Johns Creek resident Nanette Littlestone wears many hats. In addition to being an author, editor and publisher, she is CEO of Words of Passion, a website designed to help professional women get published. She is also the creator of a collaborative two-volume effort called F.A.I.T.H. Her inspiring creative journey, however, has been long and winding.
“I never intended to be a writer,” she said. “But in 1994, I was living in Vancouver, Washington, and sitting in my apartment on a Saturday afternoon, minding my own business, when I heard a whisper say F.A.I.T.H. – Finding Answers in the Heart. My first reaction was, ‘What a great title for a book!’ My second reaction was, ‘What do I do with it?’ I’d been on a spiritual journey for many years, but was I listening to my heart? What would I tell people? And who would read a book written by me? I wasn’t a famous author.”
Littlestone chose to ignore the whisper. Time passed and she joined a writing group and took classes, but she still wasn’t happy with her writing or excited about the prospect of more time stringing together words.
“I’ve started over 20 novels, but it takes determination, persistence and hard work to finish a book, revise and rewrite, and turn out a story worth reading. Writing is thrilling. Writer’s block is not.”
After experiencing a yearlong bout of exactly that, Littlestone was in charge of a writer’s group and working as an editor when she managed to work through her creative slowdown and write a book called “Overcoming Writer’s Block: Moving from Fear to Passion.”
“Some of it is taken from blog posts and some was created from scratch,” she said. “The purpose of the book is to offer tips and exercises to rest the mind and offer new perspectives.”
And a new perspective was exactly what she got. The book led to invitations to contribute her work elsewhere as well as an opportunity to edit a collaborative book, a format that inspired her.
“I knew then that I wanted to offer collaborative books to my clients, giving them the opportunity of publishing in a way that’s cheaper, faster and takes less effort,” Littlestone said, which is how Partner Up! was born. Partner Up! is a book program she created to help women entrepreneurs get published the easy way through books involving other writers.
Littlestone said there are two ways authors can participate in a collaborative book. The first method is for the author to decide on a topic and invite other writers to join him or her on the project. The second approach is for Words of Passion to invite authors to participate in a project.
The F.A.I.T.H. books are a good example of the second method. Fourteen women (including Littlestone) joined forces on the current two volumes of F.A.I.T.H., women from all walks of life with rich tapestries of experience to call upon to demonstrate their faith and determination.
“When the whisper came back, I had a different vehicle for F.A.I.T.H. It didn’t have to be about me,” she said. “It could be about a lot of women and their stories.”
Littlestone said the purpose of F.A.I.T.H. is to inspire others on similar journeys to awaken to their potential and find answers they have been seeking.
“We all have the answers inside us but many of us haven’t learned to look inside, to trust our inner guidance, to follow our hearts,” she said. “The stories in F.A.I.T.H. share not only the challenges other women have faced but the means to overcome those challenges. People everywhere deserve to be healthier, stronger, more courageous and following their passions.”
Her vision for F.A.I.T.H. is to connect with women (and eventually families) around the world and inspire them to reach for their greatness, to achieve their dreams. The other F.A.I.T.H. authors – Azizi Blissett, Terry Crump, Linda Goodman, Suzanne Baker Hogan, Barbara J. Hopkinson, Judy Keating, Rebecca Kirson, Ricia L. Maxie, Corinna Murray, Lynn Rekvig, Lorelei Robbins, Angela Rodriguez and Maureen Roe – would agree.
“I never thought of myself as an inspirational author or publisher,” Littlestone said. “I’m merely sharing my journey with others, and as I cope with and triumph over my issues, I continually look for ways to help others with theirs.”
Getting over her writer’s block and working alongside the other F.A.I.T.H. authors also allowed Littlestone to complete a historical novel, “The Sacred Flame,” which is coming out in October.
“I’m so excited to be publishing my first novel! I’m working on the sequel called ‘Bella Toscana.’
“The joy that I experience in writing, editing and publishing comes from helping my clients to shape their thoughts into stories that capture our emotions. Words evoke feelings. They can make you laugh and cry, feel hope and joy. I love helping to inspire others, to enrich their lives, to give them purpose. If I can do that, then I’m thrilled.”
For more information about Littlestone, Words of Passion, Partner Up! and F.A.I.T.H., go to www.wordsofpassion.com. ■