Thank you, for taking the time to read this blogpost, following me on Twitter, Pinning with me, IG with me, liking my Facebook page and especially reading my books.
Despite all of the well intentioned "prophecies" and "life spoken" over me by people none of my books have been on Oprah (which is off the air) or the New York Time bestseller list.
So you're being here and reading this makes it even more special to me.
Being an author for me was never about being famous. Introvert that I am, I love the anonymity writing used to offer and if done on purpose still does. Most readers don't care about selfies, trends and other things they just want to read the book and fall into the lives and worlds of the characters.
I looked at my dashboard and realized this would be my 500th post on Shawneda.com and took this post as I will every post moving forward more serious.
See, I haven't seen what most consider "commercial" success from sharing my stories.
And I'm okay with that, I never wrote to be rich.
When the kindle took off I hoped and prayed to be a quiet midlist author able to afford to write full time by building a readership who enjoyed my stories.
My projects were doing well considering my lack of advertising and it appeared my hopes were coming to fruition.
Then Kindle Unlimited came and my sales dropped more than seventy percent.
This didn't anger me... I consider myself blessed to have sales that could drop any percent.
Shawneda.com was created because I dreamed of being an author.
It was a website first then converted to save money and increase visibility to a blog.
All the people who knew anything said authors have to blog... not just have websites.
Blogging wasn't something I planned to do as part of my writing. My dream was to release books.
One day people would read my stories and God would use the stories to change people's lives.
This has always been my measure of success. Naive?
To many but other people's opinions have never been decision makers for me.
Based on my initial objectives I believe God is pleased with what I've done thus far and my continuing to do it has been because of you.
Your emails, comments, reviews (good, bad, indifferent and ugly) came at the best times.
When I considered quitting writing God would touch one of your hearts to post to my FB page or email me, and at times that is all that kept me going as an author.
As the publishing landscape changed from gatekeeper laden to technology driven I embraced the new opportunities. Without eBooks, as an author, I don't know where I'd be.
I've watched lots of my favorite authors throw in the towel who had way more financial success and conventional popularity.
As my life fell apart around me I wondered if then when my time would come.
They had their reasons to stop writing but painful as my life became for a few years, the stories and book ideas didn't decline.
Plenty of reasons to quit writing forever presented themselves but I couldn't make them mine.
Despite the hardships life presented while crafting these stories God continued to inspire me.
Bankruptcy, homelessness, divorce so many things
that could have killed the desire to write in me.
God wouldn't let me let it die.
Inspiration came in lotsa different ways.
My daughter would say something. A website would pick up a book cover and do a review.
Someone would tweet about one of the collections.
I'd hear the words my daughter would say over and over until the desire to write was strong enough to put my fingers to the keyboards again.
Tears would stream down my face as I stared at a screen reading how God touched you through something written by imperfect always needing His grace me.
When I needed it most He touched me through you.
And it kept me writing... sometimes it kept me going.
Your inquiries about the next book in the series, testimonies about family members experiences with cancer, or how a book reminded you of a loved one who passed away pushed, pulled, cajoled and drove me to continue to write.
The only medical issue I have experienced and continue to battle is obesity in Wholeness series. However the emotional journeys these women traveled were always close to mine. Sometimes the maps were too close for any degree of comfort. Yet over the years I've become more and more thankful realizing God may have used something from the pain life brought me to help someone else through these books.
For weeks I prayed about what to say for my 500th blogpost!
Thank you... thank you is what came to me.
I mean it today and I'll mean it at 750 posts at 1000 posts.... and if I ever reach it 10,000 posts!
Every major milestone I reach is due to several factors. The main factor is always God.
Without Him I wouldn't be here, literally.
Another factor is you.
So one more time I have to say THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
Not just for reading but for reaching out and saying something.
Thank you for spending something far more precious than money with me.
I appreciate every tweet, review, post and especially when you with a paperback, your phone or ereader... you spent your priceless irreplaceable time.
This post was written and is dedicated especially to You!
This is our
Hope you'll continue to engage with me on social media, share these stories with your friends and consider sticking around for more. God only knows what life still has to offer and I know as long as He is with me... somehow it'll work out for good.