1. Dear Sandy,
    As I read this post, all I could think of is the couple that so wants a baby. They try and try and it’s all they can think of… when they get to the point of filing adoption papers, they’re pregnant.
    Meeting you just once and faithfully reading your blog posts, I have to believe a book written by Sandy Cooper is part of “The Plan.”
    And with that, let the Dose provide you a personal dose…keep your motive on sharing your life so others may gain from it, and at some point, that publisher will show up.
    I’m praying for that.

    In the meantime, let go and let God do His miraculous work in you… like give you material to write about because I’m not sure your audience can live another 6 month break without you!
    Sending you a big hug – Dose of Donna.

    1. Donna,

      I almost used that same analogy about the pregnancy–it’s so cliche, but yeah, sometimes it happens that way.

      Most published authors will tell you, though–they glued their butt to the chair, did the hard work, went to the writer’s conferences, got lots of rejections…and years (!) later, they got a contract. And then they did it all again. And again. Most of them, while still trying to carry a full-time job. So, I know it’s not going to land on my lap—but wow, wouldn’t it be so cool if it did???

      Thank you for showing up for every post and always encouraging me and cheering me on. And thank you for your prayers. Truly.

      And I’m so glad you would miss me if I took another break. When I consider taking a break, that doesn’t feel like the right thing to do. So, unless otherwise directed, I don’t see that coming.

      Hugs back!

  2. “I’m going to stop taking myself and my blog so stinkin’ seriously, and free up my brain for to make room for joy and peace.” This is what I did a year or so ago–stopped taking it all so seriously. I didn’t gain followers from it, but I didn’t lose any either. And I gained a whole lot of inner peace and joy, just like you said.

    Keep writing, Sandy. You’re so good at it! There’s a book I love called “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg–it’s been an inspiration to me in the past couple of years. Maybe it will help you too.

    And this? This pouring out of your desperate heart? This is what I love to read because this is exactly where I sit. Love you!!

    1. Shelly,

      First of all, thank you for cut and pasting that quote from my post. I found a typo in it and I corrected it!! haha.

      I’ll check out that book–thanks for the suggestion, since I will obviously be reading by the pool this summer.

      And I, too, love reading the “desperate heart” posts–but for some reason, I feel almost naked when I publish one of my own. It’s terribly uncomfortable for me. Even to sit here and read everyone’s comments, trying to encourage me. I just want to go, “I’M FINE. REALLY.” But now you all know, I’m not. 🙂

      (Well, YOU already knew that…because you were the proud recipient of my desperate e-mail a few weeks back. But most everyone else didn’t know.)

  3. This post really resonates with me. We have different circumstances, but I’ve taken a step back away from my blog, in order to make room for peace and joy. I don’t want writing to be a chore. There’s a fine line between being disciplined to keep writing regularly versus the obligation to produce something right now.

    I, too, write from my heart (and definitely know what you mean when you say you feel almost naked posting your own “desperate heart” blog posts). But, God has been growing me by giving me the strength and courage to allow myself to open up and be vulnerable… things I’ve stubbornly resisted for much of my life. It’s in those “desperate heart” posts that others are able to really connect, and that encourages me to continue pouring my heart out.

    I hope to be able to write a book (or many) in the future, too… if it’s part of God’s plan.

    Thank you for sharing, and for outing into words what / how I often feel when I’m in a blogging funk, as well.

  4. This post really speaks to me, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I started writing my current blog because I was worn out and sick of my old one, and wanted a fresh start. But here I am, four months later, and this one is every bit as stressful as the previous! I love what I do, but I’m beginning to see that I cannot do it all, and remain sane, and happy, and a good wife and mother, not to mention friend or community member. Something has to give, and I’m not willing that it should be my personal, REAL, life. Thank you for the encouragement ♥ And you’re not alone, by the way – I hate Twitter, too 😉

    1. Twitter-Haters UNITE!!!

      It’s hard to know what to lay down, exactly. Especially if you put a high premium on creativity and using the gifts God gives you.

      And so glad I’m not the only one burning out after only a few months. It’s a lot of work, this blogging thing, isn’t it?

