Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Waiting Room with Guest Jan Drexler

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? 

What if….

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:

Website: www.JanDrexler.com
Fun blog: yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com
Twitter: @JanDrexler
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.


  1. Hello Jan! Wow, loved your post and can so relate (along with zillions of others, I'm sure) to being in The Waiting Room.

    But as you've reminded us, God's timing is perfect, and how things happen is up to Him. Right now I'm waiting to hear from a couple of editors and an agent, but I continue writing and reading (when I'm not cleaning litter boxes, LOL).

    Congrats on your LIH book--beautiful cover! Please add my name to the drawing.
    Thanks again for sharing, AND for the yummy strawberry dessert--YUM! Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

    P.S. Continued prayers for all those affected by the horrific tornado in Oklahoma.

  2. Hi, Jan

    Boy, do you have that waiting room pegged.

    Today was another kind of waiting room for us. My daughter had surgery this morning. It went well.

    At least I'm doing what you ordered. :)

    While waiting, I've started a new project. It's barely in beginning stages, but I'm keeping busy.

    Life has been getting in the way of my Seekerville time lately, but the coffee pot is set for 3 a.m.


  3. I have to buy your book on kindle for my grandmother, she loves bonnet books but is blind so listens to them that way. :)

    I'm waiting on a baby, thinking how on earth am I going to keep this up?!

    And I'm also waiting on me to quit procrastinating.................................................................................

  4. Thank you, Jan. I needed this as my seat in the waiting room is beginning to feel like jail. But I started a new WIP this month. That's something. Best to you and my Seeker buddies who like Helen, I'm missing greatly.

  5. How fun to have Jan on the other side of the eight ball.


    Your post so resonates.

  6. My mother said something remarkable the other day.

    "Our clocks are hours and minutes and His clock is due season."

  7. Helen, praying for a swift recovery for your daughter.

    And yes. For Oklahoma.

  8. Jan, you're so right. The waiting aspect never ends... and that's tough emotionally and spiritually sometimes, isn't it?

    Tina, I love your mother THIS MUCH! Yes, yes, yes, God is due season. We all need to cling to the wisdom of those around us. She's a smart 'un...

    Prayers for Oklahoma as well. Tragedies often make God seem so far away. Reading Lisa Wingate's "Good Hope Road" put a new light on tornadoes for me a few year's back. Great book about healing after the storm.

    Helen! Ya do what ya gotta do, honey. God bless youse and your beautiful daughter. Prayers for quick and thorough healing are covering her right now.

    Melissa, LOL! Self-discipline, honey. Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing.... Channel Dory and you'll be fine... and then Yoda: "There is no try. There is only do or do not."

    I have faith in you, kid.

  9. Jan, I love the fact you have a new writing group locally. It's so important to be part of one and if it can be 'in person' all the better!

    Great points about the waiting room. Hurry Up and Wait!

    Tiring and Exciting and Stressful and Thrilling... and then we do it again.

    I like to think I'm in the waiting room with a fair number of Seekers, Villagers and my Inky sisters with me. There to encourage, laugh with, whine with and encourage once more!

  10. No need to put me in for the book. I loved it. I also love your post.

    I am the person who paces in the waiting room. I was premature, started school early, got married at 19...well, you get the picture. Thanks for the reminder that everything is in God's season and the waiting season never ends. Except for people like Melissa who are waiting on a birth!

    Praying for all those in Oklahoma today and hoping our Seekerville friends check in.

    Peace, Julie

  11. Hi Jan,

    So good to see you here this morning.

    The Bible tells us a lot about waiting.

    Thanks for sharing this morning.

    Helen, I'm glad your daughter's surgery went well.

    I hope you all have a great day.
    Jackie L.

  12. How fun to see you here, Jan! And what a timely post. Writers certainly do spend a lot of time in the waiting room (at least I always have). Glad there's coffee and chocolate, and a lot of other writers in the room too so we can have some good conversation.

    And Ruthy, did you just quote both Finding Nemo and Star Wars in the same paragraph???? Wow. My head hurts just thinking about that one. I could understand Woody and Dori, or Picard and Yoda. But kids Disney and Star Wars, who'd have ever guessed they went hand in hand? :-)

  13. Good Morning, Jan,

    Can you see my waving from across the state?

    Such spot on advice you gave today. Writing is a test in patience.

    Good luck with your LI release and I know there will be many more to follow.

  14. Good morning Jan and Seekerville!

    This is a timely post for me today. I certainly need patience for my writing and especially for my life. When I'm waiting I pray. That helps the most.

