Friday, December 16, 2005

When is this publishing thing going to happen?

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.16.2005

A woman on the ACFW email loop posted about the road to publishing being long and discouraging. I applaud her for persevering for so long, and also for being in touch with God. She asked Him if she should continue or not, willing to give it up for Him, but He's telling her to continue.

What she said really resonated with me, because I actually gave up writing years ago when I felt God telling me my motives weren't right. That was a painful thing to do, but I knew He wanted me to do it--it was a VERY clear message from Him, nothing questionable about it.

God let me pick my writing up again (with an aim for publication, versus just writing for me) a few years ago. I'm still unpublished, but I know this is what God wants for me now. The whole thing about writing is the waiting game, and the struggle for me not to feel jealous when people who have been writing for less time than me get that elusive publishing contract.

The only thing I can do is to keep working hard to perfect my craft. I've read tons of writing books, gone to conferences and workshops. Above all, I keep writing. I don't think I could stop if I wanted to.

One thing that has helped me a lot is talking with newly contracted writers and listening to their struggles and fears. I'm very glad of the fact that I now have several completed manuscripts. I understand the struggle to push through the last half of the book, I know the feelings of insecurity before starting the next one. These life experiences happened without the pressure of a contract hanging over my head. I couldn't imagine how STRESSED I'd be if I had sold my first manuscript, and had to go through this emotional rollercoaster while under deadline! Yikes!

At RWA National conference, the biggest thing I heard is that a lot of writers just quit because it's too much work and too emotional (the waiting, the rejection, the scathing critiques, etc.). The ones who persevere are the ones who eventually perfect their craft enough and hit on that unique story idea or story angle that catches an editor's attention.

Janet Edgar passed away this year, but she was one writer who had been persevering for a long time. She finally sold to Steeple Hill last year, although she never lived to see her book published. Her story of struggle and unshakeable optimism is always inspiring to me, because through years of no nibbles, she kept on writing and cheering her friends who published.

I admit, I don't know if I could do that. I take it one day at a time. Wondering "when?" is too stressful for me, and it's hard to fight the jealousy, I'll be honest. And then ironically whenever I have some success, I feel bad because I know other writers who have been working and persevering like me who didn't receive success. Now isn't that stupid of me? Sheesh. It's like I don't know my own mind.

So I guess my point is, take it one day at a time. It's hard for me not to grit my teeth when people talk about "God's timing" even though I know I need to trust Him more. I try to be honest with myself and with God, and He helps me release the fear, impatience, and self-sufficiency I keep holding on to.

4 comments :

  1. Great post, Camy. I'm right there with ya, girl. Praying and rooting for you!

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  2. Yeah, Camy. You speak for many. Thanks for your honesty. Luv ya, Marilyn

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  3. I'm really grateful that we all have each other on this journey. It's a crazy ride and it helps to hear others feel just like we do!

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  4. As much as I detest ::::spit:::: communists, they had a good word: Comrades. Having comrades on this journey is definitely helpful.

    I get more discouraged at my own weaknesses, though. And I figure writing and publication is tough FOR EVERYONE, believing and non-believing. It's like anything else that's time-consuming and requires skill, and it's also competitive, and most of all, its a solitary enterprise that then becomes a public object for praise or scorn.

    For hermits like me, the public part is scary, even as I pursue it throught he private endeavors.

    Nice to have folks like you, Camy, on to be a smiling angel of encouragement and humility.

    Mir

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