We started out October with “Preserve Your Story” at the top of the to-do list. Two months and some thirty-thousand words later, we’re looking back on what we’ve learned together, from the inspirational to the practical. Thank you for all who followed faithfully through the blog move and other challenges, and especially to those of you who shared your insights in the comments, proving once again that “writing doesn’t have to be a solitary activity.” Here are some of my favorite comments:

“Brilliant advice and so encouraging to know age and experience are my friend as a writer. I’m a late bloomer, confident in writing creative non-fiction, but I have the urge to try my hand at fiction. I don’t know where to begin, but your advice give me hope that even us late comers might give it a (successful?) go.” ~Kimberly

“I am loving this series so much that I actually wrote something yesterday.” ~Barbara, aka “Darcy’s mom” 😉

“Thanks for the encouragement. I just had the opportunity to speak at our first women’s retreat for our church. I’m beginning to embrace all of this as God’s calling on my life. To be honest, it’s a little scary to actually reach for the dream rather than just leave it out there untouched. Your blog is stirring the dream in my heart.” ~Tristi

“I always need to hear this, about starting somewhere, starting messy.” ~Tammy

“I am loving this series and feverishly taking notes as I attempt to apply the content to my own writing. (Yes, I am a closet writer!) ….My struggles, both past and present, ARE the foundation for much of my writing. While some are masked for privacy, they truly are what drove me to my knees and allowed the Lord to write His Story through me.” ~Barbara D.

“Sometimes it is easy to think that with all the good writers, why create? But you are right, there is no one exactly like each other. We need all the voices.” ~Amber

“I’m just realizing that this is the stuff that pours out when I write it and I shouldn’t bottle it up when I think it’s all too much, because there’s a reason it needs to come out and God uses it all.” ~Alia Joy

“I never realized this until you put words to it. My best blogging has truly come from those things that have brought me to tears or that really mean something to me. As I write my tears often flow and healing takes place or I am renewed.” ~Ali

As we close out the series, I hope you’ll take some time to go back through the posts that you missed, or re-read ones that were especially motivating for you. And please keep me posted on your efforts at preserving your story.

~Preserve Your Story: Table of Contents~

Reasons to Preserve Your Story:
1. Preserve Your Story Intro
2. Ink Spill: God’s Story Surfacing in the Midst of Chaos
3. Spotlights, Spider Silk and Self-Reflection
4. Words Between Generations
5. Astonishing Discovery: Writing to Know We’re Not Alone
6. Comforting, Never Comfortable: A Message to Share
7. Flowing Well: Writing to Keep from Going Stagnant

What to Preserve:
8. Write What Makes You Cry
9. Accidental Collage: Writing What’s Before Your Eyes
10. Fresh Language, Quotable Kids
11. Writing Butterflies and Brokenness
12. Seeing the World Right-Side-Up: Writing Answered Prayer
13. A Tale of Teaming Up: Writing Someone Else’s Story

Preparing Your Ingredients:
14. The Truth about Voice
15. Don’t Lose the Sweets: Keeping Track of Good Writing Material
16. The Mess Behind Picasso’s Genius: Drafting and Free-Writing
17. A Well-Punctuated Writing Life: Taking Time to Rest from our Words
18. A Creative Compost: Synergy in the Life of the Writer
19. Sidestep the Poet’s Pitfall: Discipline and Organization as Tools of the Writer
20. Create a Habitat and a Habit: A Place to Write
21. A Recipe for Revision: Refining Content
22. The Story Circle: Finding a Writer’s Group
23. A Feast of Grammar and Grace: The Editing Phase

Good Containers and Techniques for Preserving Your Story:
24. A Blog that Blossoms: Creating a Platform through Blogs and eBooks
25. The Right Container: Exploring Your Writing Type
26. The Dish on Articles
27. Drafting with the Pack: The Benefits of Writing for an Anthology
28. A Mini Readership: Children’s Publishing
29. Friends of the Fiction Writer
30. On Paper, Real Life: Writing a Good Non-Fiction Proposal
31. Sealed with a Book: An Overview of the Traditional Publishing Process

{Which post most inspired or motivated you? Which one best equipped you with information or tools to help you take the next step in your writing life? Share below…and if a particular post or the series as a whole resonated with you, would you think about sharing it with friends on social media to spread the word about Message in a Mason Jar?}

This is the wrap-up of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.