  15. Hi Jan!

    Waiting is a crucial part of the writer's life. You have to mark off when you sent a proposal off, and then knowing, after a certain amount of time as passed and there's been no response...that's waiting, too.

    Thanks for your timely post and I hope you are enjoying the first book publication experience.


  16. Hi Jan good post.

    In Spokane just said goodbye to two new friends and leave in about an hour myself for the airport and seattle.
    It has been great meeting Danica, Jillian Hart, Janet Tronstad, Shirley McCoy and a few other readers and writers. Its so sad today saying the good byes. I am just so tired. On east coast time and today really emotional.
    I have had so much fun meeting all these new people. but at the same time its hard saying good bye.
    I hope to be able to add some photos to my blog this week but will depend on my friend as to if my photos will load.

    Praying for Oklahoma also my seat mate on the tour is from there Oklahoma City but not sure if shes affected.

  17. Hi Jan and welcome to Seekerville. What a terrific post and timely. Waiting is always part of writing and you nailed it. smile

    Thanks for the hints on how to cope with the waiting. And thanks for the strawberry shortcake too. Goes great with my chocolate velvet coffee.

    Have fun today.

    And while we wait today, we're all praying for those in Oklahoma.

  18. Naomi.... Who can argue with the great philosophical films of our day???


    I love Independence Day, too...

    "Fat lady? What fat lady? You're obsessed with the fat lady!!!"

    Jeff Goldblum, Independence Day, trying to blast their ship out of the alien space port....

    After they'd already lit their cigars, knowing death loomed IMMINENT. :)

  19. I'm starting to get sore sitting in that chair. (Couldn't it at least be padded?)

    Well-written words, Jan. Thanks for the encouragement.


    At the ripe, old age of 62, it has finally sunk in this hard head how much we can miss in life during the waiting if we are impatient. AND how half-cocked and off-kilter our journey can be if we forge ahead without waiting on God. After all, Father knows best!!

    The irony is, of course, that life itself is one, long waiting game until we get to skip on streets of gold, loving God they way were meant to do. But He did tell us to "occupy until He comes," so point #2 is certainly Biblical. :)

    LOVE THE LINE: "We may have a vision, but that’s only the “what”. The “how” is God’s business."

    OH, AMEN TO THAT!! At the moment I am "waiting" for God to tell me what direction He wants me to take with my writing. I've been "fasting" if you will, Amazon and most e-mails to try and focus more on Him and what He wants for me. To "wait" on Him for His path for me, not my own. Not easy for a "pacer," as Julie Hilton Steele so aptly put it, but necessary to get it right.

    Jan, SUPER CONGRATS again on the debut book, which, by the way, looks and sounds fabulous, and I'm not even Amish reader!! But I have to say you hooked me with the summary!!

    Our prayers are with the families in Moore, OK, that God will carry them through this difficult time with His gentle hands of grace.


  21. Oh, Jan, this is SO cool. I also keep an encouragement file, and drop compliments and good buzz into it.
    How long did it take you before you got "pubbed"? Just curious.
    Kathy Bailey

  22. Hi Jan - love seeing you on Seekerville! You know when you read something and think 'I could have written that'? That's what I thought when I read your post only I probably couldn't have written it near as well! Waiting is awful. Most of my characters hate waiting - wonder where they get that from? Appreciate your encouragement and the strawberries!
    Praying for Oklahoma

  23. Jan--It's fun to see you here! I'm in the waiting room regarding a contest. With contests, I try to forget about them once I send in my submission. I do pretty well until the date nears. :) In writing life, I'm working on revisions and thinking on another story. Been pondering it for a long time, so I guess I'm still waiting for the characters to open up to me. :)

    Loved your post today.

  24. Jan, what a great reminder! I'm not the world's best waiter. But I try to plow ahead. I also use the time to catch up on shoveling dirt out of the house and washing the mountains of laundry. :)

  25. Helen, I'm glad the surgery went well! That type waiting can be really stressful.

  26. Melissa, we look forward to hearing the baby is here! We'll have to throw an virtual shower. :)

  27. Tina, I love your mother's quote!

  28. This is fantastic. I've recently been sweating in the waiting room waiting for my beta readers to get back with me on my upcoming release. I was a nervous wreck, because this one is "different" from the others. I totally can relate to your post!


  29. Hi Patti Jo!

    Yes, God's timing IS perfect. I hope you hear from those editors and agent soon - but whatever their response is, that's in His hands, too.

  30. Helen, you never need my orders to keep working! I don't think you've stopped working since you picked up the pen again! I love hearing about your projects :)

    I'm so glad your daughter's surgery went well yesterday. Praying for her quick and complete recovery.

