Saturday, October 27, 2012

Five Years: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Debby Giusti here!

Some people call it happenstance…

You end up in the right place at the right time, not of your own doing but as if guided by some unknown force.

I call it God.

Just such an occurrence took place at the Romance Writers of America Conference this year. Thursday morning, I was debating whether to go to my room or attend one of the workshops. Before I could say Anaheim, California, I found myself in a session entitled, “Writing at Peak Productivity,” presented by author Sylvie Kutz.

Ms . Kutz talked about her own four-year writing burnout and the steps she took to reclaim her productivity. She discussed the importance of good nutrition and exercise to increase energy and creativity. She also stressed drinking lots of water to stay hydrated and the need for seven to eight hours of sleep to function at our best.

Quoting a University of Michigan study, Ms. Kutz explained how the brain has cycles of productivity and will stall after 90 to 120 minutes of mental exertion. A good rule of thumb is to frequently take short breaks. Stretch your muscles, practice deep breathing techniques and drink a glass of water before heading back to the computer.
L to R: Janet Dean, Missy Tippens and
Debby Giusti at M&M 2012

As helpful as her information was, the pièce de résistance was her discussion on gauging our progress. Most of us set goals, both short and long term. Those goals are what we hope to achieve in the future. Often we focus too much on what we have yet to accomplish—what we haven’t done--instead of remembering what we have already achieved.

The only way to measure success is to look back and not forward. Future projects don’t show our progress. Instead they remain in the distance, on the horizon so to speak, and that horizon changes as our goals change.

At first we want to publish a book. Once we’ve accomplished that goal, the horizon changes, and we set another goal. This time we want to publish the second book, then the third and the fourth. The horizon—like the proverbial carrot—is what we’re running toward. It’s never stationary and continues to be just out of reach. If all we do is race after the carrot, we’re constantly struggling to catch up and fail to see the gains we’ve made.

Looking back allows us to realize the hurdles we’ve climbed and the challenges we’ve conquered. By focusing on the miles we’ve covered, we’re less likely to get discouraged when it seems we have so much farther yet to go.
L to R: Debby Giusti, Julie Hilton Steele, Piper Huguley
and Missy Tippens at the M&M 2012 Awards Banquet 

So today, let’s look back.

My first book was published five years ago, in 2007, the same year this blog went live. Since then I’ve published a total of ten books. Number eleven will be released in January, and I’m contracted for two additional stories.

Instead of focusing on what I want to accomplish, I’m now looking at areas of success. Seekerville tops the list. By pooling our resources and under Tina’s wise leadership, we’ve been able to build an online community where writers and readers gather. Hopefully, we provide valuable information and support, and in return, we’ve learned so much from all of you who join us each day. Our community spans the continent. Friendships have formed across the miles, and for that, I am so very grateful.

For most writers, building a readership is a lifelong process. There’s always more that can be done, leaving some to feel they’re never doing enough. Too often they compare themselves against someone else’s success.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a readership. Looking back, I realize some of the small steps I took in the beginning have paid off. I have faithful readers in my hometown—many attend my church—who support my local book signings and buy my books not only for themselves but for their friends and relatives as well. That core group of readers buoys me up when I’m struggling with a story. Their interest in and support of my work encourage me to focus on the distance I’ve traveled instead of the miles that loom ahead.

My local Romance Writers of America chapter is another rock of support. I was humbled and honored to have been selected as the Georgia Featured Author for the Georgia Romance Writers’ Moonlight and Magnolia’s Conference this year. On Friday evening, I gave a talk that stressed how we have to believe in ourselves and in our writing. Rejections are inevitable, and the road to publication is often long and difficult, but if we can celebrate our successes and acknowledge the steps we’ve taken to achieve our dream, we’re better able to continue the journey to publication.

When did you start your writing journey and what have you accomplished along the way? What have you learned that helps you move forward? Do you believe in yourself and in your writing?


Leave a comment to be entered in today’s drawing. I’m giving away three prizes of FIVE items each:

(1) A journal in which to record your accomplishments
(2) A Seekerville pen
(3) A scriptural notepad to jot down inspirational thoughts
(4) One of my books, winner’s choice
(5) A BELIEVE button so you’ll never forget you’re a writer.

With hard work and perseverance, I know you will succeed.

Happy writing. Happy reading.

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti
www.DebbyGiusti.com
www.craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com

I'll be at the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon on Saturday, November 3. Join me, if you can. For reservations and information, visit http://www.southernmagic.org/luncheon.html.


 

ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT!


149 comments :

  1. I think it can be easy to forget that the Seekers all began as unpublished writers. The reason we started this blog five years ago was because we want others to succeed and we never, ever, ever want to take this writing journey and the blessings along the way for granted.

    We give away because so much has been given to us.

    Thanks friends of Seekerville.

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  2. That's such a wonderful post, Debby!!

    I'm working on it... especially the 'believing I'm a writer' part. Struggle with that one sooooooo often.

    I have several Debby books but not sure if I have them all.

    Love you, my friend!!!!

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  3. I love this post, Debby. I started writing about six years ago. In those six years I've learned a lot about myself as a person, who I'm growing to be in the Lord and many more things. I've completed several manuscripts. I remember the first one I finished. It'll never see the light of day but it was a huge moment in my life when I wrote the end after 90,000+ words.

    That first novel, the 'University Novel' was important to my writing career because of all the things it taught me.

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  4. I'm not really a writer but I can tell you that SLLLEEEEEEP is so important but who says 8 hours, I say 10 is better LOL! Some of us (i.e. me) need more beauty sleep than others. :-P

    Hey is that a PINK pen I see? Those puppies are elusive!

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  5. Renee, you don't have a pink pen yet??????

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  6. I say 10 hours is better too.

    I have a couple pink pens.

    I want some Mary Connealy chapstick.

    Plus I'm glad y'all started the blog. Or we wouldn't know y'all. You'd just be you few. Not us many.

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  7. I did not know that about the cycles. I could never be accused of writing without a break, I'm forever getting up to grab more coffee (and subsequently go the bathroom, lol!)
    I've been writing a very long time - nearly 20 years and without publication (I have writer friends in the same boat, and that 20 years really shocks a lot of "newer" writers) although I've been painfully close a few times. In that time, what have I learnt? I have to say - I'm not sure. I'm even more confused than when I started all those years ago when I figured I'd be published in a couple of years. I guess the only thing I can say is if you don't write and submit, you definitely won't get published! About the only certainty there is, I think! Also, cherishing writer pals, they keep me sane and make me laugh!

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  8. I'm late, I'm late. Had my nose in the current project. But the coffee pot is now ready for early brewing.

