All writers have one thing in common. We have a chair with our name on it in the waiting room.
It doesn’t matter if you’re multi-published, pre-published, award-winning, or just starting out, you know this room. There’s even a coffee mug with your name on it and your favorite brand of chocolate on the table next to your chair.
We wait for contest results, word from our publisher, feedback on that submission to our critique group…or we just wait for an idea that’s worth putting down on paper.
Even after we get good news, it’s just a gateway to more waiting!
- Did you finally land your dream agent? You get to wait while she sends your manuscript out.
- Did you finally sign that contract? You get to wait for edits, and more edits, and then your cover, and then your release date.
- Has your book just been released? You wait for the reviews.…Has anyone read it? Does anyone like it? Anyone?
Since we’re always waiting, how does that affect our writing? Well, don’t let it. Put the waiting on the sidelines and keep moving ahead.
1) Don’t get impatient!
When I get tired of waiting, I’m quick to jump on some well-meaning advice of what to do to make sure I get what I want right now! (Not unlike following the latest diet craze!) But before long, I’ve worn myself into the ground with a flurry of activity and worry.
I’ve learned not to let my impatience put myself ahead of God’s plan. Whenever I do, I remember Abraham and Hagar. As hard as it is, I need to wait on Him.
I’ve also learned to keep myself from getting lost in a frenzy of “should”. I should be blogging more, I should be on Facebook more, I should email that editor one more time….
But I know I need to wait on God. His timing is always perfect. Mine never is.
2) Redeem the waiting time.
The time when I’m waiting is the time to keep working (and yes, I learned that tidbit right here on Seekerville!). Yes, I might have two manuscripts out there in the Never-Never land of the publishing world, but meanwhile, I’m still a writer. It’s time to start on that next project!
Another thing is to keep learning. I read, read, read, read, and read. I spend much more time reading than is good for the dust in my house or the piles of laundry. One thing I learned long ago is that in order to write well, you need to read well. So I read my targeted publishers. I read craft books. I read classics. I read for fun.
When do I do all this reading? I schedule time for it. If I don’t make time, it won’t happen.
And I keep talking. I socialize with other writers whenever I can.
But it isn’t easy – after all, like most writers, I’m an introvert. So I set some goals for myself:
1- Find (or create) a local writer’s group.
2- Join #1K1Hr on Facebook.
3- Visit Seekerville every day.
And yes, I’ve met those goals and am working to keep them going. We recently had the first meeting ever of the West River Christian Writers!
3) Don’t let doubts slow you down.
Doubts and second guessing aren’t just for pre-published writers. Once I sold my story, they just kept on coming.
What if I can’t do the edits?
What if they never buy another book?
I know if I let them, doubts will freeze my writing. I have to kill them.
How? I keep a document on my desk top called “to read when the going gets tough”. Whenever I get a bit of praise from someone, I copy it onto that document, date it, and include who said it. Whenever doubts start to drag at my feet, I read through those little snippets and I have the energy to start again.
But the most important way to keep doubts at bay is that I have a vision of what I want my writing to be, and I keep working toward that goal.
This is the most important part. God has called me, and you, to this task, has given us the talent, has provided the resources. Do you think He’s going to leave us treading water?
Maybe. Because the key to following God’s plan is to realize that we need to be willing to accept God’s plan as He ordains, not as we wish. His goal is to make us holy, just as He is holy. That may mean we tread water for a time. It may mean that we need to shift our goal, our audience, our dream.
We may have a vision, but that’s only the “what”. The “how” is God’s business.
So here we are in the waiting room, ready to get the conversation going. Tell us, what are you waiting for, and how do you handle the waiting time?
I’ve set up the buffet this morning with strawberry shortcake and your choice of toppings, so help yourself!
Jan Drexler, a recent graduate from Homeschool Mom-hood, devotes her time to the voices in her head who have been clamoring for attention during the last few decades. Instead of declining Latin nouns and reviewing rhetorical devices, her days are now spent at the computer where she gives her characters free rein.
She lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of thirty years, their four adult children, an extremely furry Husky, and Maggie, the cat who thinks she's a dog. If she isn't sitting at her computer living the lives of her characters, she's probably hiking in the Hills or the Badlands, enjoying the spectacular scenery.
You can reach Jan here:
Fun blog: yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com
Facebook: Jan Drexler (author)
"Like" my page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jandrexler
The Prodigal Son Returns
Returning To His Amish Past
From her first glimpse of his big-city suit, Ellie Miller knows Bram Lapp is trouble. The handsome Englischer says he wants to reclaim the life he left long ago. Even if his smile disarms her, all of Ellie's energy must go to her children and their struggling farm…and to atoning for her mistakes.
A criminal's trail has brought FBI informant Bram to Ellie's warm and welcoming Indiana community. Now he's posing as the kind of man he once hoped to be. Someone steadfast and upright. Someone who might be worthy of Ellie. Because no matter how much she claims she doesn't want a second chance at love, he knows he's found the home they were meant to share.
Today Jan is giving away two copies of The Prodigal Son Returns, her debut release from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical. Be sure to comment and let us know you want your name in the bonnet. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.