Hi and thanks for reading this! My name is Molly Jo and I'm a writer. And more.
"I’m a Christian. Writer. Chef. Believer. I live to love life, and write about it. I believe in words. Recipes are food for the soul. Stories are meant to be told. And I like to tell them. I am a writer."
That's my brand. I'm the founder of New Inklings Press, a boutique publisher. I write a blog, create recipes, do product and book reviews, and write.
I write a lot. I'm currently working on a novel set in New Orleans. I also have two compilation books in the works- collections of parables, poetry, and prose. I write short stories, too. Oh, and there's a screenplay idea in there somewhere, too.
Yup. I'm a writer. A good one. But I want to be a better one.
Being a good writer is so much more than putting words in order. Especially as a lesser known, independent writer. My jobs include marketing, publicity, advertising and social networking. It also includes learning in many forms: reading other books, traveling, and networking at conferences and meeting others in the writing world.
All of these "jobs" are enjoyable essentials. But they can also be expensive. So I started this campaign to help with those expenses.
By contributing to MoJo #DoingTheWriteThing, you're helping me attend local conferences, attain a larger marketing audience, acquire more research and information resources, maintain those tiny costs like paper, ink and pen refills, necessary supplies like quality business cards, travel expenses, and the big one: sending me to writer conferences I otherwise would miss out on.
Right now (or should I say Write now!) I've got my sights set on several in the next year. But the Big One is the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. That's not too far away to start planning and making travel arrangements. There are several local conferences before then, too, that would benefit me as a writer, editor and publisher.
Why $5,678.00 as my goal? Because it's a fun number, easily attainable, and I like sequential numbers. It's also almost spot-on the exact amount needed to achieve my goals.
Anything above and beyond my goal will always be used to boost my writing, whether it be marketing supplies, office maintenance, travel expenses, conference fees, or anything else.
I promise to be transparent with everything I receive and how it's used. If you have faith in me and my writing, how could I not?
It's my primary goal to be the best writer I can be. I'll never stop learning, reading, networking, and writing. With your help, I'll be able to do it better, faster.
~Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."
This campaign was started so long ago to help get me to a very important annual writers conference.
I just returned from my second year at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
Thank you for all the prayers, encouragement, support and uplifting friendships.
I'm posting this final update to let you know I will be closing this campaign.
However, I've recently started a smaller campaign in an effort to replace my very old laptop.
I would love your prayers.
Please visit gofundme.com/mollyneedsamac for more information.
Thank you so much.
~With a big gulp of sweet tea,
Everyone loves a success story. The unsuspecting underdog who comes from behind and wins the race.
Am I right?
I hope so.
'Cuz lately, I'm feeling like the underdog. And I could really use my own success story.
I started this crowdfunder over a year and a half ago with two goals. The first, to get to Blue Ridge in 2015. The second, if lucky enough, to get to New Orleans.
If you've been on this journey with me from the beginning (or if you've read the previous posts), you'll know that one out of two ain't bad.
The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is a five day all-inclusive event for the writing community. [And for the sake of my typing fingers, from now we're just gonna call it Blue Ridge or BRMCWC, okay? Thanks.]
Last year I was blessed enough to attend. It changed my writing life. I made connections, the fire was stoked. My life, both personally and professionally, was changed.
So for the last ten months I've been looking forward to going again. I have to go. I have to reconnect with these people I see only once a year. My friends. Mentors. Connectors.
It's not an option in my mind that I won't go.
There are agents who are waiting for my manuscript, publishing companies, other writers. Last year I was immersed in the dynamics of maintaining a professional editing business. Since then, I've had three paid editing projects, and there are more on the calendar!
I followed a curriculum to learn more about effectively using social media. Guess what? Now I'm a Social Media Ninja and Podcast Producer!
I regularly contribute columns to magazines and websites.
I teach others how to grow their Social Media Swarm.
I'm starting to live my dream.
Which is why, now, cards on the table, I feel a little awkward writing this post.
The truth is, I started this GoFundMe page because I needed help getting to Blue Ridge last year.
