Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! With Guest Lenora Worth

As a writer, I have a lot to be thankful for. I always dreamed of sitting in a room doing nothing but creating a good story. Now that dream has come true. But about that doing nothing part—well, there’s a bit more to it than that.

I’ve worked hard for the last few years writing Christian fiction for Steeple Hill. I love my job and while I do work at home, it’s still a job. I have to take it seriously. It took me a while to gently train my family and friends, regarding this job. But most of them respect my working hours and try not to abuse the fact that I’m home and I can set my own hours.

I also work part-time for a local magazine and that forces me to actually leave my home office and get out in the “real world” a few times a week. I like that job, too, because we all need social contact with live human beings and not just those voices inside our writer’s head!

Writers don’t have a problem being alone with themselves. Some people are social animals and feel the need to always be where the action is. Writers aren’t necessarily that way. We love being with other writers and we love talking about writing but when it comes to the real work, we crave that alone time to get the job done. We have to take that seriously or we’d never get anything done.

Writers also have to be tough-skinned and confident. This is a hard business, full of opinions and rejections. If we let every little thing get to us, we won’t last very long. It seems personal, the criticism and all the things we can’t control, but we have to get over the sting of rejections and criticisms and get on with making our words count.

That is one of the blessings of being a writer. We get to create our own words and those words can touch other people’s lives in a powerful way. It’s a blessing but it’s also a responsibility. We should never take our talents lightly or squander them away. So if you’re reading this and you’re down or wondering why you should keep trying, remember you have a responsibility to develop your talent and your craft because there just might be one person out there waiting to read YOUR story.

My wish for you this Thanksgiving is that you will hold steady to your own dream, whether it’s about writing or reading or helping a friend or just finding the kind of job you’ve always dreamed about. The real blessing is that we are all free to choose our paths, with God’s guidance. That is the best Thanksgiving. From Love Inspired Suspense:The CHAIM series:Heart of the Night (January 2009)Code of Honor (April 2009)


Tina M. Russo said...

Thanks for being with us in Seekerville, Lenora. Okay I admit you are one of my heroes.

So no leftovers for you. A fresh pan of sticky buns!!

Thanks for the message and the encouragement!!

Julie Lessman said...

Hi Lenora, welcome to Seekerville -- it's a real pleasure to have you here.

I love your post -- especially the line "Writers don’t have a problem being alone with themselves." That's one of the things I LOVE about writers!! I'm basically a recluse myself (who has the misfortune of having an outgoing personality!! :)), so being alone with my computer is almost an obsession for me, and the fact that I am a writer helps me to feel a little more "normal" about that wonderful obsession. :)

As far as training your family and friends to take you seriously, I found that getting published not only helped those around me to take me seriously, but it helped ME to take myself seriously as well and finally learn to say "no" to lunches out and various innocent bleeds on my time. Of course, the deadlines help too -- whether it's a book deadline or one for entering a contest -- in forcing one to be serious about their schedule!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, all!


KellyMarstad said...

I'm always incredibly flattered when someone tells me they love my writing or they are a fan. I think it's that compliment which bolsters me when my spirits flag. It's that miracle somewhere between my personal disbelief and the wonder that someone spent hard earned money because they KNEW I would deliver a story they wanted. It amazes me every time.

Audra Harders said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Lenora! There should be a pot of coffee around here somewhere to go with those delicious sticky buns!

You are so right about being tough skinned. Personally, I'm a softie, I don't like conflict in my life. But, being a writer is all about toughening up. It took years for me not to take the critique of my work through contests with pound of salt.

Great thoughts for the holiday weekend! Thanks for sharing!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Lenora,

So nice to talk to someone whose books I've read.

Thanks for those inspiring words, especially about not taking our talents lightly or squandering them away. Will keep that in mind as I soldier on!

Have a wonderful weekend.


Mary Connealy said...

Welcome Lenora.

I have emerged from a turkey induced daze to check what's up at Seekerville and I find you.

Thanks so much for being on. Great post.

Arianna said...

