Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dangerous Curves Ahead : In Pursuit of Publication

with Guest Jordyn Redwood

You hear a lot in writing circles in regards to the pursuit of publication—just persevere. Keep at it. You’ll get there.

I heard this a lot when I was going for my ultimate job in nursing. I really wanted to be a flight nurse. After I got the required experience I began the application process. Something like seven interviews later I still didn’t have a flight nursing position.

I’ve spent lots of time theorizing why and I still would love to do this position but in my heart I think it’s not going to happen. It’s just not God’s will for my life no matter how much I desire it.

It may not be popular to talk about quitting the pursuit of publication on a writing blog. But then ER nurses rarely do what’s popular—they do what’s needed. I was pursuing flight nursing when I was supposed to be serving God writing. Maybe you’re pursuing publication when God has another dream for your life that will impact people more than what you’re pursuing right now.

But just how do you know? I’ve been obsessed with learning God’s will. I often say I wish I’d wake up with a gold note card on my pillow with the answer but it is never that easy.

All truth is God’s truth no matter who writes it. Isn’t that an amazing statement? I think I found some of God’s truth in a little (literally—it’s seventy-six half-size pages) book called The Dip by Seth Godin.

In the beginning, he makes some pretty profound statements. The phrase all of us learned, “Quitters never win and winners never quit,” is profoundly wrong. Godin says winners quit all the time.

They just quit the right stuff at the right time.—Seth Godin

The trouble is telling the difference. The dip refers to the process of learning when you’re taking on a new project you’re excited about—like a new novel. The dip is that moment you wonder why you started to write the book. You don’t think you can pull it off. You’ll never finish it.

If you can push through these moments of the learning process then extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most.

But, Godin states, the opposite is also true. Extraordinary benefits also accrue to the tiny minority with the guts to quit early and focus their efforts on something new.

Again—it’s telling the difference.

To help, Godin discusses three curves.

1.    The Dip: The valley of learning. Successful people don’t just ride out the dip. They lean into it. Push harder—changing the rules as they go. Part of knowing you’re on the right path is that you do get small amounts of positive reinforcement along the way. You final in a contest but maybe don’t win it all. You get positive comments from an agent and/or editor.

2.    The Cul-de-Sac: This is where you work and work and nothing much changes. For me in my nursing career—I have never gotten any promotion I ever applied for—in twenty years! Honestly, you would think I was the worst nurse ever. I’m actually a very strong nurse but something has kept me stuck. If that hadn’t happened I would have never pursued publication where the doors opened much easier for me. But perhaps this is the pursuit of publication for you. You’re in the cul-de-sac.

3.    The Cliff: It’s a situation you can’t quit until you fall off, and the whole thing falls apart. The example Seth gives here is cigarette smoking. Cigarettes are highly addicting but you do get a good feeling even though it’s detrimental to you—which in the case of smoking could be lung cancer and then death.

Godin hypothesizes that The Cliff and The Cul-de-Sac both lead to failure and it’s best to quit these pursuits early and move on to the thing you’d be successful at. That thing going through the dip would be worth it for. 

I would never tell anyone to stop writing—ever. Writing is a creative outlet that soothes the soul and spirit. It can ease tension, stress and frustration because spilled words on the page is cathartic. But—the pursuit of publication is a whole other animal. It takes time, money, resources, and sleep. 

And perhaps God is calling you to do something else.

I picked this topic because I know you Seekers have a lot to say. So tell me—what is a dream where you’ve persevered through the dip and had great success? On the flip side—is there something you’re pursuing that perhaps you are considering quitting and why?

All italics are quotes from Seth’s book. I hope you’ll take the time to read it. 

 Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her first two novels, Proof and Poison, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal. Proof was shortlisted for the 2012 ForeWord Review’s BOTY Award, 2013 INSPY Award and the 2013 Carol Award. You can connect with Jordyn via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her website.

Peril Synopsis (From CBD): Medical mystery thrillers with a chilling diagnosis—the only cure is to keep reading! Dr. Reeves implants superior memory cells into soldiers’ brains with amazing results—until negative symptoms appear. When his daughter is taken hostage by enraged research subjects, can he discover the answer they demand before Morgan’s life is in serious Peril?

Today Jordyn is giving away an entire set of the Bloodline Trilogy to one visitor. Proof, Poison and Peril. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.


Marianne Barkman said...