  31. Hi Melissa!

    Did you recognize one of the other writers in our local group? The charming lady on the left is Joyce Wheeler, and the one on the right is Jenny Spinola. Weren't the two of you roommates at conference a few years ago?

    And I don't know about anyone else, but I think babies take precedence over books. You won't be able to keep up with your current pace for a year or two, but you'll keep working, and eventually you'll be back to your breakneck pace :)

    By the way - I have your book on pre-order!

  32. Hi Nancy!

    A new WIP! Don't you love that feeling?

    Yeah, I'm a new project junkie.

    But it sure helps when you're waiting to hear news...any news....

  33. TINA!!!

    Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on Seekerville! I feel like I've made the big time :)

    And I love your mother's quote: "Our clocks are hours and minutes and His clock is due season."

    It's a good reminder that our perception of time isn't the same as God's.

  34. Hey Ruthy!

    Since the waiting never ends, we should learn how to do it well, right?

    And those spiritual and emotional tough places are so good for us - "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

  35. Hi Deb!

    I do love having a local writing group! One of the things that thrilled me about attending ACFW Conference last year was being around other people who understand what I do. Now I get together with these ladies, and I get the same thrill :)

    And you're right - we're never in the waiting room alone! People may come and go, but we're all there supporting each other.

  36. Keep writing is one of those things I KNOW I need to do, but struggle to do.

    You know, do I need to start a whole new project? Go back and edit the submitted project one more time so it'll be even more ready? Or go to the second in the series and revise it again?

    I take a breath, and then say just keep working. Don't stop. Because everything needs to be completed and written well. There's no time to just sit here, scratching my head, putting it off.

    Please put my name in the hat.
    So, now I will go write.

  37. Julie, I can just see you pacing in the waiting room.

    Take a seat, girl, and chill! We're all here waiting with you.

    And here, have another cuppa tea while you're waiting....

    Yes, we're praying for Oklahoma!

  38. Hi Jackie!

    Thanks for the welcome!

    The Bible does have a lot to teach us about waiting - that would make a great Bible study, wouldn't it?

  39. Hi Naomi!

    One thing we'll never be short of in the waiting room is company. Doesn't it seem like 99% of our time is spent here?

    And I was in awe of Ruthy and her quote-mesh, too.

  40. Hi Rose!

    /waving madly from West River!/

    You said: "Writing is a test in patience."

    And you're right - but it's a test we'll pass every time...because we don't have a choice. What else are we going to do? Give up?

  41. Hi Cara!

    You're so right. Prayer is the bedrock of waiting. It's what helps us rest in God's timing, isn't it?

  42. Jan I did indeed room with Jenny, 2 out of 3! And thanks for the pre-order. :)

  43. Hi Piper!

    I'm waiting for that book proposal along with you! I love what I've read about it, and can hardly wait to read it.

    But waiting and then getting a "no", or no answer at all - you're right. That's waiting, too. That's when we really need to trust in God's timing.

  44. You gotta love a gal who offers you strawberry shortcake for breakfast. If we add chocolate sprinkles all food groups are represented.

  45. Hi Jenny!

    I can imagine that you're close to exhaustion! Traveling is so much fun, but you're on the go all the time.

    And then having to say good-by to so many friends...aren't we thankful for the internet and our ability to keep in touch this way?

    Hang in there and get some rest whenever you can!

  46. Hi Sandra!

    I'm so glad I found Seekerville way back at the beginning of this writing thing - I learned early on to expect to wait. A lot!

    And yes, praying for those in Oklahoma, especially any who are still waiting for news of loved ones...

  47. Sandra A - so funny! Getting sore sitting in the chair! We'll all have to bring seat cushions next time! Anything to make the waiting more bearable :)

  48. Hi Jan, you always have such sage advice. Of the 3 things we should be doing while waiting, I'm only visiting Seekerville. I don't have a local group but may join GRW. I couldn't go every month, but would get some exposure to the outside world. Probably will join 1K1H. I'm so slow.

  49. Jan, thank you for this inspiring post! It's just what I needed today as I'm nearing "the end" on my latest wip (third and final in the series) and wondering what comes next. I have vague ideas about possible new projects, but nothing is screaming my name yet. So it's time to listen and wait, and that makes me uncomfortable. ;-)

  50. Hi Julie Lessman!

    You're so right about how we wait for everything in life - and the best waiting of all - our final home and Sabbath rest in God's presence. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

    And thank you for your kind words! I have so much to thank you and all the Seekers for - words just don't express it.

