will find her, take back the time stone, and rewrite history for their purposes.

Aura must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice—Stone’s child or history itself.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon (ebook): https://www.amazon.com/New-Name-Destiny-Trilogy-Three-ebook/dp/B01LBQ3YE0

Amazon (softcover): https://www.amazon.com/New-Name-Destiny-Trilogy-Morningstar/dp/0990555550

Barnes & Noble (softcover): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-name-ac-williams/1125189101?ean=9780990555551

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33146655-new-name

Crosshair Press Direct: http://crosshairpress.com/bookstore/crosshair-direct/

Amy has generously offered to give away a signed copy and e-copy of New Name. The signed copy is open to US only, but the e-copy is open to international residents. Winners will be announced at the end of the Facebook party on March 11th.

Giveaway Link: http://giveawaytools2.com/giveaway.php?sk=25146859047

Join the Facebook party as well!

new-name-facebook-party-banner