Early bird gets the coffee, chocolates and books? Great post, Jordyn. I guess there are times when I quit while I'm ahead...talking, reading(just a few books that have not been my style), gardening...and writing. Thanks for joining us on Seekerville

Tina Radcliffe said...

This is a very challenging post IMHO.

It's pretty profound, or in the words of HC. Fields. TRY TRY AGAIN, THEN QUIT. NO USE BEING A DA*N FOOL ABOUT IT.

I just spent way too many months tweaking a proposal that was not going to work, no how and no way.

I should have quit with the first tweak. I finally put it away, and wrote another one. Rather quickly too, and sold it.

I wasted a lot of time. Way too much time, in fact.

Vince said...

Hi Jordyn:

I believe that God’s plans for us are for the next life. This life is up to us. For this reason we were given freewill. God stands ready to provide guidance for whatever path we choose to follow and for ever how many times we choose to change that path. God didn’t give us paths to follow in the Bible. He gave us rules to live by. These rules apply to everyone regardless of the path they are currently following. In the end it is all going to be about following God’s rules of moral behavior and not about which path we choose in this temporary and very mortal life.

“You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.”

Thanks for your post. I am very sympathetic to your point of view. Please put me in for a chance to win your books.


Melissa Jagears said...

I know one thing I gave up on: Photography, I have a naturally good eye for composition even better than some doing it professionally. And lots of people will ask me to take their photos so I thought about doing it for awhile, started amassing some equipment, but well, there's tons of competition by amateurs, I'd have to work with people on purpose (not a good personaliyt match), and I'm not at all excited to learn the mechanics of the camera or lighting, etc.

It's like shooting, I'm a crackshot, I hit the target as well as my sniper trained hubby, but I'm SO not interested in learning the proper technique and stuff that he does and therefore I won't improve, I'm happy with my crackshot status. And I saw myself the same way with photography.

So now, if you know me, I'll take photos for free for fun, but I'm not even going there. I don't love the intricacies of it and it doesn't match my personality to make me want to compete for success.

Whereas I love tearing apart and dissecting writing to try and figure it out. Ask Naomi, I love tearing apart writing in an attempt to make it better. :)

So I think that might be a clue, do you love the details? The minor things most don't care to learn or worry about? And with every detail you learn, do you apply it and become better?

Just a thought...could be a bad one!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good point, Melissa.

The writer who studies the craft, sounds knowledgeable about the details but never writes or finishes a book would be an example.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thanks for your comment, Marianne!

Tina-- Interesting. I'm shopping around a proposal that hasn't sold yet either and am kind of feeling like I'll be writing another one, too. I LOVE the series though and have been thinking about self-publishing this year so we shall see what happens.

Vince-- Hmm-- I guess I view free will as the choice to follow God or not but once we're on board then I think our ultimate purpose is relationship with God and then doing His Will in serving him. I say this because I think God does direct us to serve Him in certain ways if we are believers-- Jonah didn't want to go where God wanted Him to go-- hence the whale. Very thought provoking, Vince. I love debate!!


I LOVE your thoughts here because I think it speaks to "the dip" and learning your craft well. I think this is some of the criticism for self-published books (and published ones, too but less so) is that the author hasn't taken time to learn their craft. They just wanted the book out there. I'm with you in the sense that the more I write the more I WANT to learn about writing and realize how much more there is to learn. I think this is what he means when he says those in the dip "lean into it".

Great points! GREAT example, Tina.

And forgive the typos. I just worked 12 hrs in the ED and am off to bed.

Can't wait for more discussion tomorrow!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

12 hour shifts. I am so sorry. Actually I am so glad those days are over.

God Bless you and sleep well.

Tina Radcliffe said...

And yeah, Jordan, mine was part of a series too.

Hate that.

Hilleary Peterson said...

Good post and great advise. I really like that you have found a way to combine you 2 careers. Maybe you were meant to take the long way finding a job it seems that it has worked out for you, all things do happen for a reason

Sandra Leesmith said...

Welcome to Seekerville.Have fun today. Great post btw

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Beautiful post!

I love Seth Godin. He really speaks to me and my personality type.

Hm, things I've quit. Feeling a bit of shame coming on. No worries, it's residual. It will pass!!

I graduated from the University of Oregon in 1995, after 3 years, with two BAs and a minor. I had studied 4 Eastern European languages, 3 Western European languages, and had a good handle on Yiddish, Hebrew, and Old Church Slavonic. (Google it, you'll love it. Such a rich history.)