    I've been writing since the early 80's, but there was about a ten year hiatus in there when life got to be too much. I picked up my pen again about six years ago. I've learned that God's in charge and His timing is best.

    Helen

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  9. Thank you, Debby!

    Most of my accomplishments on my writing journey have to do with learning how to navigate in this crazy line of work. But I realized this journey is a lot like climbing a mountain.

    Since we moved to the Black Hills, we've been hiking up a lot of mountains. there are a couple ways to accomplish the task.

    One is to hunker down, keep your eyes on the trail and just take the next step. And the next. And the next. That method gets the job accomplished, but there sure isn't any joy in the journey!

    Another way is to keep the top of the next rise in view, working toward that goal. But constantly looking forward can be exhausting. Sometimes you have to stop, take a breather, and look at the path behind you to see how far you've come.

    And that's the third way. Enjoy the walk, keep track of your accomplishments, look at the scenery, talk to fellow hikers, take your time.

    See how much alike the two things are?

    And yes, I do believe in myself and my writing. I'm busier than I ever thought I would be, but having so much fun!

    Of course, the journey is so much easier with all of you along the way!

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  10. You know what Jo.G. I think the philosophy of this blog and most of the folks who hang here is...what can I do help YOU succeed?

    So hang around, and let's see how we can help you get closer to your dream.

    BTW we're all seasoned writers (that means we're middle aged woman). It took us time to sell too.

    So keep writing and let's get everyone in Seekerville sold.

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  11. Such a lovely post today! I'm continually impressed by the generosity and love expressed by the Seekers for the SeekerVillagers. :)

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  12. What an encouraging post, Debby. Thanks.

    I seriously began writing three years ago. I always allowed life to get in the way, and that's okay.

    When I turned 48, I decided I better get serious or give up the dream.
    I've written five stories, none published, but I think each one is better than the previous one.
    I joined ACFW and attended my first conference this year.
    I met a "real live" agent and she was so nice.
    I've entered a few contests.

    I've learned so much from Seekerville and you've encouraged me to keep working on my stories.

    Thanks so much, and happy birthday!

    Joyfully,
    Jackie

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  13. Hi Debby! The first thing that stood out loud and clear to me was getting enough sleep, drink water, exercising...all things that I'm not doing enough of right now! I need to do more of those things to reach a better productivity level...in several areas of life. I guess having three little ones kind of cuts into all that...but it's still no excuse. I've got to make taking care of myself a priority. With that said, I just started getting back to writing...and I'm so excited! I just started something new and contemporary to make myself smile and feel good. When people have asked me about my writing I sort of feel a little shy about it...I don't really feel like I own it. I've seen authors talk about their books before and when they're confident about their writing they totally own it. I'm not there yet. But I think I can be. Thanks for sharing! Blessings from GA! ~Stacey
    travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  14. Great and thoughtful post, Debby. Congrats on all your successes. You are inspiring and a highlight this year was meeting you at nationals.

    Love that Renee and Tina are talking about 'the' pink pen because I just used mine to sign a query letter to a prospective agent! I save that pen for special occasions and tonight I felt like I had the Seekers sisterhood/brotherhood behind me when I wrote my name.

    One step closer...So grateful for all that I've learned here, and for the wonderful spirited women and men that keep this place hopping. It's been a hard and wonderful year. And I wouldn't change a thing.

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  15. I love this post. I have learned that to never give up on yourself as a writer is the best advice ever given. I have 4 books published and I am so thankful. I have grown a lot over the years since I started writing. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I know the Creator has guided me on this journey.

    Melinda

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  16. Wow, sweet post!!

    So true about the carrot. After I sold my first ms I just sort of... stalled for a month. I didn't know what else to do. I'd worked so hard to get published and that box was checked.

    ALSO the water... Julie and Mary can attest to the time a few weeks ago I almost ran myself into the ground by not drinking enough water. I didn't know what was wrong with me for two whole days. I was just SICK. Exhausted. Dizzy. Horrible.

    Julie and Mary said WATER, among other things... and they were right. I felt better within hours.

    Duh.

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  17. Oh, I had a pink pen once and my otddler ATE IT. No joke. He was chewing on it and I found him, but when I got the pen back, he'd unscrewed it somehow and blue was running everywhere.

    He had blue lips for a while.
    Looked hypoxic.

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  18. Sorry, that last comment was a mess. Let me try again...

    Oh, the question of journey!

    I started writing in 2009 right before my fifth child was born. I just wanted to write down these characters, this romance, this ONE BOOK.

    And I did.

    And it was bad.

    And so I wanted to write a better one.

    And I did.

    And it was better, but still not good.

    And so on.

    I suppose my journey is mostly about chasing the craft. I open up Ruthy's or Tina's or Missy's (etc., etc., ETC.) books and go GREEN.

    Uh oh. Now I sounds like I'm fueled by jealousy. :O Scary thought.

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  19. Hi Debby,

    I think one of my favorite things on writer pages is hearing the writer's own personal "back story." Thank you for sharing a little about your journey - I have a friend who will benefit greatly from reading your post and I'm sending it on over now.

    Praying for his continued blessing in your life.

    Becky

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  20. Hi Debby,

    I sat down with the goal to write a novel on the day I turned 20 years old. Several novels later and a binder of rejections, I quit. I sat down with that goal again during the summer I was pregnant with my first son. He turned 4 this year, so counting his pregnancy time, I've been at it for 5 years. And I've seen some progress. I'm not published yet, but my rejection letters are from full manuscripts and not just queries. The rejections sometimes have positive feedback, and a couple of times an agent will remember me from their last request. Last week I finaled in 2 contests!--which btw never happens. So there's progress, which keeps me moving forward. I so agree with you to focus on the progress b/c it's so easy to get frustrated and want to quit. Nothing sucks your creative juices more than being frustrated with your work.

    Happy Saturday everyone. Looks like it's going to be a wet one here on the east coast.

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  21. Debby!

    A great post! Thanks. And in the picture of me, everyone can see me wearing my Believe button. Everyone was very, very impressed with these special gift. They were such a clear reflection of your generous spirit.

    I've been writing on and off for most of my life, but my most recent "on" started in 2010. The nature of writing has changed since my last "on" period and it has been a struggle to go from what I thought I knew already to learning all over again. But that is all part of the journey. I don't have a pink pen, but I may not need it yet...there are lots of other lovely prizes to be had. But not a Believe button. I have mine already! :)

    Have a good Saturday all!

    Piper

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  22. Ten books since 2007 ~ Wow! This is a wonderful post, Debby. I love to sit down with my old journals and realize I am stronger than I know. I can look back and see how far I've come and know that my God will continue to supply all of my needs. It doesn't get any better than that! Can't wait for book number 11!

