Ignite the Passion, Burn with Confidence
My Experience with Word Alive Press through the Spark Mentorship Program
By Sara Kennerley

I was brand new to the world of professional writing. God placed a call on my heart to write out my story and I had obliged, but I was equally daunted by the task that lay ahead of me.

Sure, I’d been a journaller all my life and a lover of poetry. I’d recently taken to writing inspirational and encouraging blog posts, too. But a book. A whole book. Impossible wouldn’t be the correct word, I suppose, but nearly impossible sounded about right.

Early into my book project, I’d searched the internet for a Christian publishing company in Canada, intent on knowing my end goal and having a target to aim for. When I found Word Alive Press, I also happened upon their newly developed mentorship program.

I immediately knew this was the answer to my cry of overwhelm. There is wisdom in mentorship. In admitting our need to learn from others who’ve walked ahead of us, we are free to expand beyond our personal limitations. We become stronger, more refined versions of ourselves.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.—Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

Where I felt inept, Evan was ready, willing, and able to meet me at my starting gate and usher me forward.

Indeed, within our first two correspondences I felt much more at ease. I was given the validation that the talent was already birthed within me, which compelled me forward with confidence.

I asked many questions along the way, and all were met with enthusiasm and skilled replies. Questions such as:

  • Do I need a better transition here?
  • How do I properly cite material?

Evan pointed things out that I’d not noticed on my own, too. Ultimately, this helped me watch for them on my own going forward, and remove self-imposed roadblocks in my writing. Things like:

  • Your tendency to write poetically is skipping over clarity. In story-telling it’s often better to keep it simple.
  • Adverbs aren’t your friend. You’re better off finding a stronger verb to express the intended meaning than adding adverbs.

I was gaining ground in my project, and fast. My spirit was lighter and my mind was engaged.

One day I looked at the word count on my screen and was utterly stunned. Pages and pages were being added, and also edified along the way. I was going to be finished my book sooner than I’d thought possible.

The excitement was hard to contain.

Five months was all it took for me to look at my project as a nearly complete piece. From a place of gratitude, I bid Evan adieu as a mentor and soon after was able to send the entire first draft of my manuscript into Word Alive press to begin the publishing process.

As I reflect more on this journey, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for the Spark Mentorship program and Evan’s brilliant mix of kindness and intelligence. My knowledge of the craft has expanded, but most especially my confidence has soared.

I can do this! I did do it, actually.

Now, my list of potential book projects keeps growing. I have endless ideas and a solid grasp of the tools I need to see them through.

Let the writing begin!

About this Contributor:

Sara Kennerley has written and published her first book with Word Alive Press, A Good Enough Story. She is also a contributing author in an award-winning devotional titled: She Writes for Him: Stories of Living Hope. Sara continues to blog at withinthisjarofclay.com and has recently started a content creation freelance business, all while enjoying the life of a stay-at-home mama to two little ones.

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