  5. Thanks for sharing, Sandy. I love your heart-to-heart blog posts, even though I know they are uncomfortable to write.

    And I would be first in line to buy your book 🙂

    I’ve been thinking A LOT on being content where I am today when the future stretches out so…endlessly. And I’m not sure where I should be and how I love a good plan and how it drives me crazy when I don’t know what the plan is. Glad I’m not alone in this boat;)

    Have a great day and get ready to relax/refresh over the summer! As much as one can relax/refresh with 3 kids – we can at least take a moment here and there, right??

    1. Mindy–I don’t think I ever told you this, but when I write, do you know it’s YOU that I picture? I don’t know why that is. Because I have a “target audience” in mind, and for some reason you encapsulate that for me.

      You are such a blessing to me and to my writing.

      And thank you in advance for buying my book that does not yet exist.

  6. Do what you need to do to keep you and your family happy and healthy! HOWEVER… I LOVE reading about your struggles-not in an evil, ha ha way, but in a healthy, yeah I’m not the only one who is struggling with a dirty toilet seat kind of way 🙂 I know you are a wonderful writer and are touching more people than you know!!! I Love you and will be there if you take a break or not! HUGS, HUGS, HUGS…

    1. Jennifer–I need to stop worrying about the behind-the-scenes blogging stuff so I can read my personal trainer manuals. *groan*

      And dirty toilet seats? check.

      I love you, too!!!!!!!

  7. I just checked to see if I had your phone number (I don’t). So, I’ll try to keep this short (it would have been a much longer phone conversation I’m sure). Last year I went to Speak Up and pitched the book (do you want to come to Speak Up with me this year? ) with my zero platform. I don’t have big numbers. I don’t even fully know if I understand what platform is. And for a good looooonnnnggg while, I felt like God said (and I still don’t think I do it a whole lot) “DO NOT PROMOTE YOURSELF.” I even signed up for a social media class at Speak Up and then didn’t go because I knew that would be disobedience. God didn’t want me to promote myself because He knew I didn’t have the energy and I wouldn’t know how to stop. So, He told me to just let Him do the work. And so, I did. All this to say, I don’t believe that you have to follow all the rules. Oftentimes the rules in the Christian market look much like the rules in the worldly market and I don’t think they are supposed to be looking the same so much. so, I just do what God tells me to do.

    I love you bunches. YOu have been so influential to me. I loved doing the 31 Days series with you. You are amazing.

    1. I know at one time we exchanged numbers…hmmm….That’s okay. Not sure I can articulate anything more after laying it all there like that.

      Thank you for sharing that with me, about how God led you. I have avoided every writer’s conference since 2009, because I was afraid all the publishers would spank me and say, “Didn’t we tell you, BUILD YOUR PLATFORM???!!! What part of that do you not understand, dummy? Now scoot. Get out of here and gather your tribe…”

      I will pray about going with you. For realz, I will. I have looked at that conference before….

  8. Dear Sandy,

    You know I showed up to your party late when you started your last blog break so I went back and read a lot of your previous post. The post that moved me the most were the ones where struggle was all around and in your words “I’m going to unpack some of these dark, stormy times and tell you the profound ways the Lord spoke to me in the midst of them.” It is within those dark and stormy post that we find our soul resonating. People connect with them because we all find ourselves in the midst of the dark and the struggle frequently. We need hope and sometimes that hope is in knowing someone we admire(you) struggles through dark as well. Sometimes that hope is knowing of your dark struggles and your triumph through them or the ones where you struggle through just to get through without feeling triumphant but by not giving up. Thanks for doing that for us all.

    I think the only platform you should build is the one that supports your priorities. Put boards down that connect with what you need to do now.

    I think you should write your book for you not for some built up audience. Write it when you want and how you want. You write so well I know it will be good. I am sure at times your pool overflows with words and at times the concrete is laid bare. We like hearing what you think and more about what you feel. Pour those words onto the canvas when you have them. Sometimes that canvas will be dark; sometimes multi colored, sometimes bright, sometimes moving from dark to light and anywhere in between. You paint well with words Sandy.

    I like reading what moves you, what scares you, what makes you laugh, what makes you cry, what inspires you, what pisses you off, what makes your heart soar, and what tears it apart.
    Write when you want and what you want. I’ll check everyday so I don’t miss a word but will understand if those days grow long.

