Allume 2013,  Personal and Spiritual Ramblings,  Writing and blogging

Wrinkles (why I’m not writing a book right now) {takeaways from #allume}

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It happened multiple times during the four days at Allume. That moment when, upon meeting someone whom I have “known” via the internet, my very first thought (forgive me) was, “Wow, I didn’t realize how old she was!”

*dodges rotten tomatoes*

Avatars hide wrinkles, that’s just the plain truth of it. 

(I promise there is a lesson here, so please stay with me.)

One of my goals in attending Allume was to receive confirmation from God about the if, when, and how to write a book. I was pretty sure that His answer was going to be “no” or “wait.” But I have read several posts where women come back from writing conferences and God has given them a fabulous book idea or connected them with a publisher or an agent, and the conference was the miraculous catalyst that brought it all together. I kinda sorta hoped that would happen to me, but knew that I was probably silly to think so.

In this day, blogging is easy. Everyone and their sister calls themselves a writer (myself included). And, if you have some semi-decent content and know of someone who can work magic with Adobe, pretty much anyone can self-publish an e-book.

Within the last year, I’ve have had three very close blogging friends pursue and even accomplish publication. While I know comparison is not the road I should go down, well, I’m human and it happens.

I also had multiple people telling me I needed to take the series I wrote this summer about my journey from legalism to grace and turn it into an e-book.

I started wondering if I needed to jump on the book-writing train.

God, is this what you want or is this just…me…wanting to be like everyone else? 

(As it turns out, according to recent studies, 80% of the population shares this dream.)

So back to Allume…

I got my answer in the faces of these women. There were wrinkles, but that’s not really the point. When I looked into the faces of fellow bloggers, writers, and some of them – even published authors – it hit me:

At twenty-six, I’m still super young. 

In their faces I saw years lived. Experiences had. Lessons learned. Identities forged.

And it’s probably that last one that got me the most.

I attended Sarah Markley’s session on “How to Find Your Writing Voice in a Noisy World,” and she made the point that your voice has to emerge from confidence in your own personal identity.

Some notes from her session:

Wrinkles (why I'm not writing a book right now) {takeaways from #allume}

Wrinkles (why I'm not writing a book right now) {takeaways from #allume}

The truth is I don’t feel confident and safe in myself because I’m still trying to figure out who that is. My twenties have been the “terrible twos and threes” of my adulthood. There’s been a lot of mistakes. A lot of learning who I am with others – and apart from them. A lot of asserting my own independence while struggling with my longings for codependence with others. A lot of temper tantrums and tears and “that’s MINE!”s – and a few times I’ve just had to put myself in time-out and take a nap.

I’ve spent five years of my twenties writing through all of that mess. With each passing year, my writing has morphed to reflect where I am along that journey. Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself in my earlier posts because the writer is not the same girl I am now.

I definitely won’t be writing a book anytime soon. I don’t want to look back on a book pushed out for the sake of writing a book that’s written from a place of insecurity and developing identity.

I need to get myself figured out first. There are some hurts that I desperately need healing from. There are relationships in my life that need some work and restoration. There is a marriage that needs some life and love and Jesus breathed into it. There is a baby boy who needs loved on and tended to.

And for the first time, that doesn’t frustrate me. Because – getting back to the wrinkles – I realized that I have a lot of life left to live. A lot of experiences left to have. A lot of time left to develop both my identity and the voice that comes out of that identity.

My stories can wait to be told until I’m mature enough to tell them well.


To read more about my Allume experience, please check out my conference landing page:

takeaways from allume

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  • Dana Butler

    I get this. All of it. A brave choice. And there might come a day when you STILL don’t feel “wrinkled” enough and the Lord will say, “Okay, NOW.” And you’ll say, “What the heck? I’m not ready?” and He’ll say, “that means you ARE ready.”

    I wanna be there to see that go down.


  • Jamie S. Harper

    I am 10 years older and there are days I still feel these same things. I wonder if I will ever not feel it and yet there are days I feel on the precipice of it. I think feeling my own immaturity keeps me from moving forward sometimes because many my age are accomplished and I let that drag me down. I love that you said the wrinkles thing out loud. 🙂 I have met a lot of avatars and let’s just say photoshop works!

    • Aprille

      It’s good to hear that even age doesn’t fix everything. I imagine I’ll still have a boatload of personal drama to sort through once I get there, but hopefully it will be different from the drama that I have now.