So, at the ripe old age of 20, I entered the Warsaw School of Economics, to take on graduate school. I was studying Polish and history, mostly trying to preserve the Yiddish and Hebrew newspapers from the Warsaw ghetto.

Hated it. I lasted a year. I came home and told everyone I was 'taking a break'. Uh huh.

I think that was the dip.

I made some good friends, but over all, that year was a nightmare. It was like 12 months of childbirth. Horrible weather (-20F for 3 months!, horrid locals, a closed stacks library, and rampant anti-Jewish sentiment.

Anyway, I'm over the shame of dropping out. Almost. *blush* I got a lot of flack from a lot of people, including professors. I'd worked so hard to be there, to have that chance, to be accepted at all...

But I'm thrilled I didn't waste more than a year there.

Changed direction... moved to my small hometown... worked at the local college... married my husband... had kids... blah blah blah.

Never want to eat cabbage again. (Just thought I'd throw that in there, too.)

Again, beautiful post. Thanks so much.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...


Sorry for the huge post!


Cindy W. said...

I have began and quick several things in my life more by circumstance than by desire. I started taking oil painting classes and the only time they had beginning classes worked for me until my worked schedule changed abruptly and after two classes I had to quit. I tried on my own but never really progressed so I gave it up. I love to draw and signed up for a college class but not enough people signed up so it was canceled. I finally realized that while I can draw, it is not what I am meant to do. I also always wanted to work in the operating room helping doctors. I went to school to be a surgical tech and graduated top in my class. I LOVED my job. The first job I have ever had that I truly LOVED but it wasn't meant to be. I have two painful knees and I need a bone graft in my left foot that the doctors will not do as I have already had one graft and if they do another the flexion in my foot will be gone and I would probably suffer many stress fractures. So. per 3 doctor's suggestions, I left the OR and am sitting behind a desk making collection calls for a construction supplier. I also tried writing years ago and my seventh grade peers tore me apart so I shoved my writing aside. Now many, many years later I feel called to write and I am stepping out there again.

Thank you for the post today Jordyn. I will definitely look into getting a copy of The Dip.

I would love to be entered to win your books. Thank you for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cindy, we've talked about this before, and I'm so glad you're really doing it! Give it time, and forge on. And THEN... because I totally respect Jordyn's post today, it's a subject I really believe in... Stay if you must.

Quit if you can.

Holy smokes, Jordyn, Seth Godin's a smart dude. I got more out of reading his bio than his books (this is not a slam on his books, but Seth is NYC forged and do youse know how hard it is to stand out in NYC????) I do believe my son has run into him a few times, but when you're in Manhattan, that's a regular occurrence.

A dip... whoa, well, learning to be quiet and listen and learn was painful for an obnoxious know-it-all like myself. And Virginia's success is a PRIME EXAMPLE of my stupidity because even though I'm a numbers person, I never looked at indie publishing from that vantage point... Also, (piggybacking yesterday) such good points about being ready to self-publish. And that's a fine line.

Tina, you know I've had books dropped too. Both from a series. One I re-tweaked three times but in the end it didn't work, so that was a wake-up call: If it doesn't grab 'em the first time, try something new. And I respect that the books didn't work for the line, our NY gals are paid to know what works for the readers and what won't. And that's where it's nice to have a new, outside the box venue.

And having that venue might keep more folks from quitting????

What do you guys think on that?

Hey, COFFEE'S HERE!!!!! And I brought along food from Panera, I hadn't stopped there in a while and I love their circle Danish!!!

Jordyn, you've given us stuff to chew on besides the Danish! Go, you!!!!

Annie Rains said...

Thank you for the thought provoking post today, Jordyn!

Writing is the only hobby I really have time for, and I know God put the desire on my heart, so I'm keep chugging along even if it takes forever. I love to write and I love the dream.

Happy Wednesday, Seekerville!

Jackie said...

Hi Jordyn,

What a great post. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

Knowing when to quit, and knowing that it's okay to quit is important. There have been times I should have quit sooner, and other times I'm glad I stuck it out.

Right now I'm watching a loved one struggle with a new job. It's disrupting everything and for very little money. I really want to tell her just quit before her kids suffer. It's a long story. I wish I could tactfully slip her this post. :)

Thanks again for sharing!

Sally said...

Thanks for this wonderful post! Jordyn, I would love to win your books! I've read one and I was hooked! Thanks for the chance to win!