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  23. Hi ebby, What a super and TIMELY message. I remember you talking about that workshop in Anaheim. Thank you for sharing it again and reminding us to remain faithful and positive. smile

    Love the photos.

    SUPER CONGRATS on winning the award. I'm so not surprised. You are a wonderful mentor.

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  24. Opps. Key stuck. Not ebby but Debby. Hugs.

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  25. Debby, what a wonderful look at re-focusing our energies.

    Talk about a God-moment. This is beautifully stated and so near and dear to my heart. I think it's hard for smart people (who inherently question everything) to simply accept God and/or timing.

    I have learned to be still many times, but in all honesty, that has been Debby Giusti's influence on me. Tina may be the brains (NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS CONTESTS THAT!!!) but Debby is the quiet example of goodness that I long to be.

    Clearly I have a long way to go, but Deb, thank you for this post.

    And I love the pic of you gals at M&M!!! Piper!! Julie!!! How beautiful you are!

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  26. Morning everyone!

    Grabbing a cup of coffee and waving to Tina. I agree with everything she said.

    Of course, we all know that Tina is always right! :)

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  27. Hi Carol,

    I struggle with believing as well. I think many of us do. That negative voice within always wants to pull me off track. The key is to ignore the negatives and focus on the positives.

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  28. JO G.

    Did you hear that Tina called us seasoned writers????

    LOL!

    So much nicer than a bunch of old bats, right???? :)

    First, I think you're awesome for staying with it, but I'm like you in a lot of ways. I tried several times to write when my kids were younger, but couldn't carve the dedicated time out of our crazy schedules on a regular basis.

    But by the time my youngest was 16, I decided:

    A.) He wasn't in jail, so that was good, right????

    B.) He was looking at colleges and doing well in school.

    C.) I was getting older and when God opens a window, he really wants you to breathe that new air!

    D.) I kept waking up at 4:00 AM, and wondering why... the answer came to me: Write. Right now. Get up and do it.

    So when those tumblers fell into place, I started again, in earnest. Every day, pre-dawn.

    And it took a bunch of years, and I messed up royally a few times, but I learned and that's okay because this can be a tough biz, but I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!

    So hang in there. Know you are among friends!

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  29. Hi Debby. This was a great post! Learning about the Seeker's journeys has always inspired me. I started writing many years ago as a child but all my writings have been lost along the way due to many moves. One thing I have learned through the years is that I have a talent for writing poetry and songs. But my true heart longs to complete one of my several novels I have started. I learned a lot from Cara's post on Thursday. I have a very, very bad habit of editing as I go and then I fall into the trap of letting the enemy tell me it's no good and I'll never accomplish my goal. I set the story aside and then when I go back days, weeks or months later I read what I have written and think, "hey, did I really write that? Not too bad."

    I need to believe more in myself and my talent and allow the Lord to guide me. I do need prayer in this area.

    Would love to be entered in your giveaway Debby. I love your books. I was an Air Force brat and so I appreciate military novels all the more.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  30. Christina...

    You rock! Writing for six years. Think of all you've learned in that period of time.

    Finishing the book is so important. Didn't you get a surge of confidence when you typed THE END on that first manuscript?

    Everyone needs to finish the book.

    Then move on to the second book and the third. (After revising, of course!)

    The best way to learn to write is to write!

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  31. Renee...

    It is a PINK PEN!!! And it says Seekerville. So cute!

    Good for you getting ten hours of sleep. I average six, which isn't enough.

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  32. Carol, you'll have to talk to Mary about the chapstick. I don't have any. Sorry!

    I love going to conferences and seeing Seeker friends. Also it's so fun to meet folks I know online but have never met in person. That happened at M&M when I got to meet Julie and Piper! So special to connect with them since we were already cyber buds.

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  33. Good Morning, Debby,

    Love your reminder to savor your accomplishments. I think it's also good that when you are looking back at YOUR accomplishments, not to compare them to OTHER writers, because you'll never be comparing apples to apples.

    I'm so glad that God lead the Seeker ladies to start a blog, and be such an inspiration to the rest of us.

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  34. Jo G...
    Thanks for sharing your writing journey. You're not alone. The road to publication has stretched over many, many years for a lot of us. Don't give up and be sure to stop by Seekerville each day. You'll get lots of support here, as well as opportunities to chat with editors and agents. Plus, we host contests that place manuscripts on editors' desks. So stay with Seekerville!

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  35. Coffee and words of wisdom from Helen.

    She wrote: " I've learned that God's in charge and His timing is best.

    You've said it all, Helen!!!

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  36. Jan,
    Lovely analogy. I see a future conference workshop developing with your climbing the mountain theme.

    Thanks for sharing. We all need to take time to enjoy the journey, don't we? Too often, we're rushing to get things done and forget how blessed we are to be able to create stories. God gave each of us a gift. We honor Him when we use that gift for His Glory.

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  37. Hi Debby, :)

    First off, I want to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed your 'Believe' speech at the conference. Such inspiration! So is this post. Looking forward and setting goals is key to success, but more importantly we need to enjoy the journey.

    A quote came to mind while reading your post so I looked it up to make sure I didn't say it wrong. (lol)

    "Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things." ~Frank Clark, a successful screenwriter of the early 1900s.

    Thank you for your generous spirit, Debby.

    I feel empowered! Believe!

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  38. I'm agreeing with Tina. We want everyone in Seekerville to sell!!!

    We BELIEVE in you!

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  39. Thank you for this lovely post! Debby said: What have you learned that helps you move forward?

    I have learned that I am not alone in my shortcomings. For instance I thought I was the only one who worries that I'm not expressing 'all of what I know about my story on the page.' But I come here and find the things I thought could keep me from succeeding are just common problems we have to learn to overcome. : )

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  40. DEBBY - Thank you for the reminder to pause, take a deep breath, and reflect on our accomplishments. I've always been extremely thankful for finally reaching publication, for where God's led me--but there's been mighty little time to ENJOY it! :)

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  41. Hi Erica, so glad you're part of the Seekerville family!

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  42. Great reminder, Debby.
    I've been seriously writing for about 6 or 7 years, and unfortunately, it's taken me that long to just 'rest' in the waiting. God's helped me gain a lot of perspective on writing for the joy of writing not the pressures of publication.

    Six years ago I had one novel completed (and poorly at that), no contest wins, and no writing community. Six years later, I've taken the CWG course, placed in several contests, completed four more novels, and have a wonderful writing community that continue to encourage and inspire me.