      I didn’t know how to be any kinder about the wrinkles thing. Yes, photoshop works!

  • Erica - Let Why Lead

    I’m so touched by this post, and thank you for passing on Sarah’s words about identity and writing. I too (like everyone else!) am hoping to start a book at some point, but I’m going to give some real thought to whether I’m secure enough in myself and my voice to follow through. I think it is certainly something worth praying for.

    Also, you’re 26! That’s awesome! I wish I were 26! haha. I’m almost 29 (not that that’s old). I think you have a strong voice and a lot of wisdom, regardless of your age. Have a good week, girl!

  • Chris Malkemes

    So ya looking T my wrinkles. I get it. But let me share with you something important. You have a voice. You have a voice today. Please let us hear your voice now today. What God has to give you is precious, right and pure. Please shout it from the mountaintop. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too young. Write, share, publish now. You are given a voice for such a time as this. Do it now.

    • Aprille

      Thank you for your encouragement, Chris. I definitely plan to keep writing and publishing here on my blog and on guest posts on other blogs. I don’t think that I’m too young to write or share. But when it comes to my book ideas, there’s a lot of things to consider and I truly believe I’m not ready. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to write, even portions of those books. I plan on doing writing on the side (beyond blogging) to prepare for that, get my stories out, processed, heal from things, etc, now. But I just don’t think that right now is the right time to seek publication.

  • Gabby

    Yes!! I feel this way as well. I have one or two book ideas in my head & my husband says I should do it. But I know I have some growing up to do, along with some homemaking & homeschooling.

    • Aprille

      Having Ezra right now is another big reason that I didn’t much go into. I already feel like blogging, writing, and social takes a lot of time away from my family and I struggle to keep all of that in right balance. My family needs to be my priority.

  • Tonya

    You are brave friend. And it is humbling to watch you as you obediently wait for God to tell you the time. Having the desire to follow a dream is strength but waiting for God’s timing is courage. Thank you for these words today friend.

    • Aprille

      Thanks Dear Tonya! I so look up to you and enjoy your brave writing. And your ipod didn’t eat the comment. I set all my comments to go pending until moderation so I can keep track of them better. 🙂

  • tonyasalomons

    Okay so my iPad ate my comment. I wanted to say. You are brave friend. Very, very brave. Having the desire to follow the dream is one thing, but waiting for God’s perfect timing and submitting yourself to His will? That is courage.

  • K

    And this is why I haven’t been blogging in months. I still write. Every day actually. I was blogging because every one else is doing it, and I don’t want to do something just because every one else is doing it. It was just plain ol’ intimidating following eloquent writers. I felt like a small ant. Also, being obligated to readers, tweethearts, and fans was exactly that, an obligation. I have been avoiding my blog in every way and have even come extremely close to deleting it completely. In reality though, I’m not obligated to write for any readers, tweethearts, and fans. I want to write because I love it. I want to write because I enjoy it. I want to write because it brings a sense of calm.

    There I said it. I haven’t been saying this for months because of fear of what other blogger friends may think. Now, I can sign back on my blog with clarity and write on my on time, in my own way, for me. Thank you for listening!

    • Aprille

      Kayla: I so love this! You should write for you and Hod. Everything else is just frosting. If it’s an obligation, your true voice won’t come through. I’m glad to hear you have still been writing! That’s so commendable and probably even better than writing for the sake of pushing out posts just to have published content on your blog. Keep it up girl, and your friends and readers will still be here when you decide to start publishing again. (I’m actually going to write more about this in my next post…so…stay tuned.)

  • Mel Caldicott

    Thanks so much, Aprille for your honesty. You have made yourself so vulnerable to share your dream and some of the struggles you have with others who have achieved that dream. I love how you have described God’s leading and how you are coming to terms with that. Not now messages are hard to hear sometimes, yet I have learnt over the years that there is definitely a season for things. Your words have been so encouraging to me today.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

    • Aprille

      Thank you for stopping by Mel! While I originally thought the “not now” message would be difficult to hear, I was actually so incredibly relieved. I felt a lot of pressure taken off when I could finally say to myself, “You’re young, you have plenty of time” instead of wondering how I was going to work writing a book into my already busy, stressful life. I’ve felt so much happier since I made peace with that decision!

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