I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

God has a dream--for you

By Jennie Atkins


God has given all of us a dream. A dream to write. To reach out to the world with a word of hope by using our fictional characters, intricate plots, and black moments. He wants us all to succeed. At times, it’s hard to imagine such great design. Like when the rejections come, when your critique partner tells you “sorry, it’s just not working for me”, or when the words won’t come and every sentence is an effort.

I read about an author who was tired of waiting and decided to self-publish, just so they could say they had a book published. But what if there next pitch would have landed a contract with a big publishing house? (I am not in any way putting down self-publishing. Instead, my intent is to encourage you to hang in there—see what God has in store for you.)

Being a writer is not easy, getting published for most of us takes many manuscripts, numerous ideas and rough drafts, and an ongoing fear of never measuring up to the publishing houses expectations.

But I encourage you today to never give up. I know I’ve written on this topic before, but after reading that person’s comments, I wondered . . . did God have a bigger plan for them? Like Abraham, did they so want the dream that they tried to rush the process? What if they were supposed to learn something in the journey?

Arthur Ashe quoted “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

Make your writing a journey, a voyage through the lives of your characters. Enjoy each leg of expedition, rejoice in the small steps, dance with the big ones, and learn from the hard ones.

Actually, I’m preaching to myself here, as my friends will attest to. I can be my own worst enemy. So remember you are not the only one second guessing the time you spend on the craft, the money poured out for conferences, or your ability to be published. I’m in the trenches with you!

Now it’s your turn. What has been the hardest thing you’ve encountered while writing?

12 comments:

  1. Jennie,
    Thanks for the reminder. Yes the dream seems so huge. The hardest thing for me has been internal --- considering my writing important enough to set aside the time and hold firm to that time commitment.

    Blessings!

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  2. Jennie, thank you for an encouraging post.

    For me, the hardest thing is the waiting. Once I became published, waiting was still necessary. I'm getting better, but I think it's the excitement of what's to come that makes me want things to happen sooner than what they do. God's timing is so much greater than mine!

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  3. Good thoughts!
    My hardest thing is similar to Alena's -- giving my writing the priority it needs. I'm so used to setting aside my plans for others that I suspect I cave too easily when I should be writing. I struggle to remember that this plan came from God's mind, not mine, and I need to be obedient to it. Thank you for the reminder!

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  4. Jennie, great encouragements today. The hardest thing right now is figuring out the path of revisions. I keep seeing more and more things my story needs for improvement. It gets overwhelming. Thanks for the exhortation to keep on, to not give up. :)

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  5. Alena,
    I hear you. When I've been at work all day, then go into my office at night I sometimes feel like I don't have time with my hubby. Thankfully he understands!

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  6. Lisa,
    We still have to wait after being published? Bummer! I hoped it would speed up the process at least a little bit!

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  7. Kay, God gave you a dream! Run with it!

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  8. Jeanne, Don't give up, girl! Revisions go on forever, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel...and it isn't the train!

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  9. Jennie,

    I loved the comment:

    I wondered . . . did God have a bigger plan for them? Like Abraham, did they so want the dream that they tried to rush the process?

    I so agree with that one. We cannot rush the process. If writer's can just remember that, there would be more success stories. I really believe that.

    Take the time to hone your craft, go to conferences, get lots of feedback. There is so much to do while we wait for publishing to happen.

    Great post, Jennie :)

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  10. Great post. My mom always told me to believe God had the very best for me--and right BEFORE the best, Satan would always throw his best out there to me. Might look like the best and talk like the best, but deep down you know there's still better...

    Definitely a hard truth to hold onto in the writing world, where your hopes can be raised and dashed within the same hour. I can honestly say that I've waited on queries before, but waiting on a submission is the hardest thing I've ever done (and the longest wait, by far!). The key is tightening and improving your writing while you're waiting...and it's stinking hard. Thank goodness for writer friends and a supportive husband and agent, who all help pick me up when I'm ready to bash my impatient head against the wall!

    Good post.

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  11. It's hard to stay focused and committed when you aren't seeing the success. (Yet!) It's difficult to continue to carve out time--and take it away from family--when there's no hard deadline. But if I don't take myself seriously, if I don't guard my writing time, then who will?

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  12. Sorry I'm a day light. I totally agree it's important to wait for the right open door, and I don't think you have much longer to wait, Jennie. Thanks for post.

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