    You're right, Debby. When you look back on where you've come it really does inspire you! Praise GOd!

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  43. A great post that can relate to all of us, readers and writers alike, in all walks of life, well almost. i guess as a reader i don't need to get up every 90 to 120 minutes, but mostly i do..for that cup of coffee and a bathroom break if nothing else. Thanks for letting those of us that are readers gather with you here, and Happy Birthday!

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  44. Jackie, you have a lot to celebrate!

    Your story sounds somewhat like mine. I published a few articles early on, and then put my writing on hold when my children were young. At a certain point in mid-life, I realized I needed to get started again. My dream came true but it took time.

    With your determination, I'm confident you will succeed!!!

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  45. Pink pens? I don't have one of those yet! I do have a red Mary Connealy pen from ACFW, but no pink one. Yet. Sigh. :) Of course, I'm not quite ready to write a query yet either. :)

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  46. Hi Stacey,
    You're doing an important job right now, caring for your little ones. They grow up so fast.

    I find women often put everyone else first and leave little time or energy for themselves. I guess it goes with our nuturing nature. We care for others. Often we forget to care for ourselves.

    So glad you're finding time to write. Even a few minutes each day adds up. As they say, write a page a day and you've got a book in a year.

    I used to hesitate telling folks about my writing until I published a number of magazine articles. Seeing my byline in print convinced me that I really was a writer.

    You're a writer, Stacey! Believe in yourself and in your work! Love those little ones and snag whatever time you can.

    We can travel great distances whether we take big steps or small ones. I was always the tortoise instead of the hare, but I finally got off unpubbed island.

    You will too!:)

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  47. www.patjeannedavis.comOctober 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    A very beautiful post, Debby. I also believe that God puts us in the right place at His right time. All of your inspiring stories encourage me this morning. Looking back on the distance I've come since '05 helps keep my feet on the path when I feel discouraged. I never want to take for granted the value of supportive family and friends, especially my hubby. Thank you Seekers for your dedication to assisting other aspiring novelists become published. The teaching posts are keepers. Happy 5th Birthday and a blessed weekend to everyone.
    Pat in Philly
    patjeannedavis[at]verizon[dot]net

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  48. HI Lyndee,

    I so enjoyed our time together at Nationals. Plus, I've framed the picture of us at the book signing. It's the first thing I see when I enter my office. :)

    How special that you use the Seekerville pen for important writing-related documents! Good luck with that agent.

    Hope you know that each Seekervillagers is covered with our prayers. We want everyone off the Island! I know you're close.

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  49. Hi Melinda!

    Congrats on your success! Four books! That's fantastic!!!

    Loved your comment...
    "I know the Creator has guided me on this journey.

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  50. Debby, this post was so uplifting. Thanks for the great words of wisdom.

    As for sleep, I don't get enough. 6 to 6 1/2 hours on weeknights. I am pretty good about staying hydrated. I got dehydrated and I got so sick! I never want to go to that place again.

    I began my writing journey two years ago this month. I never thought I'd be a writer, though it was a secret dream. When God plopped a heroine and a story line into my mind. I went to a My Book Therapy retreat and learned the craft of writing. And just how much I have to learn about writing. :)

    In two years, I've re-written my story four times applying craft as I learned it, and this last one is the one I'm moving forward with. I've had a number of ideas pop into my head, and I can hardly wait to begin another one. I'm slow, but this is the way I roll. :)

    Successes have come in small doses so far. Putting my work out there for contests (and learning a lot), writing THE END earlier this year. Attending my first ACFW last month. Surviving pitching my book to an editor and an agent. Meeting wonderful authors, especially you ladies!

    One of the biggest things that has kept me writing when discouraged is remembering that God gave this story to me, not to someone else. He has a reason for having me write it. When I question if I'm the right one for writing, or if I should even write, He reminds me of this truth. I cling to it, and keep pressing forward. Having friends further along the road who encourage me and speak words of life into my heart help me keep moving forward.

    Okay, now that I've written a novella, I'll sign off. Loved your post today, Debby!

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  51. What an encouraging post. I'm sitting here nodding at some of the comments: Jo G, Annie!, Cindy, Pepper...

    I can so relate to everything you're saying: the years in the trenches, the on again/off again seasons to devote to writing, the highs and lows, the excitement of being so close, the devastation of hearing no once again.

    But look how far we've come, how far you've come on this journey!!!

    Amazing!

    I'm smiling just thinking about it.

    And ebby is such a cute nickname. We need to use it more often!

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  52. Debby, I really enjoyed this post. I am just a reader, but am always inspired when you talk! I live in GA also...east of you...if readers are in this drawing, please count me in. I want to read all of your books..have read only 3 and did not realize you have written so many!
    Blessings~~~
    Jackie S.

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  53. Thanks, Debby, for sharing. I started writing about 3 1/2 years ago when my nest became empty. I thought I'd have all this time on my hands, but somehow it hasn't worked out that way. I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo and your post reminded me how important it is to see how far I've come even as I'm focusing on my current goal of finishing this year. I would love to win the prize and any of your books. If it's one I've read, I would pass it on to one of my sisters.

    emcwrites[at]gmail[dot]com

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  54. Virginia...

    Loved reading about your month-long break after getting The Call. When we work so hard for so long, it's nice to pause and enjoy the success!

    After I finish a book, I need some time before I enter into the next story. It's as if I'm depleted after taking an emotional journey with my hero and heroine and need a break before I'm ready to jump into another adventure.

    Water...so important.

    Ms. Kutz said computer work is very dehydrating.

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  55. Wonderful post, Debby---and as so often happens...this post is exactly what I need TODAY! I tend to be hard on myself, always wishing I could accomplish more in a day (not only with my writing, but other areas as well) *sigh*. So your post will be a great one to re-read as a gentle reminder of not dwelling on what I have yet to accomplish. ~ After the Lord closed the door on my teaching career (as you know, due to back issues/pain) I truly felt--and still do--that HE opened the door for me to write. So in 2008 I actually began a manuscript, but then had to put things on hold in 2010 due to my major surgeries. Now I'm striving to be the best writer I can be, and do exactly what the Lord would have me to do. Although I have a ways to go, I've learned SO much these past few years (tons of it due to Seekerville!!) but most importantly--the FRIENDS I've made are priceless--which makes this writing journey even sweeter. ~ Thanks again for this post, and I am THRILLED about your writing success. YAY Debby!! Love, Patti Jo
    p.s. Please enjoy the cobblers I just took out of the oven: Peach (of course, LOL) and Apple! ;)