I thought I could make it this year. And I certainly don't want to be whiny or beggy. And once BRMCWC 2015 was done, I didn't put a lot of effort into this page.
But lately, things have happened. Things like, the car registration being due. And the gas bill. And the house lock getting jammed and needing a locksmith. And life.
Life is the big one, isn't it? All its fun, crazy, roller coaster changes.
The truth is, my regular finances aren't too different from where they were last year when I was posting here. In the last two months I've had to use my editing income for regular bills.
So even though I'm heading in the Write Direction (see what I did there?), it's not enough. Not yet.
I'm so close I can taste it.
I've been selling my Cookbook inventory. Giving Social Media Consultations and Classes. Writing. Editing. Sharing.
And it's not enough.
And today I'm feeling . . . that it's not enough. Today I'm feeling that I don't know what else to do. And today, just a tad, just a little, of the glimmer is falling away from my Hope. Just a touch of it is now getting tarnished. And I don't like that.
Okay. So enough pity partying, right? I agree.
The long and short of it is this: I haven't wanted to face this, but I don't think I can get to Blue Ridge again this year. But I'm still gonna try. I'm not giving up.
There's been a lot of praying and sharing and introspection. I know there are more causes out there that are more dire than mine. More people who need funding more than I do.
But that doesn't mean I shouldn't go for it, or that my chance for Blue Ridge should be taken away.
Today, my friend Crystal suggested I create a GoFundMe page. Well, I already have this one, so it's time to kick it back into action, yah?
I'm sticking with my same total goal, but if I can reach just $4,000 total by the end of April (an additional $1,455 from where it's at now), I can get to Blue Ridge.
I need airfare, the meal ticket, the room, the rental car, the expenses.
I can do this. I just can't do it alone. Not yet.
Will you help send me to Blue Ridge?
With love and a tall glass of sweet tea,
Life, right now, is centered. Well, actually, it feels more like I'm sitting on that spot on the teeter-totter ~ you know the spot. The one right in the middle, where you're trying to keep balance but knowing any little shift could not only affect you but the ones keeping the game going, too.
I'm six months away from another Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. And six months from the last one. Yesterday I cleaned out a plastic "catch-all" bin and found notes, papers, and books from this year's BRMCWC. What a marvelous experience. And what a thrilling motivator.
My goal is to stash away just $250 each month starting in November. That will get me #backtoblueridge.
I've been wonderfully busy since May, writing and editing and taking on more social media clients. I'm still actively involved in my local branch of the California Writers Club. I meet regularly with writers, produce Aaron Gansky's "Firsts in Fiction" podcast, and run social media for over fifteen sites.
The running joke is that I usually have "too much" on my plate. So my peeps have enjoyed buying me new plates to make it easier to manage. Literally.
With the holidays thisclose, I'm stepping up my game. I'll be selling baked goods to my local friends and family, sharing my love for Jamberry Nail Wraps, and giving thanks every time a copy of The Unemployment Cookbook sells on Amazon.
The beautiful part of my busyness is the joy I get when connecting with the world around me. I thrive when I get to introduce people to others ~ my second career choice is matchmaker or party planner.
I've been blessed to stay connected to many of the people I met at the Blue Ridge and Orange County conferences. And this weekend marks a celebration of sorts. It's the fifth annual Howl At The Moon (#HATM) conference ~ put on by the #HDCWC (High Desert California Writers Club). Last year was the first time I attended, and it was my first conference ever. This year, I celebrate being able to return.
Remember back in January how I prayed to go to Orange County Christian Writers Conference, and that same day I got a call that I'd be getting a check for the exact amount I needed (less seven cents)? Well, it happened again. I was praying for discernment on whether or not I should attend #HATM. Things have been pretty tight around here lately. The day after praying for wisdom, I received a check in the mail to cover the conference. How great is our God, am I right?! And if that wasn't sign enough, a dear friend messaged me today to take her ticket as she is out of state and won't return in time. I'm blessed to know not only does God want me at the conference, but He's provided two different means to get me there! Bonus: my mentor/boss Aaron Gansky has been tapped to be the second presenter. This is one of the few times I won't be behind-the-scenes but rather get to just sit and listen to him teach.