  51. Hi Kathy Bailey (kaybee)!

    I love my encouragement file. I don't open it often enough...

    You're going to hate me when I tell you how long I waited to be published - it was less than two years.

    Yes,I'm an anomaly. I spent years not writing - I concentrated on other things (like living and raising children) - before I started my first novel. But when God said "now", I wrote. It's all His timing.

  52. Hi Cindy!

    I used to hate waiting, too.

    All right, I confess. I still hate waiting!

    But I've learned to appreciate the time given to let things progress in the right time...

  53. Hi Jeanne T!

    Oh thanks! /sarcasm/ Now you reminded me about the contest I entered! I had forgotten all about that!

    And those characters can be so stubborn, can't they? I have a story I've been working on for months, and one of the characters just let me see a glimpse of her dark side. I had no idea. But at least I have an added dimension to the story now!

    Best wishes as you wait for those contest results!

  54. Hi Missy!

    Waiting is a lot more fun when we get to share it with friends, though, isn't it?

    And you had to bring up housework! My son's girlfriend is visiting for the first time this weekend - should I clean the house, or should we show her how we really live?

  55. Hi Hallee!

    How nerve wracking to wait for feedback from your beta readers! But exciting at the same time, anticipating their reactions.

    Have another cup of coffee. Do you want to play a game of Scrabble while we wait?

  56. Hi Connie!

    What a quandary! Where do you work next? Revise? Edit? Start something new?

    That's where prayer comes in. Without it, we're in danger of working like Dory. She "just kept swimming", but she had no goal.

    Have fun with your writing!

  57. Hi Elaine!

    Get thee to #1K1HR and join!

    The secret to that group is that you don't need to be speedy, only committed.

    Committed in a good way, not committed as in...well, at least, not for most of us.

    Anyway, the encouragement there is wonderful. There's always someone to cheer you on, even if they aren't keeping you company as you write!

  58. Ah, Jan, I just LOVE YOUR NAME ON THE COVER OF THAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!


    I remember meeting you, in the airport in Dallas, right? I remember the meeting just not where I was for sure LOL, which describes me most of the time.

    -----where am I?????

    It's so exciting ... despite the waiting of course! Great blog post. So so so so so true!!!!!

  59. Hi Myra,

    Don't be uncomfortable while you wait. Sometimes waiting is no more than being still. Being open to the next thing. And we can't see that when we're in a frenzy of activity.

    I'm looking forward to reading your trilogy! I loved "A Horseman's Hope"!

  60. Regarding waiting, I have often in my head, as I'm impatiently waiting for the next big thing, my mom, who used to say,

    "Don't wish your life away."

    It reminds me to enjoy NOW. To not ignore NOW.

  61. "Do or do not, there is no try."

    Ruthy misquoted Yoda.

    FOR SHAME!!!!


    Yes, we met at the airport in Dallas!

    I was just off the plane, feeling a bit shell-shocked and the Texas allergies were already affecting me. I had called for a shuttle - hoping I wasn't waiting in the wrong spot, and hoping I wasn't heading to the wrong hotel.

    Then the shuttle appeared, started slowing down, and from inside I hear "IS THAT JAN DREXLER?". And there you were with your cowboy and Rose Zediker!

    I know the shuttle driver thought we were crazy, but I was so glad to meet all three of you - and it started my conference weekend off on exactly the right note.

  63. Mary, your mom is so wise.

    I remember when my oldest was a baby. I was always waiting for him to hit the next milestone - and suddenly it hit me. When he went forward a step, he also left a step behind. I needed to enjoy where he was NOW and stop wishing his childhood away!

  64. hi Ruthy

    Mary corrected your Yoda quote before I got to it - more happy that Yoda got quoted. Always good to remember.

    hi Jan!
    Great post. Always good to remember that God's timing is perfect and to keep my little mitts off His control buttons. I've a habit of keeping a Sudoku book with me so when I get "stuck" waiting somewhere, I've something to keep my mind busy. I probably should have a small notebook for writing stuff to, just in case I get stuck on one of the puzzles. Hmmm... lightbulb moment.

    Have I mentioned lately how Seekerville is awesome?

    Prayers for peace and rest for OK people. My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones - especially the children...

  65. I'm in the waiting room now -- waiting for a reply to a submission and waiting for a contest to begin on June 10 (it's a novella contest where readers vote on entries). I'm in let's-refill-the-well mode now -- reading books that have piled up since February. I'm also mentally tossing around some ideas for the next project -- maybe the gestational surrogate whose intended parents die and she's going to become a mother by accident or perhaps the massage therapist/Reiki practitioner who works with soldiers with PTSD.