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  56. Wonderful post, Debby---and as so often happens...this post is exactly what I need TODAY! I tend to be hard on myself, always wishing I could accomplish more in a day (not only with my writing, but other areas as well) *sigh*. So your post will be a great one to re-read as a gentle reminder of not dwelling on what I have yet to accomplish. ~ After the Lord closed the door on my teaching career (as you know, due to back issues/pain) I truly felt--and still do--that HE opened the door for me to write. So in 2008 I actually began a manuscript, but then had to put things on hold in 2010 due to my major surgeries. Now I'm striving to be the best writer I can be, and do exactly what the Lord would have me to do. Although I have a ways to go, I've learned SO much these past few years (tons of it due to Seekerville!!) but most importantly--the FRIENDS I've made are priceless--which makes this writing journey even sweeter. ~ Thanks again for this post, and I am THRILLED about your writing success. YAY Debby!! Love, Patti Jo
    p.s. Please enjoy the cobblers I just took out of the oven: Peach (of course, LOL) and Apple! ;)

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  57. Sounds like you need a new Seekerville pen, Virginia! :)

    Wait! I just did the math. Did I get it right? You sold after only three years?

    Amazing and wonderful!

    Good for you!!!

    Plus, you've got little ones who demand your time and energy. We need more info. When do you find time to write?

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  58. Becky, so good to read your comments. Thanks for spreading the word about Seekerville.

    Love your website and your post about the woman dancing in the front row at church!

    You have a lot to celebrate!

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  59. Annie,

    Receiving positive feedback on a rejection is huge!!! The editors and agents won't take the time to comment unless they recognize talent. Pat yourself on the back! You're doing so, so well!!!

    Congrats on the finals, too! YAY, you!

    Hope you're out of harm's way with Sandy! Praying protection over everyone in the storm's path!

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  60. Just the shot of encouragement I needed, Debby!

    I like the idea of looking back, of seeing the accomplishment and what I learned from the less-than-an-accomplishments :-) So that's what I did. And you know what? I feel better. I have two first places in contests I respect, I'm an officer in my local RWA chapter, I know a lot more writers than I knew before (and have learned scads from them), and I know now how much my years of magazine writing prepared me for this. Best of all -- and something I need to continually remind myself about -- I *finished* manuscripts.

    I was at yet another "what am I doing?" point in my writing, considering just chucking it, but your post has changed that. I'm ready to charge ahead.

    Thank you!!!

    Nancy C

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  61. OH! I would love a Seeker pen and whatever might come with it :-)

    Nancy C

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  62. One more post -- anyone who will be impacted by the hurricane, please take care.

    Nancy C

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  63. Hi Debby,

    Thank you for your inspiration. You and everyone at Seekerville are such wonderful examples of angels sent to encourage!

    You said: "... we’ve been able to build an online community where writers and readers gather. Hopefully, we provide valuable information and support.."
    You most certainly do that!!! I cannot say how much all of you have meant to me and many others - all of us who sit at our computers and wonder if there are others out there like us!

    Your friendship, guidance and support - and most importantly - your generosity of spirit in sharing all aspects of your own journeys - mean more than you can know! THANK YOU!!

    Raising my coffee mug to you all on this rainy Saturday.

    Many hugs,

    Sue

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  64. HI Piper!
    Being with you at M&M was wonderful! You sparkle! :)

    The conference was great, wasn't it! Glad you liked the BELIEVE buttons. So many folks said they appreciated that little bit of encouragement.

    This business is so hard, especially when we receive rejections. That's why we need to support one another, which is what we try to do here at Seekerville.

    So glad you're part of our blog family!

    HUGS!

    (Sorry you didn't get a Seekerville pen at the conference. I had them on my table at the book signing.)

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  65. Hi Jill,

    How lovely to have your journals and to be able to see how God has worked in your life over the years.

    I journal weekly but not each day. Reading some of my past entries always makes me realize how God is constantly working to bring me to a better place.

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  66. Waving to Sandra, my wonderful roomie at Nationals!

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  67. You're so right, Ruthy. Piper and Julie are beautiful!

    So are you. Thanks for your sweet words today.

    Prayers for New York and the approaching storm.

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  68. Debby, your post blessed me today. In fact, your encouragement was exactly what I needed. I tend to look ahead and not see what I've accomplished. Recently someone asked me how many books I had published. Obviously not one of my loyal readers. I said my seventh book would release in April and she appeared blown away impressed, while I'd been comparing myself to those who are more productive.

    I was also blessed to attend M&M this year and got to hear your inspirational speech that obviously touched everyone by their response.

    Seekerville blesses me each day. The familiar names and faces of those that share their lives, many of who I've had the privilege of meeting in person, puts a smile on my face. Hard to believe this all started just five years ago. And the Seekers were all unpublished at the time we first launched our site. As were many of those who hang out here. If that sale hasn't come--yet--hang in. God's perfect timing is so much easier to see looking back.

    Janet

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  69. Ruthy, thanks for sharing your journey to publication. That 4 AM wake up call paid off!

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  70. This is a great post, Debby. I have definitely been guilty of forgetting what I've accomplished and focusing only on the things I haven't yet accomplished. Which makes me very frustrated! You said, "If all we do is race after the carrot, we’re constantly struggling to catch up and fail to see the gains we’ve made." Very true.

    So, let's see ... I started writing short stories and articles 9 1/2 years ago, and my first novel since high school about 8 1/2 years ago. I got my first offer almost 3 years ago from my dream publisher, Zondervan, and they published my first book 2 years ago as a Young Adult book. And my 3rd book comes out in two months, and I'm contracted for a 4th. It really seems like a miracle. Also, my books have gotten lots of attention, which I am so grateful for, including winning a Carol and twice finaling in the Christy Awards. God has been good to me.

    Lately all I've been thinking about is how I can get someone to publish my adult novels. I still haven't solved that conundrum, but I can be happy for the things I have succeeded in. So thank you, Debby! I needed that reminder.

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  71. I set aside today as a writing day, so this was a great post to read to get me motivated! Thanks Debby!

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  72. And I also want to say what a great accomplishment this blog is. It has certainly been a blessing to me. As has Mary Connealy, through whom I found this blog, and through this blog I've met so many wonderful people and made so many friends. So thank you, Seekers, for all the effort you put into this blog. You are all awesome!

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  73. I needed this post! Thanks do much for sharing. You house are one of my favorite blogs and i cod really use that journal! LOL

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  74. HI Cindy W...another military brat!

    Thanks for your kind words about my stories.

    Sounds like you have an active Negative Voice. I do as well.

    That's why we have to BELIEVE in ourselves and in our writing so we can still the negatives and focus on the positives.

