Trust the Process with Anita Morris (Re-Air)
Are you holding back from telling your story because you’re afraid of what other people will think – and yet you keep seeing or hearing little “nudges” that you know aren’t coincidences? Maybe it’s time to listen to God’s prompting and finally write that book.
This week’s Publishing Secrets guest, Anita Morris, was afraid to let others in on the dark parts of her past. But she learned that God could use it both for her own healing and to give hope to people who are experiencing similar tragedies. Listen and be encouraged to follow God’s prompting and tell the story you know needs to be told.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- How God got Anita’s attention when it was time to share her story
- Anita’s journey through tragedy, and how writing her book served her first – and also helps encourage others around her
- The power of working with a book coach
- Anita’s advice for the aspiring author who hesitates out of fear of judgment or resentment from others
A Book Born from Tragedy
Many aspiring authors have had a dream of writing a book from the time they were young children. But for Anita Morris, becoming an author wasn’t something she dreamed about or aspired to – it was something that happened as a result of a tragic experience in her life.
Six months after Anita’s husband retired from his career as a firefighter, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Eight months after that diagnosis, he passed away. “That was the most devastating thing I’ve ever experienced,” Anita says, “and I didn’t know how I was going to move forward with my life.”
That’s when Anita was reminded of four words that had come to her while caring for her husband:
- Stand: Anita thought she knew how to be strong, but now it was time to stand in her faith and use the lessons she’d learned from previous trials to carry her through the grieving process.
- Trust: Anita also needed to remember the sovereignty of God and to trust that what He allows, He allows for a purpose.
- Endure: It’s one thing to endure, but now Anita had to learn to endure with grace and be present in the process of grief – not run away, fight against, or suppress it.
- Proceed: Finally, it was time for Anita to continue along the path God had ordained for her and enter into His purpose for this new season of her life.
Throughout the entire journey of caring for her husband through his cancer and then dealing with his death, Anita had shared her story with her online communities so they could pray with her. To her surprise, many people urged her to write a book about the experience, because her words had helped them deal with trials in their own lives.
“That was the beginning of the promptings on my heart to write a book,” she says. “I heard them, but I kind of brushed it off.”
But God has ways of getting our attention. While browsing the internet, Anita kept seeing little nudges – a YouTube video about self-publishing that the algorithm just happened to recommend, for example, and a podcast interview she listened to that featured a book coach. “I was like, that is way too strange to be a coincidence,” she says. So she took the hint and signed up for a writer’s conference with that book coach – and the rest, as they say, is history.
After setting out on her author journey, Anita had to overcome some challenges to ensure she was putting out the best possible book.
First, she had to learn not to limit herself by constantly editing while writing. Her writing coach challenged her to write an entire book in 30 days, without editing a single word. Although Anita admits it was difficult to resist the temptation to edit, she sees now that getting all the words on paper first and editing afterwards helped her finish much faster and kept her from getting stuck along the way.
Another challenge Anita faced had to do with the content of her book itself. She knew God wanted her to share a very difficult, painful story about discovering her husband’s affair and how they ultimately reconciled, but she was afraid of how others would respond when they read it. Though Anita says she argued with God over whether to include the story in her book, she finally did – and once it was out, she felt a surge of relief.
“I don’t even think about that anymore – what people are going to think,” she says now. “I have so much freedom, because I told my own story on my own terms, and nobody will ever be able to weaponize it and use it against me. Because I told it first.”
As Anita has learned, sharing the parts of our stories that we are afraid to share often completely frees us from that fear. What’s more, it helps other people who are going through similar trials to see that there is hope and a way out.
Following Where God Leads
In addition to being an author, Anita is also a transformational speaker, bringing “a message of hope, resilience, and triumph for those who are living in the midst and aftermath of devastating life trials.”
This path actually began before her book was finished, and Anita shares that her first speaking engagement after losing her husband was extremely difficult to prepare for. She knew what she wanted to speak about, but there was so much material to cover that she couldn’t even get through half of it in the allotted time frame.
“I remember sitting down in the chair in my bedroom crying, and then I started praying,” she recalls. “And then I heard a sweet, still voice say, “The rest of the content is for the book.’”
God may not always speak to us in such a direct, unmistakable way, but as Anita has learned, as long as we follow where He leads, He will order our steps and take care of the details we can’t figure out on our own.
Beautiful Possibilities Await
No matter where you are in the writing or publishing process, if you’re struggling to move forward, Anita advises that you first seek help from professionals in the field – like a writing coach – and then simply trust the process.
“Allow yourself to go through it without trying to make it what you want it to be,” she says. “Because sometimes, when we go into it with our preconceived notions, we end up trying to stick to one form, one framework, or one thing that we think we know is going to work. But when we release ourselves to just trust the process that we’re being taught, so many beautiful things can happen.”
Anita Morris is an Inspirational Speaker, sharing a message of hope, resilience, and triumph for those who are living in the midst and aftermath of devastating life trials. She is the Best Selling Author of “STEP Into It, Overcoming Trials that Lead to Purpose,” where she walks her readers through the process of stepping into purpose through personal storms. She’s also the Founder & CEO of the popular DIY Fashion Brand, “Anita by Design,” where she teaches women all over the world how to master the basics of garment construction.
Anita understands the struggle that arises when one is faced with a personal storm that threatens to rob you of your peace and happiness. After experiencing two of the most devastating trials in her life, she learned how to navigate the process of overcoming which has led to a transformed way of thinking and living.
Anita says, “The trials of life don’t come to destroy you, but they have the potential to usher you into the purpose for which you were created.”