    I'm also thinking about the folks in Oklahoma. Two years ago my state had a day filled with EF4 and EF5 tornadoes -- I think it's been called the single worst tornado day in US history. An EF5 went about 5 miles north of me and I was without power for 6 days. But I was alive. I just cannot imagine losing everything like that, or even worse, having a friend or family member die. My heart just breaks for these folks and my prayers (and a donation) go out to them. I imagine there's been lots of waiting in OK -- waiting for the storm, waiting for the calm, waiting to learn the fate of loved ones and now they'll wait to recover.

    Great post!


  66. Great post, Jan! So important, not just for writers, but for everyone really. We all have a lot of waiting to do in our lives. I'm in a waiting mode for a couple of projects. But I'm enjoying the time.

    So happy to see your debut book and would love to win a copy! Like Julie, I'm not a big Amish fan, but yours looks really good!

    Safe travels, Aussie Jenny!

    Praying for the people in Oklahoma.

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  67. Jan,
    I don't hate you. It's different for every person.
    Kathy Bailey

  68. Jan,
    I still don't hate you. If we believe in God's timing we have to believe it for everything, even something like this.

  69. Hi DebH,

    You're right! Seekerville is awesome! When I think of all the great stuff I've learned here...whew!

    I keep a little notebook with me all the time. Ideas come to me so often during sermons, or conversations with my husband, or standing in line at the grocery store...I just whip out the notebook and make notes.

    And sometimes, I even remember to go back and read them :)

  70. Hi Marilyn!

    I like both of those new project ideas. For me, the only question would be - which one first?

    And yes, Oklahoma. I remember the Palm Sunday 1965 tornadoes in Indiana. Every few years we get storms like this...and my heart goes out to those who have lost property, but especially to those who have lost loved ones.

  71. Hi Sue!

    Yay for enjoying your waiting time. It gives us a chance to regroup and catch our breath, doesn't it?

    And to think about the next project...

  72. Hey, Kathy!

    Thanks for not hating me :)

    You're right - it's God's timing. And I'm good with that. Can you think of anyone who struck out on their own and it worked out well for them? Esau? Joseph's brothers? Ahab?

    I'll rest in Him, thank you very much.

  73. So good to see you here, Jan. Your suggestions on what can be done while waiting were very helpful. To survive I finally realized that moving forward on other projects while waiting for results on those already submitted, and even more important to wait on God, is necessary to avoid discouragement when the rejections finally arrive. So I try to have something out there in one form or another. But I stalled out on a second novel and temporarily put it aside. Returned to my trusty writing resources for help and am reading again some of my fav novels. Happy for you that you now have a local writing group. Seekers have helped to keep me motivated also. I love coming here for inspiration and all the writing advice as I wait.
    Jenny: Good to know you've had an enjoyable time here in the States. Parting with friends living on another continent is so sad. So you must come back soon.
    Helen: Glad your daughter's surgery went well.
    Tina: Love your mothers words.

    Loved what Mary said about enjoying the now. I find as I grow older this is easier to do.
    Jan: Since I'm unable to make much of a dent in my TBR pile, don't put my name in the bonnet. Major congratulations on release of your debut.

  74. Love this, Jan. You've shown how to be a live-in-the-moment writer even in the midst of waiting. Makes me realize we should be savoring every minute, even the waiting ones.

  75. Hi Jan:

    The blurb on Amazon instantly sold me on your book! It has everything I like! If I don’t win it, I’m going to buy it. I’d buy it right now but I can’t get to read it for some time yet. I’m behind on everything right now. (I’m too far behind to wait on anything!!! "Waiting has to wait on me.")

    Loved this post and it is very helpful but I have a little different take on some issues:

    1. There is no ‘waiting room’ because there is no room to wait. I believe Louis L’Amour said it best when he advised that you should ‘write it, send it, and forget it and then go right back to work.’ Waiting is not an option. (Gen. George Patton once said that ‘holding your position’ was not an option.)

    2. God’s time may not be our time but God’s time is affected by what we do. Life is not predetermined. You have to buy a lottery ticket to have a chance to win. If we want God to speed things up, then we have to give him some help: we have to speed things up too. What do you think God’s time is for you winning a RITA if you don’t write the book?

    Please put me down for a chance at a Kindle version of your book. Oh, yes, if you have it in Pennsylvania Dutch, I’d love to give that a try. I'm tired of being an Englischer.