I used to be a real loner. I'm more outgoing now, but I still love to be 'alone' with my computer, working on my novel. In my case with a big family, and people coming and going all the time, I just have to learn how to tune everything out. That can be hard sometimes, but after awhile I get so into my story, I don't notice anything! LOL.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for your kind words. I am so enjoying the sticky buns and coffee. It is raining here and as much as I love to shop, I'm staying in to finish a book. Just a chapter or two to go then I can take a breather. We are so blessed to be able to write. It still amazes me that God allowed me this one joy when I thought I wasn't worth any of His joys. But He gives me the strength to be brave and just write. And because of that, I've met such wonderful people. Julie, I am reading A Passion Most Pure right now and I'm loving it. Ah, Collin!!!! Sigh.
Thanks again for the kind words. Now I'm chewing on that sticky bun. Yum!

Lenora said...

Duh, that was me. I thought I'd hit the right button but alas, I'm anynomous!

It is I, Lenora! Thanks again!

Julie Lessman said...

Oooo, Lenora, you just gave me goose bumps!! I'm reading how it's raining where you are and you've opted to stay in with a book rather than shop and I'm thinking oooooo, how good that sounds ... and then you tell me it's A Passion Most Pure you're staying in with -- WOW, thanks for making my day!! And, yeah, Collin has that effect on me too! Grin.

Have a blessed day!


Cara Slaughter said...

Thanks so much for joining us, Lenora! I hope you and everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm like you and a lot of other writers--I like to be alone. I have to make an effort to come back to reality and join the rest of the world once in a while. I wonder if enjoying solitude is a 'writer's personality.'

Mary Connealy said...

I've got two choices today.

Start a new book...or spend time going through a finished one.

I just want to start this new book so badly, but the finished one is a Christmas book and I feel like I should spend the holiday season with it, because that's the spirit I'm trying to catch.

So, an interesting dilemma.

I think eating pretend food will help me decide. :)

Lenora :) said...

I'm back. Didn't get to read much but my husband is working tonight so I plan to snuggle up and read. It's still raining and he's out in the rain, poor baby. I did work on my own manuscript which is due after Christmas. I'm alone in the house and it's quiet. The cat is asleep, I think. Hope to get a little more work in then off to read. Yes, I think writers enjoy solitude a lot. Maybe because we're never actually alone. I mean, I have hunky heroes talking in my head all the time! Sometimes I answer them out loud and scare the cat and anyone else who might be around. Sometimes I'm in the middle of one book and wham, a man steps in and keeps aggravating me until I say "All right. I'll write your story." So ... maybe that's why we don't mind being alone! :)
It is so nice to chat with y'all and see some familiar names here.

Jessica said...

Hi Lenora,
I'm sorry I'm late to your post. I was always a loner and meeting other writers has been one of the biggest blessings of my life.
Thank you for the encouragement. I hope you enjoy Julie's book.
I'm eagerly awaiting the third :-)

Pam Hillman said...

Sorry I'm so late! Loved your post Lenora and the encouragement to not squander our talents. I'm going to re-read that part because I know God's speaking to me again through you!

I did go shopping today, my first time ever, then had a get-together with a bunch of church friends tonight, so I've been away all day.

Ready for a little of that quiet time!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Your post was a real blessing to me, Lenora. You really put my "down" times into perspective. Don't squander God's gift. I needed to hear that.


Glynna Kaye said...

Lenora -- sorry I didn't have access to a computer on Friday. Thank you so much for guesting in Seekerville!

This especially struck me: "... and those words can touch other people’s lives in a powerful way."

I'm amazed sometimes at things I write that seem "okay" to me or even "ho hum"--but add God's holy spirit to the mix and people's hearts can be touched.

Missy Tippens said...

Hey, Lenora! I had no internet access most of the holiday. (And truthfully, it was kind of nice!) :)

But now I'm getting to read your excellent post. I'm also very thankful for being able to write, which I love, and to work at home (in my jammies very often). My prayer so many years ago was that God would allow me to work at home to be with my children more (and to contribute to the family income). What a blessing to be able to do so!

Thanks so much for joining us in Seekerville!!

Cheryl Wyatt said...


Can't believe I missed you. WAAAA.

GREAT to have you in Seekerville.


Cheryl-who can't remember her bad-girl name.....sigh.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

And ROFL about talkiing out loud to hunky heroes and scaring the cat. LOLOL.

Thank you for being so encouraging, funny and uplifting.