The writing life is fickle. It demands time, attention, and energy at the most inopportune moments. There have been days when I've not cleaned house, done dishes, cooked. I lived on leftover pizza for an entire weekend because I was too busy editing and writing to really care about nourishment.
Some days I wonder if I shall die, alone, in my writer's chair and be discovered weeks later with a half-written manuscript and a half-eaten sandwich.
And then I think that's not possible. I haven't finished NOLA yet. Or CENTRAL, which is my second location-based mystery. I haven't started CENTRAL, but it's in my head. And the characters are screaming to get out. They want me to finish NOLA so CENTRAL can come out and play. I have seven working titles and synopses in my head, and each one is beginning to demand more attention.
So I guess it's time I hunker down for the winter, bury myself under cats and comforters, grab that hot tea and get to writing.
Thanks for sticking around the last year or so, and being a part of the journey.
If you'd like to donate, that'd be awesome. But prayers are awesomer.
If you're interested in supporting me in other ways, I welcome reviews of my books on Amazon and Goodreads. My Kindle books are just $0.99/title. You can find them through my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00FV5X7MM.
You can help me earn more travel and writing funds through my Jamberry Nail Wraps website: JamwithMojo.jamberry.com.
And as always, you can find me here, there, and a little bit of everywhere.
And because it's November,
~Happy Thanksgiving from MoJo
That's definitely what I've been doing. I've been doing so much, this is the first chance I've had to coherently THANK YOU ALL for your support.
There aren't enough words to express what you mean to me: your prayers, encouragement, cheerleading, reading, financial support, hugs, coffee, friendship, advice . . . so many of you have stepped up to help me make this journey.
I'm sad that these posts only allow for three photos, because I have so many from the journey I've been on the last few months. That's okay; you can visit my blog, Facebook page or Instagram to get caught up.
First, remember how blessed I was to get to #OCCWC? That's the Orange County Christian Writers Conference where I discovered the topic of NOLA. That's where I met B.j. Taylor, Kathy Ide, Alex Marestaing and a plethora of other like-minded people. That's where I was first approached to really show what I can do via Social Media.
Which is funny. Not in a haha-funny or even ironic-funny way. But in a God-knew-this-was-coming-and-already-had-me-prepared kind of way. Because He did, and He did. I was already mentally formulating an idea for a blog post on social media. But I have so much to share, that idea quickly turned into a small eBook plan. Which grew into a workshop for my local writers' club. Which is now being broadened into a full-on presentation for other conferences!
"How To Do Social Media For People Who Are Antisocial". I'm in negotiations to use some quotes and photos from CBS for the presentation, too.
How awesome is THAT?!
In May, I spent a week in North Carolina, at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (#BRMCWC). I can't explain how it changed me. It was everything I hoped it would be, and more. It both confirmed I'm on the right track, and terrified me by showing me . . . I'm on the write track.
The connections I made at Blue Ridge are ones I'll keep forever. I met people who are authentic, helpful, Godly people. And we all want to help each other succeed. I was "adopted" into families, and "adopted" my own. We played games, prayed together, ate together, learned from each other, taught each other . . . It was an experience I'm so blessed to have had.
And YOU made it possible. Because YOU believed in me enough to support me.
At Blue Ridge, I took classes that were pertinent to my career track. Editing, social media, writing contests, and creating a better fanbase.
The information was overwhelmingly personal and yet wonderfully professional.
YOU made it happen. YOU continue to believe in me and climb the ladder with me. Because of each of you, I know I'm still #DoingTheWriteThing and will continue to do so.
I pray I will always be worthy of the faith, encouragement, comfort and support you give me. I pray I will continue to find ways to earn my keep and keep moving up. I pray I will always be able to thank you all.
I'm stepping up the ladder, now. I'm writing more, blogging better, and finding freelance assignments for both writing and editing. I'm doing whatever it takes to keep doing the write thing, to keep earning my keep.
You have helped me get where I am, and honey, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
Please visit my blog for more photos and updates. There's a lot I don't want you to miss.
With some sweet tea and a smiling heart,