    P.S. Last night in Tulsa we had six different severe storms coming at us from all directions. Lots of tornado warnings. I was wondering, “Why send six, God? Six!” but then it seems the six sapped each other’s power and we didn’t even get any rain on the city. Now I know why He sent six. Six was the same as none. But now I have to deal with survivor’s guilt. It is real.

  76. I love the fact that you are so far behind you can't possibly waste time waiting, Vince!!

  77. LOL, Jan. I usually end up showing how we really live. Mainly because it would take weeks to get the house in good shape. :)

  78. Hi Pat!

    You're so right - it's important to have other projects going when the rejections (and other disappointments) roll in. I'm so quick to put all my emotional eggs in one basket, but when that basket fails, then what do I do?

    Have fun with your reading - I hope you end up with a deep well of resources to pull from when you get back to that WIP!

  79. Hi Kav!

    I like that: a "live-in-the-moment" writer!

    At least it's that way most of the time :)

  80. Hi Vince!

    I was hoping you'd check in today! Tornadoes are such arbitrary things - one house will be completely destroyed while the one next to it is untouched. It's so hard on everyone, and these tornadoes were especially tragic.

    The book isn't out in Pennsylvania Dutch...yet. Can you read it? I'm learning to read the old style script - it's a fun way to spend some time. I'm almost through the elementary reader.

  81. Missy - LOL

    I always like to invite people over for dinner...it makes me clean the house :)

  82. Yeah, Jan! I'm so excited for you with your debut novel. (Please don't enter me in the drawing - I already have a copy. :))

    Ahh, waiting. I've experience my own set of stop-starts throughout my years of writing - learning to depend upon God for His timing. Thinking I had it and then having to go back to waiting 101. Perhaps it's always a lesson in process.

    What I'm waiting for now - to hear back from an editor about the revisions I made. Waiting to hear back what my agent thinks of the proposal I just emailed this morning. Waiting to hear back about the next round of the Genesis contest.

    While I'm waiting, I'm also praying for God's timing, His way, His will. Now to get busy working on book two. :)

    Great thoughts, Jan.

    Jodie Wolfe

  83. I don't think anyone likes waiting. We want everything now especially when we don't understand God's plan.

    Adding my prayers for those in Oklahoma.

  84. I can't believe I messed up Yoda-speak!!!

    My Star Wars Fan Club pin will be revoked!!! YIKES!!!

  85. You know some things must not be waited for after a certain age...

    In Jan Karon's Mitford series, Father Tim's neighbor had a saying (that I'll probably BUTCHER, MARY CONNEALY!!!) that went like this: "I'm too old to buy young trees."

    Some things are worth the extra $75 up front!

    But mostly I try to be patient and keep busy and having multiple projects going helps.

    I hate down time. Such a stinkin' New Yorker!!!]

    But up here the phrase "New York minute" is a way of life, not a line from a song.

  86. Hi Jodie!

    You're waiting for some good stuff! Just think, last year you were waiting to be waiting for these things - did you ever think you'd be telling some one that you're waiting for your agent to get back to you? Isn't that a wonderful feeling?

    Now, get going on that next book!

  87. Hi Bridgett!

    I think you're right. No one likes waiting.

    It's like spinach. How many people are born liking spinach? But we learn to because we know it's good for us.

    Waiting is good for us. Which is good, because we get to do it an awful lot!

  88. Hey Ruthy,

    So you butchered Yoda-speak. Yoda butchered Yoda-speak. It's a way of life.

    I had forgotten about Father Tim's neighbor and the trees. Yes, some things you either go ahead and pay the extra $75, or you just don't get to do it.

    My father-in-law had a dream of going on an Alaskan cruise. He planned to go two separate times - but both times something happened to keep him from going. After the second time he figured he just wasn't meant to go. He never did make it to Alaska - but the scenery is better where he is now :)

  89. Well, if we MUST be in the waiting room, at least Jan has this yummy buffet set up.

    Pass the strawberry shortcake and some of that coffee!

    Work while you wait. Easier said than done, but it's the truth for sure!

  90. Hi, Jan! Love your waiting room advice....especially the "to read when the going gets tough" document you keep on your computer. I'll start that file--and keep it handy.

    Congratulations on The Prodigal Son Returns...and please put my name in the bonnet.

    And as we all are...praying for those in Oklahoma.

  91. Louis L'Amour, it's always right to quote Louis. "Write it, Send it, Forget it."
    Very wise. Thanks for that, Vince.

  92. Hi Ruth:

    You wrote:

    “But up here the phrase ‘New York minute’ is a way of life, not a line from a song.”

