Friday, September 27, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Melissa Tagg

Today I welcome 
Melissa Tagg,
a sweet friend who knows how to brighten a group gathering. 

I can't even remember when I met Melissa. We've engaged in conversations through the Writers Alley, My Book Therapy, ACFW, and she is a regular visitor here on my website. She's encouraged, supported, laughed, and prayed with both my friends and I. What a kindred spirit. I recently asked Melissa to share how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:

Trust- Not Snazzy Time Lines

When Mary asked me to write a guest post about my writing journey, my first thought was, “Sure, I can do that. No prob.”

Then I sat down to write it.

And it wasn’t so easy.

Because I feel like my writing journey has been chalk full of cool moments, spiritual tugs and open doors that I can only attribute to God’s sweet timing.

And, sure, there have been down moments too. Times when my writing felt stale. When I wondered if I’d ever actually see words in print. When I felt like I was playing turtle to others’ hare of a publication journey.

So how does one tie all the ups and downs together into a tidy bow of a post called “My Writing Journey.” Um, maybe one doesn’t. :) But in an effort to keep this post from turning knotty, here’s the basic overview of my journey to publication:

2009: Start writing seriously
2010: Final in a contest, win another contest, start pursuing publication
2011: Crickets (not my most fun year ever)
2012: Several doors all open at once culminating with signing with my agent, finding out my book was going to the pub board at Bethany House and being offered a two-book contract—all within a four-week period

What that snazzy little timeline doesn’t depict is all the emotion that’s been a part of these past few years—the questions, the learning, the growth (I hope), the crazy swirl of stuff probably only other writers understand.

So, sidestep with me for a moment, if you don’t mind. I was reading in the Psalms the other day. I love that book of the Bible…mostly because I love David. He’s just this no holds barred kind of guy. A little crazy at times, yes. I mean, he wasn’t all-perfect, that’s for sure. But I love that he bares his heart in words. From the gut-wrenching to the glorious, the hurt to the hope…it’s all there.

What gets me about David’s psalms every time is that every time he comes back to the same place: trust.

Seriously, the guy always eventually gets back to declaring his trust in God. And I love that.

And when I think about my own writing journey, when I clump all the ups and downs and awesome and not-so-awesome moments together, I realize what I really want my journey to be about—what I hope I’m getting better at—is simply trusting God.

Trusting His timing.
Trusting His guidance.
Trusting He doesn’t give a person a love of stories and natural bent toward writing for no reason.
Trusting that He’s present in all the ups and downs to come.
Trusting that He’s got me on this path to transform me.

That last one is something I picked up in Jim Rubart and Allen Arnold’s awesome “Live Free. Write Free.” class at the recent ACFW Conference—the writing life is less about crafting a good story than it is seeing God transform us. And transformation starts with trust, doesn’t it?

Learning to trust.

Yeah, I think that sums up my writing journey. :)

Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

During her reporting days, Melissa interviewed presidential candidates and llama farmers, rode a hot air balloon and flew a plane, and once came face to face with a buffualo. But today she gets her kicks by letting her characters have their own fun. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings.

How to connect with Melissa Tagg:

A debut author has many commitments for the books given to them from the publisher. I'm not sure we all understand the pull to provide book giveaways by many sources.When those books are gone, the author must pay for the books. 

Let's show our understanding and leave Melissa a word of encouragement to press forward in the writing career God has blessed her in the comment section.

Thank you, Melissa, for Joining us This Weekend!

Friend, sometimes our impressive schedule doesn't bring all the joy we hope. Share something that has sparked a joy so exciting your blurted out the story to the first person you saw.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

For me, it would definitely be the way God gifted me with the opportunity to sit beside Robin Jones Gunn on the plane ride home from Indy. I loved the opportunity to get to know her better on a personal level. Makes me wish I lived on Maui so I could beg her to have coffee with me. :)

Melissa, I loved your story of trust and how you've grown in trusting God on this journey. I'm looking forward to your next book!

Jill Kemerer said...

Love this post, Melissa (thanks for hosting, Mary!). Writing has transformed my faith, brought me so much closer to God than I could have imagined. That's exciting to me! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Really? You sat by Robin on the way home? What a wonderful adventure. Your conversation must have been amazing!
Thanks for stopping by and encouraging Melissa and her new book.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I have changed this post three times already, because each time I start writing I think of another career in which God could transform the worker's faith. It seems, God can transform us in whatever career we happen to be in. :) If we are willing.

bonton said...

Melissa seems like such a special person - every pic I've seen of her, in the last few weeks, has shown that big smile with a hint of mischievousness (which I feel she must possess, along with a sense of adventure - based on reading her interviews). She seems to be a person that is full of fun, humor, dedicated to her Lord, & one that everyone loves being around. I've heard nothing but good things about her book, & would love to read it!


Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Bonnie.
AND guess what? Today is Melissa's birthday. How timely your comment is :)

Ganise C said...

Trusting God... It's what I'm learning to do. Love it. Press on, lovely Melissa! He's got great plans for you.

Sweet blog design, Mary.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you, Ganise.
And thank you for your encouraging words for Melissa.:)
Loving having friends stop by and share.

Unknown said...

Jeanne, how cool that you got to sit by Robin! What a blessing. :)

Unknown said...

Love that writing has transformed you, Jill...and I love what you said, Mary, about God transforming us in any career. I'm guessing the actual career path doesn't matter nearly as much as our hearts and minds and where our focus is, huh.

Unknown said...

Bonnie, what a super kind comment...truly! And yes, I think there is a little bit of mischievousness in me. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks so much, Ganise!