What a difference five years makes!
Which--along with celebrating Seekerville’s fifth birthday--got me thinking about my writing journey in fives. As it turns out, there have been quite a few stand-out fives along the way.
1985--I received my first-ever magazine acceptance for a short story, the same year I completed the Writing for Children and Teenagers Course through the Institute of Children’s Literature.
2005--Autumn Rains won the RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript. More importantly, this was the year I first connected with the sisterhood of writers who would proclaim ourselves The Seekers.
At my fifth ACFW Conference, which, coincidentally, was five years ago (2007, in Dallas), I was at the end of my writing rope and ready to give up hope of ever becoming a published novelist. Yep, Unpubbed Island was looking like my permanent address, and I just wanted to slink away, crawl inside my hut, and give in to a long and blubbery crying jag.
Many friends prayed for and encouraged me that weekend, however, and it was during a restless night at the conference that I had the mind-blowing dream described on my personal blog here. The message of that dream was enough to keep me holding on, and less than one year later I got “the call” from Barbara Scott, then the fiction editor at Abingdon Press, for my novel One Imperfect Christmas.
2010--Five years after winning the Golden Heart, Autumn Rains, my second published novel, was named an ACFW Carol Award finalist.
As of this year I have five Heartsong Presents novels in print. When you add number six coming out early next year, plus One Imperfect Christmas and the three-book series I’m now working on for Abingdon Press, that “five” doubles to ten contracted novels!
Here’s another random “five”: I turned 55 years old one year after winning the Golden Heart. I admit I’m stretching the “five” thing with this one, but I just wanted to illustrate the fact that in the writing business, age is only a number. There’s a lot to be said for life experience when it comes to creating emotionally riveting characters and plots.
(Okay, go ahead and do the math if you want to figure out how old I am. . . . That’s fine. I’ll wait. . . . Happy now?)
Wherever you are on your writing journey, or whatever you use to define “success” in this business, the most important thing you can do is to persevere. Stay on the path you’re on until you clearly receive other marching orders.
But remember, a rejection--or even a whole slew of them--isn’t necessarily a neon sign telling you to give up. One year, five years, ten years, or--as it happened in my case--25 long years from where you are now, who knows where your stories will take you . . .
IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP!
What are the milestones that stand out on your journey? Let’s talk!
One commenter on today’s post will receive a collection of five inspirational novels, including my latest release, A Horseman’s Gift.
Filipa Beltran is sick and tired of living out her parents' dreams. After years of guitar lessons, she makes a drastic decision to cast aside her studies toward becoming a professional musician, return to her hometown, and start living life on her own terms.
For Nathan Cross, the past year has been nothing but crazy. Once set on becoming a big business mogul, Nathan's plans derail when his widowed mother remarries, moves to Texas, and leaves Nathan in charge of the family's equine therapy center. Determined to honor his father's memory and carry on the legacy, Nathan can't understand how Filipa, his childhood best friend, can simply walk away from everything her parents sacrificed for her.
Even so, neither can resist the growing attraction between them. Can Nathan and Filipa find common ground along with contentment in their God-given gifts?
|Happy Birthday Seekerville!|