    Keep moving forward. Cara was right. Get the book written. Then go back and revise. Perfection can be a stumbling block.

    Think production instead of perfection.

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  75. HI Rose,

    Great point about not comparing our journey to someone else's. "Apples to oranges" is so right.

    Thanks for being part of the Seekerville blog community, Rose. Loved being with you at ACFW!

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  76. LOL no I still don't have a pink pen but maybe soon!!! ;-)

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  77. Hi CE,
    Thanks for sharing the insightful quote from Frank Clark and for your sweet comments about my talk.

    It's the little things that matter usually, isn't it? Too often we don't give them the credit they deserve.

    So glad you're part of the Seekerville family, C.E.! You needed to be in the photo with Julie and Piper!!!

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  78. Donna,

    We all struggle with the same problems, don't we? Having a "home" where we can share our concerns and our problems helps so much.

    I'm so grateful for all of you. You enrich my life and bring joy to my heart!

    Hugs and love!

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  79. Waving to Glynna who always does so much! Enjoy the weekend. Hope you can take some time for yourself.

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  80. YAY, Pepper!

    Look at all you've accomplished.

    There's so much that goes into writing a book, and so few people actually achieve that goal. You've written five books, plus you have a busy life outside of writing. And a family.

    Congratulations on your success! You rock!

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  81. Marianne! We love readers in Seekerville. You're the reason we write!

    Hugs!

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  82. Jeanne T...the pink Seekerville pens (actually they're pink and white) were on the giveaway table at the ACFW Conference. Sorry you missed them.

    Keep believing in what you're doing and you'll be signing contacts before you know it, pink pen or not!

    Hugs.

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  83. Yup, sold after 3 years, but I went from 0- 60 BECAUSE...

    I found Seekerville around 08/10 and read every post I could, from then until now. I learn something from every post. Seriously.


    I got a Tina 10 page critique (I think she admitted it!! I can say it!!!) in late 2010 and that bumped my writing about a bazillion points. It's one thing to read books on writing, it's another to have real comments from a real (although, anonymous) person.

    Then I entered contests (that I heard about on Seekerville!) and got lots of feedback. Painful, some of it. But with some successes to soften the blows. :D

    Then, although I'd queried about 50-60 agents in that time, I still hadn't sold or gotten representation.... Until Seekerville had the 'READ ME' contest and the rest is history.


    Oh, and I was just trying to solve a pacing issue last night and picked up 'The Officer's Secret' to check how you wrote around it. :D

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  84. Pat in Philly, hope you stay safe in this storm.

    Family and friends are so important. I'm blessed to have a supportive hubby and great kids who always cheer me on. That's such a blessing.

    Seekerville is a blessing as well. Don't know what I would do without all of you!

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  85. Oh, Jeanne, thanks for sharing your journey.

    Such a valuable point that God gave YOU that story. All books don't appeal to all readers. So, as Rose mentioned earlier, we can't compare our work to someone else's. There's a reason we receive inspiration from Him concerning a particular story. It's the one we're supposed to write. Hopefully, it will reach the people who need to hear the message.

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  86. Pam, you've got me smiling! Ebby works for me.

    Plus, I'm using your tip about opening two screens and reading comments on one and answering on the other. Saves time not having to scroll up and down the blog.

    THANK YOU!

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  87. Hi Jackie S!!!

    YES, you're in the drawing, and as I mentioned earlier, WE LOVE READERS IN SEEKERVILLE!!! You're the reason we write.

    We have a lot of Georgia folks in Seekerville! Waving to all the Bulldog fans. Big game today.

    Get some of Patti Jo's peach cobbler. So yummy!

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  88. Hi Elaine,

    Thanks for the reminder. The Seekerville Month-Long Birthday Party draws to a close at the end of OCT and NaNoWriMo starts the beginning of NOV.

    Good luck, everyone!

    You're in the drawing, Elaine!

    I always think I'll accomplish more in a day than I actually am able to do. For some reason, life changes my schedule. But often, those unexpected distractions are the most important.

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  89. You've been through so much over the past few years, Patti Jo, and are such an inspiration to me! I know the Lord has wonderful plans for your future and your writing.

    Both cobblers are wonderful. Thanks for baking for us!

    HUGS!

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  90. Nancy C...

    How could you ever think of giving up! You've accomplished so much. First place finals, magazine publications, finished manuscripts, RWA chapter officer, networking with others in the industry! You're doing everything right!

    Sometimes the closer we get to publication, the harder it gets to continue. Discouragement can take over. Don't let it keep you from moving forward. Make sure you visit Seekerville often, if not daily! We believe in you. We want you to keep writing, and we're confident you will succeed. Besides, you already have succeeded in so many ways! Congrats! Don't stop now! Keeping writing!

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  91. Hi Sue,

    Thanks for your kind words about Seekerville. Sharing our writing journeys with all of you brings us joy as well. And support. And encouragement.

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  92. Tina said: "We give away because so much has been given to us."

    Exactly!

    Debby, thank you for the beautiful post and the reminder to look back occasionally to remind ourselves how far we've come!

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  93. Waving to Janet. Thanks for your inspiring words today.

    God blessed us abundantly when He gave us Seekerville. It really is a gift from Him. He inspired us to create the blog, and He provided Tina to handle all the tech stuff. :) Then He brought all the Seekervillagers to enrich our lives.

    God is good. Amen.

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  94. Melanie,
    Look at your success! You've done so much, and your stories have touched so many.

    Don't ever allow anything negative to take away your joy. God is smiling! So am I.

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  95. Waving to Eva!

    Hope your writing day is very productive! Congrats on your success!

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  96. HI Terri, the journal is lovely. So are the notes. You're in the drawing!

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  97. Virginia, thanks for sharing how Seekerville helped you achieve your dream. Actually, we did very little. You're the one who wrote the great story that sold!

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  98. Waving to Myra! How's the weather in your part of the country?

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  99. "Think production instead of perfection."


    WOW! I love that!!!

    *kicking the negative voice in the knee*

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  100. OOOH a Seekerville pen!!! OOOOH yes yes yes!

    This was so encouraging, Debby, as you are usually. Thank you.

    I began the writing path mannnny magnolia midnights ago but seriously about 5 years ago also.

    Wow - #11 for you coming up in such a short time. Imagine!

    I'm just starting #3, with #2 coming out around Thanksgiving.

    Loved your encouragement here, and how you talk about your core group. That's how I feel about Seekerville. Y'all are "the berries" as Mom would say.

    Thanks for all you do for us as readers and writers on the journey. Y'all are truly the pathfinders and trailblazers for many of us.

