Dreams Coming True is a Thursday feature on my blog, a way to highlight those whose goal is to create community. The dream might be a blog, a published book, a small business, volunteering, or even fundraising for a charity. Something that makes the world a better place . . . for others.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT).
Welcome to a special edition of Dreams Coming True! This week I wanted to share with you one of my own Dreams Come True—the launch of Amish Wisdom! Keep reading to learn about Amish Wisdom and how it came to be.
What inspired you to start the Amish Wisdom blog?
The idea came from the radio program of the same name that I hosted for three years. The Amish Wisdom radio program was a wonderful place for people who wrote about the Amish, or had experiences with the Amish, or were students of the Amish, to share their work and connect with readers. For me, it was a weekly education–learning about the guests and their point of view, managing the “live” aspect of radio (frightening at first!), coping with problems (dead air, for example, or a no-show guest).
Amish Wisdom quickly became a top rated show on the production company’s podcast site, and it stayed a top rated show.
What happened to the podcast?
After the third year, I started to feel the squeeze. To do the radio program correctly, it took a full day of preparation. I read the guest’s book and studied his or her on-line information, and received interview questions help from my assistant. That meant I missed a full day of writing–and by year three, I felt the squeeze. I had received some additional writing contacts that required more travel and research. It seemed the time had come to pass the radio show into another host’s hands. Cookbook author Sherry Gore was the one I had in mind–she has a terrific following on social media and a wonderful, warm personality. She hosted for six months, but then had to stop due to some “life complications.”
So, sadly, the show came to an abrupt end.
What inspired you to transition the podcast into a blog?
I missed it. I missed connecting with other authors and interesting guests. I missed the reader interaction. I thought about hosting the radio show again, but I’d be facing the same time crunch with my writing obligations–which are, for obvious reasons, my top priority.
Readers missed it, too. I received many e-mails asking what happened to the show, and expressing sadness that it was gone. One day, a reader wrote to say that she particularly missed having a place that kept her up to date on new books about the Amish. That comment started me thinking . . . “Why, I could figure out how to manage that!” In fact, I realized, I could probably adapt the radio show to a blog and have a lot more interaction with readers on it.
What features can readers expect to find on Amish Wisdom?
I worked with Litfuse Group to create the concept and couldn’t be more pleased with the results. It’s a beautifully designed blog with lots of features–like, scrolling Amish proverbs, and a slider of new book releases. “Ask the Amish” is a great column–I found an anonymous source among the Plain people who is willing to answer your questions about the Amish.
So as everything came together, I sent out a letter to authors, asking to be kept up to date with their new releases, their events schedule–so we can help promote it–and to invite them to chime in on a feature. It’s meant to be a blog to connect writers and readers–without favoring one author or publishing house over another. This blog is for everyone!
And I’m already getting some great feedback on it! Here’s an e-mail from Lisa D. that hit the mark for me:
I love the new Amish Wisdom website! Thank you for continuing to give us readers such great ways to learn more about the Amish.
Also in the works is a monthly Amish Wisdom newsletter that provides even more information–excerpts of first chapters, book giveaways, and special bonuses for newsletter-subscribers. I’m open to ideas and suggestions, too. Let me know if you have someone you’d like to see featured in an interview. I’ll see what I can do.
So that’s the story! My Dream Coming True, tweaked a little from the original radio show, but with the same goal–to continue to build a community of writers and readers.
I hope you’ll check it out and toss your name in the hat for a chance to win a Kindle Fire in a giveaway to celebrate Amish Wisdom’s launch. And bookmark the page, to return again and again! Remember, this blog is for you.
Celebrate Spring and the release of The Rescue with Suzanne’s “Birds of Springstagram” giveaway! Click here to learn more about how you can enter!