    “I know what I'm needin', and I don't want to waste more time. I'm in a New York state of mind.” Billy Joel

    Somehow you always have a way to make me homesick for New York.


    P.S. JAN No, I have not studied Pennsylvania Dutch but I’ve taken courses in five different languages so I think it might be fun to see what to make of it with a text book and a dictionary as aids. BTW: We have Amish not far from us in Tulsa.

  93. Excellent post, Jan! Thank you for the excellent tips! I'm not sure if other jobs have the emotional wackiness that writers go through. Sometimes all that wackiness makes being a self-starter hard.

    As a teacher I didn't have that problem. I was to be at my desk at a certain time ready to teach five days a week. If I wasn't, I'd better have a substitute.

    Writing is a job like any other. Waiting or celebrating must not stop me from doing what writers do, write. I'm the only one who can write a Janet Dean book. No substitute to call or so I hope.

    Just love your cover and blurb! I'm off to Walmart to get this book!


  94. Helen, glad to hear your daughter's surgery went well!


  95. Melissa, babies are so worth the wait! But the time does seem to drag toward the end.


  96. Hi Jan! Nice to meet another homeschooling mom who has graduated her children and now has time to write. Just graduated my last child in June so there's no excuses to not write now. Your post on waiting really hit home for me. Seems we're always waiting for something (especially having homeschooled - waiting for acceptances, scholarship notices...). Thanks for some great ideas!

  97. Vince! Come home, my friend! To the city that doesn't sleep!

  98. Hi Pam!

    Help yourself to the buffet. I'll just have some more of this yummy hot chocolate. It's 48° here this afternoon!

  99. Hi Sherida!

    I love my "when the going gets tough" page. Sometimes I just pull it up to smile. It reminds me that there are others who believe in my writing - I'm not in this alone!

  100. Vince, would you believe there are Amish in 30 different states and Ontario? We even have Amish in South Dakota - over in the eastern part of the state where people actually farm rather than ranch!

    And you could probably read Pennsylvania Dutch. It's just low German, although over the years a lot of English words and phrases have crept in. Most of the printed materials like magazines are in English, and the Bibles are in German.

  101. Hi Janet!

    I hope you do get an opportunity to read "The Prodigal Son Returns" - it takes place in LaGrange County, Indiana...not too far from your stomping grounds!

    And you're right about our job having unique challenges. My husband's job is the opposite of ours. He is a food service director in a hospital - if his employees don't get lunch done in time, it's too late. They can't make up for it, they just have to go on to the next meal (that never happens, BTW - they always serve the meal on time!)

    But for us, it has to be done eventually. We might miss a deadline, but we still have to do the work. Sigh.

  102. Hi Christina!

    A fellow homeschooler! Yay! There are quite a few of us around :)

    In some ways, writing is a lot like homeschooling - not just waiting for college acceptances, etc., like you said, but so much of our failure or success lies directly on our shoulders. God calls and equips, but if we don't obey...well...we may as well just stay in bed.

  103. Jan, I'm not a good waiter. (I don't know if that's because I'm something of an extrovert or because I'm in sales.) My wife is more of the type that says, "If it's meant to be..."

    Congrats on your book!

  104. And I need to pick up your book. :-)

  105. Thank you for the post Jan. Don't you just love the "what ifs" of doubt. I am kidding. This is one of my bad habits. My husband calls it speculation, and he can't stand speculating. I'm getting better but I still have difficulty. "What if I write it and no one likes it?" "What if I get half way through and can't finish?" "What if they 'change' their mind and decide they don't want to represent me after all?" I can go on...but it's all negative talk and I am giving it up. I work hard everyday to make positive declarations in my life. "I declare I will succeed in whatever I do."

    Have a marvelous week!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  106. This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. Jan, thanks for reminding us that waiting is part of the package. I'm not published—yet—but I'm waiting to hear back from a publisher.

    I'm six chapters into my next novel—writing makes me forget about the waiting.

    Thank you all who are praying for Oklahoma, my home state. I have many relatives in Ok. City, thankfully none were hurt or lost homes.

  108. Balance is such a delicate thing... to be fully present in the "now" and plan for the future... and work toward goals while being flexible about reaching them.

    Balance isn't an easy word. It's right up there with "Waiting"...

    I love the way Jan can simplify a phrase into a point-blank meaning and make me smile...

    Because she's that down-to-Earth Race-that-knows-Joseph.

  109. Hi Walt!

    I think men have more trouble waiting than women - men tend to be "doers", and you can't "do" when you're waiting for someone else to act!