    One of the things that keeps me going forward is interaction with May the K9 Spy's fans, especially when she is "in dog" at events. Kids and adults offer us encouragement to bring them another story, or share something that May did that helped them. THAT is pawmazing!

    When I doubt that what we're doing makes a difference, the Lord brings someone along that helps my focus. I just keep trying to be where He wants me to be and leave things up to Him.

    You serve as an inspiration to me personally. What a true blessing it has been to be tagging along in Seekerville. HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY!!! And congratulations on all the successes, and I do look forward to hearing about many more! :)

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  101. Love all of this, Debby, especially the permission to look back and savor the moments that got us to this point. I think that's wonderful advice for anything -- writing or life. I had this illustrated to me this past summer in my garden.

    I messed up my foot in a big way a couple of years ago and now there's deep tissue damage and I'm left walking with a cane and challenged with chronic pain and mobility issues. One of the things I love to do is garden, but I couldn't do anything for one whole year. My entire front yard is made up of perennial beds and this spring they were overrun with weeds due to neglect. My yard was a horrible eyesore.

    I felt overwhelmed until my neighbour encouraged me to try gardening twenty minutes a day. She also told me to concentrate on what I was getting done, not what still needed doing.

    It was hard at first because all I could see was what I hadn't accomplished, but as my twenty minutes gradually turned into hours, I began to look forward to looking back and basking in my accomplishment. It took me months to finish but what an amazing feeling when it was done. And bonus, people in the neighbourhood kept stopping by to watch my progress and I made a few new gardening buddies...including three of the feline persuasion who have claimed my garden as their kingdom.

    I kind of parallel that experience with my writing. Pressed for time and struggling with health issues I can't always be as productive as I want to be (and used to be). This summer taught me that I can still reach my goals if I just diligently put in my time, piecemeal though it may be.

    Seekerville are the neighbours stopping by to offer encouragement. This 'village' has been such a source of comfort and encouragement for me! I get all teary-eyed just thinking about y'all and what you have shared -- the generosity of your collective spirits. You are a major influence for good on my writing journey. God bless you for that.

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  102. Yay, Virginia!!!

    BTW, today is Glynna's birthday. I've brought birthday cake and ice cream to celebrate! Enjoy!

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  103. KC, I know you and May touch so many as you go to your events. Keep up the good work.

    God is so happy! So are your readers!!!

    Congrats!

    You are "the berries!"

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  104. Love your post Debby! You're always so encouraging. :) My writing journey was slow and getting nowhere until I found Seekerville and then BAM things started to happen. I've learned so much from ya'll and appreciate it!

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  105. Kav, you have me teary-eyed. Thanks for sharing some of the struggles of your journey, both with your garden and your writing.

    So glad you took your neighbor's advice. I'm know your garden is beautiful, and your hard work has paid off for the enjoyment of all.

    Those small steps add up, don't they? I often set my timer for 30 minutes. Grabbing even a few minutes of writing time makes me feel productive and successful.

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  106. Jamie, BAM is good! So glad you're part of our Seekerville family!

    BELIEVE!!!

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  107. Good post... it is important to take a look back and see how far you've come. I was just thinking that nearly ten years ago, I decided to self-publish, while I can't say that that was the greatest choice. It opened areas to me of learning and growing. I joined a writer's group not long after and started learning and growing more.

    I think we forget that we learn from our past. Even from the failures. And yes I have had some.

    But I am pleased to say that I lived through them and I have my fourth book coming out in a week.

    Funny, or maybe not so funny, my self published book still haunts me. Because while I stopped selling them, for some reason they are still selling from time to time.

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  108. What a nice post! So many surprises for me that has happened the last five years.

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  109. What a nice post! So many surprises for me that has happened the last five years.

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  110. Happy Birthday Glynna!

    Lots of blessings here at Seekerville. I am enjoying reading them all!

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  111. Tina,
    Congrats on your success.

    Often when we keep charging ahead we forget that we have learned so much...from our successes and our failures, as you mentioned. Taking time to look back allows us to appreciate the distance we've traveled.

    Can you pinpoint why your self-pubbed book haunts you? Do you feel you rushed the process perhaps? Just wondering because I'm sure your insights would help others who are considering self-pubbing.

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    Replies
    1. thanks, Debby,
      As for why it haunts me...

      I should have done a lot more editing. As for the story itself, I wrote it like others stories of the time, with head hopping. But the rule of POV was changing, especially in Christian Fiction.

      I wrote the powers that be and had the book removed but it still hangs on and is still selling on Amazon and Barnes & Noble getting more exposure because of other books.

      I did meet Vickie McDonough because of it and joined a crit group with her. Where I learned.

      Tina

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  112. Amy, sounds as if you've had a good five years. I'm so glad.

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  113. KAV--


    I didn't know about your foot issue. I'm so sorry,. I have a friend who broke her foot a year ago and is still on crutches, physical therapy, and a knee scooter around the house.

    Hugs for the pain and the boredom.

    Hooray for beautiful flowers!! My flowers are a mess. I garden about every 2 years.

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  114. You do nt realize how timely this post is for me. I love how you said we count our successes by looking back. When I started this journey five years ago, I can't imagine I thought I'd be here today...And while I still have no agent and am unpublished, there are many successes along this journey that have built me up to continue in. Sometimes I forget and struggle to understand God's hand in it all, this is where I have been this week. But with a great writing community here and at The Writer's Alley, I have managed to lean in and gain prayer and encouragement that has helped push me past the doubt. I thought yesterday, that God really must want to refine me to have a journey like this one! But you know what? I can only look back and see his unwavering faithfulness. Funny, I get myself in a tizzy and then find that I am not only where I am suppose to be, but in His grasp the entire way. Thank you for this! Sorry for my longwindedness!!

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  115. Angie, such inspiring words, especially
    "I am not only where I am suppose to be, but in His grasp the entire way."

    Lovely!

    So happy for your five year journey. I know it's a success story!

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  116. I'm not exactly sure when I started as a writer, but it was six years or so ago that I began to take my writing seriously. Since then, i've completed two books, obtained an agent, one two contests, and received numerous inquiries.

    Most importantly, I've made a lot of new friends.

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  117. Congrats, Walt! You've had lots of success! Plus, you have a full-time job and support your family. And you're a great dad!

    It's all good!

    Wait, Walt! You've had a novella published too. Right? And you've published a number of magazine articles on parenting.

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  118. Debby, fabulous snapshot of your career and how we can follow your lead. No matter what I tried, my own journey was a L-O-N-G one, and I almost gave up more than once.

    Not long ago I realized God used that opportunity to teach me some sorely needed patience. A good lesson for me as a writer AND a person :)

    Also have to say something to Carol Moncado and anyone else who's having a hard time believing their talent is real. Listening?

