|Me and my randomly scrawled notes…|
I’ve thought about blogging this before, then thought, “Nah–it’s too bleak.”
But today during Sunday school, as we talked about growing in Christ and maturing in our Christianity, I realized it’s true: There are no shortcuts.
Same thing with marriage, or with parenting. You can read every book out there before you give birth, feel you’re prepared for any scenario. You’re not. Once you have kids, you might think you know exactly what you’ll do and how you’ll answer them on things. You don’t.
Such a large portion of our wisdom comes from experience. I might have read the book of I Samuel in the Bible about fifteen times (I like reading about King David, ya’ll), but each time I will spot new verses that apply to me right where I am. I know this is because the Bible is holy, but it’s also because each time I read I’ve experienced more of life and I understand things better.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to understand things when we’re young parents or young Christians. But we can’t expect to understand everything right away.
As a writer, I hate to tell you, but there are no shortcuts. I didn’t believe this when I was starting out. I’d read the instant-success stories of the handful of writers like Stephenie Meyer or Amanda Hocking and think, “That’s me. I can do that. I know I can write.”
I know how much it stinks to get the “Keep working on your craft” agent response. Trust me–I ignored it for as long as possible. But once I got in a critique group, I realized my writing wasn’t perfect. It had some holes I needed to fix. And once I got an editor, I realized there were tighter ways of saying the things I wanted to say.
And once I got an agent, I realized proposals are a serious undertaking, and it’s worth taking the time and effort to get them shiny-bright.
Right now, my Viking historical novel is still on submission. I’ve edited it and it’s as close to perfect as I can get it (with my agent/editor’s help!). But I realize that if a publisher picks it up, I might have to make more adjustments. I’m ready to do that. I can’t say I would’ve been so malleable with my first novel (I didn’t even want to add 30K words so it would be taken seriously…).
I know it rots to hear writers say, “I’ve been at this for ten years and this is my tenth book…and it’s the first one I’ve gotten published.” But the truth is that it takes time to learn how to fit into the market. And with fewer bookstores and publishers, we either have to learn to fit or decide to self-publish. Listen, I admire whichever path you choose, because nothing about getting published is easy.
The path to becoming a writer is a long one, for almost every one of us. It can be relentlessly disappointing. But once you get to the point where you know you’re a writer, it’s so much easier. At that point, the only thing that can stop you is yourself (or God, in which case, I’d definitely stop!).
I’m reminded again of the verse below. Note the “in due season…”:
****What have you discovered has no shortcut? Parenting? Marriage? Writing? Homeschooling? Fill us in!****