    But that's where the next project comes in. And the next...and the next...

  110. Hi Mary,

    Congrats on sending your work out! - AND for moving ahead with the next project while you wait :)

    So glad you and yours are safe after yesterday's storms...

  111. Ruthy, you make me smile every time :)

  112. guess whose book I got today.

    don't enter me

  113. Hey there, Jan!

    Wonderful post! Helped me a lot to realize that no matter the stage in a writer's life, there will be times of waiting. And I love your tip about keeping clippings of encouraging feedback about your work in a file all together. And making time to read more! I've been trying to do that, but still have some improving to do.

  114. Hi Natalie!

    Glad you enjoyed the post! Waiting is just part of life, no matter what your calling is, isn't it?

    See you over at #1K1HR!

  115. Congratulations on your book! As you know, I bought it at Walmart last week and you are in my official TBR!

    I like your encouraging clips. Similarly, I have a little shrine of reminders in front of my computer screen including a wooden cross I brought home from Jerusalem, and a stone that reminds me to 'believe.' That word has so many meanings.

    Thanks for the great post.

  116. Jan
    Sooo exciting to see you here! :)
    And HURRAH for your wonderful book!

    Excellent advice, and some great tidbits to savor. Now... To implement!

    (Especially since my first truly negative email came in last week. It really threw me, though I was determined not to let it. It did anyway. Great idea about keeping a folder "for just such a time as this..."

    PLEASE put my name in the bonnet!
    may at maythek9spy dot come

    See ya on FB and 1k1h
    Special sniffs and greetings from May to your crew! ("") ("") 2 paws up!

  117. Amen to every single word of that post, Jan!

    Keep on writing.

    Oh my, I personified the entire process and, as always, waiting is the hardest part, LOL!

    Congrats on forming a writer's group! This is such a lonely profession, and let's admit it, it takes another writer to refill our wells. I wish I could join you. It isn't THAT far to S. Dakota from Denver, is it??

    Good thing encouragement is never in short supply in Seekerville!

  118. What a super post, Jan! And what a refreshing but realistic way to view the whole process. Might I add you have a terrific (post) writing style, too? I remember when we first saw that cover and how much I liked it -- I still do :-) Wishing you all the best with your book.

    Nancy C

  119. What a super post, Jan! And what a refreshing but realistic way to view the whole process. Might I add you have a terrific (post) writing style, too? I remember when we first saw that cover and how much I liked it -- I still do :-) Wishing you all the best with your book.

    Nancy C

  120. Hi Lyndee!

    It helps to have reminders to keep us going forward, doesn't it?

    Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the book :)

  121. Hi KC (and May!)

    Oh, those negative emails. They can really throw you, can't they? But yes, keeping a folder handy for those times helps to keep the grumblies away and helps me keep moving on toward the goal.

    Sniffs to May from my fuzzy crew!

  122. Hi Audra!

    You're one of my cheerleaders! Thanks!

    It's a bit of a pull from here to Denver - about 6 hours if you are a sane driver (I've heard of some people doing it in 4 - crazy!).

    I wish it was closer - I'd love to go to some of your ACFW events :)

  123. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy!

    I still love the cover. Doesn't Love Inspired do a great job?

  124. Waiting is not easy sometimes.

    Please put my name in the bonnet for a copy of the THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS.

  125. I would love to win,Enter me!
    Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!
    Sarah Richmond

  126. Hi Jan! I really enjoyed your post!! I love to read Love Inspired Historical books. Your Book sounds wonderful! Please enter me in your giveaway! Would love to win your book!!
    God Bless,
    Barbara Thompson

  127. Waiting is so hard sometimes, and I always have to remind myself that everything happens in His time which isn't always the same as ours.

    Would love to read your new release. Please put my name in the bonnet. :)

  128. Thank you, Jan
    Once again a resident of Seekerville (you) has given a newcomer (me) the inspiration she needs to keep on seeking.
    I'm in the waiting room of What do I do next? The novel is done; I'm writing the synopsis; and trying to figure out the next step. It's comforting to know everyone goes through this time - waiting on God's timing. I'm sure He will guide me - after all, it's His story, not mine.
    I would love a copy of your book if I were to be so lucky.
    I also believe in praying while waiting. In my church, we used to have an acronym: P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. Praying for OK tornado victims and will add Helen's daughter to my list.
    I appreciate the fellowship of all those in Seekerville more than you will ever know. Leona

  129. Thanks for stopping by! Check out the WE Edition Saturday for winners.

  130. So late in reading this. Waiting is so hard sometimes. Thank you, Jan, for the encouragement.