    Writers write. If you indulge your imagination and spin stories out of thin air, you're a writer. Don't let anyone--especially yourself--tell you any differently.

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  119. I am just so touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and accomplishment here today.

    Deb, you took a simple blog post and turned it into a testimonial so beautifully stated that you've folks making me misty-eyed.

    And I'm a tough old gal, I don't get emotional very easy, but this is just a beautiful day.

    Bless youse!

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  120. Oh, Kav, you brat.

    You made me cry.

    Bless you. And that garden. And that work.

    You amaze me.

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  121. Just checking back in and enjoying the posts so much. BTW, I have a small stone paperweight that says Believe. That word has so many different and deep meanings, doesn't it?

    You know, Debby, this post also has relevance with my weight loss journey and perhaps others here have the same experience. It's the big picture, not the glitches or the bad weeks that define what I've accomplished. One pound a week is 52 pounds a year. It was wonderful when that occurred to me! Baby steps, always moving forward. I'm down 105 pounds now. It is a miracle and a gift.

    It's been a step by step process, the same as with my writing, in learning to truly trust the Lord and believe that even with all my imperfections, He wants good for me. "Neglect not the gift that is within you" - I Tim 4:14 has been my guiding verse this year.

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  122. The lessons of all types I've learned from the Seekerville Blog have been invaluable in this writing pursuit. Thanks to all of you for keeping it up. Your encouragement helped me realize publication in July. This post is timely - I can look back to how I got here, but I need to look ahead to what God has next.

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  123. I just read through all the comments and I'm feeling a bit misty too. I want to be in God's will and not mess it up. It' so easy to be discouraged on those days when the writing is so flat.

    Some days when i'm frustrated I think It would be nice to have a normal life and put this crazy writing life aside, I think that if nothing else, the Lord uses it to teach me in the things that really are bigger than the writing. I may never be published but I love working toward it and being part of such an amazing community of people.

    There's something so special about what we share here and with our other writing peeps.
    Thank you all and thank you especially Debby, for the sweet encourager you are!

    I hope everyone voted for Seekerville as a top writer blog. Is that contest over, because we need to get everyone voting. A nice little thank you and happy birthday present, don't you think?


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  124. Debby said: Sometimes the closer we get to publication, the harder it gets to continue. Discouragement can take over. Don't let it keep you from moving forward. Make sure you visit Seekerville often, if not daily! We believe in you.

    ---

    Words of encouragement go a long way, Debby. Thank you. And Seekerville is a daily stop, even if I don't comment. I am amazed how many times the post of the day is exactly what I need. You ladies are generous beyond words :-)

    Nancy C

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  125. another wonderful posting, debby ;)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    happp birthday, seekers

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  126. YAY, DEB, GREAT BLOG, GIRL!!!

    You said, "I’m now looking at areas of success. Seekerville tops the list."

    AMEN AND AMEN ... The Seekers and the Friends of Seekerville are some of the BEST FRIENDS I have in this biz and would be lost without them, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect on that, Deb.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  127. Mia, thanks for encouraging Carol and others. You're so right about writers!!!

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  128. Ruthy, don't cry!

    We love you!

    Hugs!

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  129. I'm so proud of all you've accomplished, Lyndee!

    1 Tim 4:14 is a verse all of us can hold onto. That gift within is what God has given each of us. That's why we have to work hard to write stories that spread His message of love and hope.

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  130. It's Saturday night, and probably too late for my comment to count for the prizes -- which are wonderful! -- but I agree completely with the cycles of productivity. Every semester on the first day of class, I share two verses with my students, both from Ecclesiastes & both seemingly contradictory but actually wise. Ecc 7:8 says finishing is better than starting, but Ecc 12:12 says much study wears you out. God clearly knows we need to pace ourselves. Thanks for such a great post.

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  131. Well said, Paula!

    Congrats on your success!!! We're so happy for you, and so glad you're part of our Seekerville family.

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  132. Waving to Deb Marvin.

    I've read your work. You will sell!!! BELIEVE!!!

    I believe in you and your writing!

    Thanks for the shout out about Seekerville.

    Hugs!

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  133. Nancy, God directs our steps in all things. So glad you're part of the family. :)

    BELIEVE!

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  134. Hi Karen, thanks for the birthday wishes!

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  135. We're so blessed to be part of Seekerville, aren't we, Julie!

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  136. Great scripture verses, Susan. The drawing runs until midnight so you stopped by in time.

    Enjoy the weekend.

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  137. im late but agree with needing 8 hours of sleep to function correctly and staying hydrated. I got excited when I got 4 and half hours straight sleep last night and dozed a little but feel almost more tired than 4 hours of broken sleep. But I know by not getting the amount of asleep I am use to around 8 - 9 a night I dont function well. Yes I can do things but cant concentrate well. so can understand how hard it would be for writers to write with out much sleep.

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  138. Jenny, you've had a hard year. Hope your health improves so you can sleep well and get stronger!

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  139. What a great post! Very encouraging! Thank you.

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  140. Susan, thanks for stopping by this evening.

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  141. Thank you for such an inspirational post.
    I especially like the "I believe" being a writer.
    Jan

    janet_kerr(at)msn.com

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  142. Debby,
    Your post was very encouraging and one I definitely needed. Thanks so much and please enter me in the drawing.

    edwina(at)edwinacowgill(dot)com

    Thanks!

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  143. Thank you, all of your, for your encouraging posts. I've only been writing novel length fiction for a few years, but ACFW and blogs like Seekerville have taught me so much in that short time.

    Ginger(dot)solomon(at)gmail(dot)com

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  144. I'm not a writer but would love to win your gifts!

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  145. Debbie, I am keeping journals of prayer for my two former CPers and I used to keep prayer journals. I have decided to go back to keeping a prayer/praise journal and I want to start by doing my own five year retrospective thank you to God for all He has done for you. One bible verse tells us to CONSIDER what God has done for you, as you did in this post. You will be blessed for that. My son and I discussed this verse this week. Because we are to remember, consider, cogitate upon and be glad for all God has done for us. Like getting us through previous horrendous storms like the one bearing down upon us now. Debbie, do not put me in for the drawing on this as I won a lovely big prize package already and my brother gifted me with a new prayer journal that begs to be written in! Thanks and Blessings!

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  146. Happy Anniversary! What a neat giveaway!

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  147. Thanks for the spot on post, Debby, and all of the virtual nods by the commenters. Looking back highlights the path God has guided me down, and propels me into the future.

    I'm so uber grateful for Seekerville. When I get here, it's golden.

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