  9. This is my first time visiting your blog and I loved what I read, your voice and your realness is what I believe is your true audience magnet…it is what keeps people coming to read you. I quit taking my blog so seriously and now only write when I truly can’t keep it to myself (not gossip)-if God tugs on my heart, I write it. I am wishing you 4 more wonderful summers with your daughter, many pool side visits and book reading. I would join ya if we lived close! Blessings to you!

  10. It’s not a competition. You will not kick yourself in 4 years because you didn’t spend enough time on twitter.
    Keep your priorities in check, and trust that the rest will follow. You have put your prayers and wishes out there —- trust in the process. Every choice you make you make with your eyes and your heart wide open.
    You will never regret spending time with your children.
    and I don’t follow the advice of blogging gurus, and neither should you. I don’t like facebook and find pinterest only barely tolerable.
    there is NO right or wrong way to go through this life or right or wrong way to fulfill your dreams.

    I adore you.

    1. Stephanie,

      First, I adore you back. So much more than you know.

      Second, remember when I left the comment on your last post saying “I should just e-mail you?” Yeah, THIS.

      Third, I love that you have achieved so much blogging “success” (??) without following the “rules.” I know that about you, and it inspires me to clear my own path and follow the way God leads.

      Fourth, I adore you back. Again.

  11. I totally get this. I don’t do Pinterest or Google+, and I sometimes feel pressured to do so, in a nasty way, like I won’t succeed as a writer if I don’t do them. But I finally reached peace with that (small) part of the equation. I have a book idea myself, and I have absolutely no idea where it’s going to go. I like blogging and Facebooking and Twittering (?), but I don’t want to feel pressured to fit it all in because someone, who really isn’t anyone, pressures me. I respect how you’re freeing yourself you find balance, and I’m thankful you linked up next to me at Jen’s place today.

    1. You’re right…it IS a small part of the equation. It feels huge, though, when someone says “you have to” and “it’s the only way” and “all the big bloggers are doing it” and then it sucks up all your creative energy…know what I mean?

      I just visited your blog. 🙂

  12. Hi Sandy, this is my first time visiting your blog. But oh how you’re post resonates with me. Although I don’t have some book brewing within me, I do often full the stress of needing to build a larger blog following or the need to be everywhere. And I’ve found there are just some social media sites, I’m just not fond of at all. Thank you for your courage to share your funk.

    1. Wanda,

      I am so glad you stopped by and can relate. Not sure I want your first impression to be me all in a tizzy about blogging–so feel free to stop by when I’m in a better mood. 🙂

  13. Thank you, Sandy! That may be the sweetest thing anyone has ever typed for me 🙂 I’m glad I can be a blessing to you because you bless me so much too!

  14. When you said you were at a crossroads it made me think of this verse, it had just fallen out of my Bible an hour ago: This is what the Lord says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
    I always love to go back to what “The Lord says,”!! He knew we would have crossroads, he even planned them. It think they are good, it means we aren’t just going through the motions but we are thinking, pondering, seeking which way to go…and this is a good place to be when we are seeking the Lord while standing (or kneeling, or laying, or crying) at the crossroads! (That’s where I have been for the past few weeks, too)!!
    Get some rest, enjoy your children, enjoy your life and yes, you are right by doing this!! Take it from me – my daughter is graduating next week – Recognizing that you will one day soon be on the other side of those 4 summers and getting ready to send her off on the next chapter of her life is so important! You are doing exactly what you are supposed to do!! Being ever present with your kids! When we do first things first, everything that God has in store for us will fall into place! I love you, friend!

    1. Pam,

      First, I love you so much. Second, that scripture is one of my absolute favorites. Third, I think of your words often from our last conversation when you passionately admonished me to cherish the time with the kids. And when I got Jessica’s graduation announcement in the mail the other day, I got all choked up. I think she was 4 or 5 when we met…

      Thank you for being my friend, always.
      I love you.

    2. I felt prompted to let you both know that, even four years later, the blog post and comments are still making an impact. I feel like I, too, I’m at a crossroads, and that verse is perfect for me to remember.

      If you see this comment, please say a prayer for me. I’m serving in a leadership role at my church where other people seem to think that I am meant to be, but I myself am not too sure. I know that I need to have God himself tell me, but I’m having a hard time hearing him lately.

      Sandy, thank you for writing from the heart and keeping it real. It’s good for those of us out here to know that other people too, have struggles and can get through them.

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