Monday, August 12, 2013

Guest Blogger: Diana Strickland, Author of LIFE

LIFE, is a poetry book of 50 poems about my life's journey as a Christian woman going through one of the most life changing experiences. I began to write this book while being homeless, living in a shelter, and continuing to go through as a woman of God. My book is about overcoming life's struggles. And God has defined what I went through with the title, LIFE. Keeping that relationship with Jesus.

Book Excerpt

Your Past Is Your Present 
don’t bring up what you did
but your present speaks loud and clear
what you use to do is what you do
you haven’t matured
my mom once said
there’s nothing like an old fool
Your Past Is Your Present
singing the same tune
this man hurt you
like the last one did
the tears even fall the same
you have no sympathy here
you haven’t learned a thing
Your Past Is Your Present
drama mama
confusion and strife
up and through your life
you can’t sit down
your world is crazy
and it’s been that way for years

Tips for First Time Authors by Diana Strickland

About five years before I published my first book I wrote in my journal that I was going to be an author. I didn’t see this come to fruition until I rededicated my life to Christ Jesus. Then the passion and commitment came to me. The words flowed out of me like a river. I am still learning and growing but I have some helpful tips for the first time author. I believe that you have to get to the root of anything and plant seeds before they blossom into existence.

Before I make any moves I connect with God. With God comes inspiration and direction. Being connected to God motivates you and takes you to wonderful places that you didn’t have planned for yourself. He’s the author and finisher of our faith. So GO QUICKLY to God before you make any and all decisions. Jesus is our source, judge, provider, protector, and strength. You want to be in God’s will to make the right decisions and travel on the right path. You don’t want your journey to be in vain. You want to be effective so when it’s all said and done you have something meaningful to deliver.

Always have a pen and paper on ready. It’s so important to write down your thoughts before you forget them and regret it. I particularly like to use a journal, but almost anything will do. I’ve been known to use lipstick, a marker, and any scrap paper to write down my thoughts. At a pulse I will write on the palm of my hand or pull over in my car to write because the thoughts would come so rapidly. What I know to be true is that inspiration can come at any time and you want to be ready. Be prepared and diligent in all matters.

USE the resources around you. You shouldn’t allow lack of finances to stop your journey. Now, you may have to place some things on pause, but you better get back in this race and complete your mission. There’s someone out there that will need to hear your story. Time is of the essence and we don’t have much of it. When I wrote both books I completed my writing and publishing on someone else’s computer including the local library. When it was time for me to publish my book I searched out the publisher that would represent me well. I decided to self-publish my latest book because I wanted to have more control. When it was time to share my work with the world I had to use the resources around me to complete this dream. My first professional photos came from a local photographer at some market. I wore my Sunday best outfit and struck a pose like I was at a photo shoot. I had to work with what I had. I must say that it was worth every penny. When it was time to create a website for my books I went with a website company that was free. I also use social media such as Facebook to make people aware of my newest accomplishments. Use your computer wisely. Search for companies that will allow you to create business cards and post cards at a reasonable price. Please have a budget. You do not want to overspend. Maybe you have to purchase your business cards one week and in two weeks you have to purchase your post cards.

I’ve also learned that your past employer can help you. You learned something where you use to work. If you were a telemarketer in the past, then you have experience to do calls. So when your book is finished you are not afraid to pick up that phone and make necessary phone calls to individuals. I have a background in Property Management and hospitality so I know how to market and sell and speak to people. I learned at these jobs how to make follow up phone calls, how to create flyers, and how to hand them out to complete strangers. See life is full of lessons. You just have to be open to draw from all of your life’s experiences and apply them today. There’s no rush to perfection.

To stay focused I usually like to take a nice walk or run at a park or around the neighborhood. This is stress free and really gives me a peace of mind. I like to drink a lot of water and eat healthier. You know this is like being in a race. To be the best you have to do the best. I like to take time in prayer and meditation. I enjoy being quiet. You know being quiet and staying still is just as important as moving. There’s a season for everything and sometimes there are seasons when you are doing. When you are doing God’s will everything serves a purpose. There is a time for it all. I believe that you have to cut out a lot of TV and socializing. You have to make a lot of sacrifices to get to where you need to go.

This road that you travel is not a road that everyone travels. Stay humbled! At the end of it all when you are connected to JESUS everything will fall into place. You will have a lot of dots connected. You will meet people that will help you. You will meet the right publisher. You will be directed to the right book store to sell your books. Everything will work out for your good.

Diana was born in Birmingham Alabama and now reside in New Jersey. New Jersey has been my home for 9 years. She is an author of two published poetry books, Mercies Of God, and LIFE. She is also the author of the ministry website Believer To Believer. Diana is currently employed seeking to be in ministry full time in the near future. She is a student at Abundant Life Bible Institute to obtain my Associates degree in Theology. She also ministers my poetry at various events and aspiring to do much more. She rededicated her life to Christ the year of 2005 when she was going through her divorce. She is a committed Christian serving God being led by the Holy Spirit. She hopes to inspire her environment and pray that many will come to Christ Jesus.

Connect with the Author


Paulette Harper Johnson said...

Thank you Cheryl for hosting Diana

Diana Strickland said...

Thank you for this blessed opportunity.