A dream I had where I persevered through the dip would be when I went back to college in 2003. I graduated from a community college in 2008 and finally got my Bachelor's degree in English from Va Tech in 2013. It was a very long 10 years! Especially the last three months before graduation. I was ready to quit. But the professors kept telling me they loved my writing. They loved it that a nontraditional student had gone back to school and was doing so well. At that point, I couldn't quit since I was so close to graduating. And in 2010, I finally figured out what I loved doing and was great at! Editing. All those pesky things that others don't notice, they stick out for me. I started with a couple of authors that I edited for before they submitted their work and progressed to working for a couple of ebook publishers. It has been great! But now, the call is to write. I still love editing and do all I can. I've even been known to do it for free just because I love doing it so much; but, when I'm sitting at my computer, I'm thinking of stories and how to create a scene and how the ending should go and when they should meet, etc. See, my mind just takes off lol. I think I should just write all my stories at one time and make them a series. What do you think? It's like I can't find enough time and I can't type fast enough. Thanks, Jordyn, for the very informative and thought-provoking post. I loved it!!! And I would love to win your books!
tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

CatMom said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us today, Jordyn. I keep hearing so many wonderful comments about Seth Godin and his books, so I'm going to have to read some of them soon!

I have so much respect for nurses, so THANK YOU for serving others in that noble calling. My older sister has been a nurse for years and years--absolutely LOVES it, but I don't know how she does it.
And CONGRATS on your books--Wow!

Please enjoy the peach pancakes and pecan waffles I made for breakfast (with warm maple syrup). Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

Rose said...

Very interesting. I'm going to look for this book. Thank you, Jordyn for bringing it to our attention.

kaybee said...

This one hit me hard, and I'm honestly not sure what to say. I know I'll quit if it starts to affect my family life, my service to God, my disposition or my health. And I know I'll quit if the Lord tells me to. It is a hard road. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." That's from somewhere in Proverbs. I have wrestled with this question on and off throughout the years. The best I can come up with is to ask God that if it's not His will, He will take away the desire. I don't know if that's good enough, but it's what I've got.
JORDYN, I've traveled the same road in my secular work, being "passed over," especially as I got older. Everyone wants the 24-year-old with the Twitter account and anchorwoman haircut. And I know it's not going to get better -- I'm in print journalism, for Pete's sake. I'm lucky there's still an industry. I guess we just do the best we can. It says in Ecclesiastes, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might." I get good buzz and decent contest scores, so I guess I'm in for the long haul. I'm just not sure how long the haul will be. Kind of a depressing response, but I'm in New Hampshire on Oct. 30 and THE SUN HASN"T EVEN COME UP YET. Late fall -- Not A Fan.
PATTI JO, thanks for the pancakes. I needed something warm today.
RUTHY, I also love Panera. There is one a block from our church.
CINDY W., seventh-graders don't know anything about writing!
Kathy Bailey
Dark and cold in New Hampshire

Courtney Phillips said...

Oh, this is a GOOD topic. Every night I pray for God to stop me if I'm not doing what He wants concerning writing. But then, like you said, when I'm discouraged, something will happen to encourage me.

One thing I did quit was a job at a bank. Everyone thought I had the most wonderful, amazing job ever, but I hated it. Honestly, it was SO boring that I brought a notepad to work and would write. Other things happened, and finally I realized it wasn't what God wanted me doing. Everything worked out!

Also, I agree that God has a definite plan for each person. I like the quote that says, "Keep me in Your Will, Lord, so I won't be in Your Way."

Courtney Phillips said...

Another good one is, "The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you." Or something like that. . .

Jeanne T said...

Jordyn, what a great, thought provoking post. I've come to writing late, so to speak, as in I only began writing a few years ago, in my forties. I believe this is where God has called me.

In my younger years, I considering pursuing singing. I have a decent voice. People told me it was good, but it lacks that "it factor" that gets it noticed. When I could acknowledge that my voice didn't have some of the right qualities, it was easier to let that dream go. I sing on worship teams on occasion, do special music. And that's enough.

My passion is writing. And I love learning it and doing it.

Jeanne T said...

VIRGINIA—I am so impressed that you know (knew) all those languages. You are my heroine. :)

Cindy Regnier said...

Great topic. I don't think I could stop writing even if I wanted to but on a smaller scale I see your point. What if I start a new story I think is a great idea but I can't get going with it, the characters are shallow, the plot won't work, etc. Maybe it's not as great as I thought or maybe God is leading me to write something else. Give it up, Start somewhere new. Listen to His leading. Maybe I'll get back to it someday or maybe not. It's all about following Him.

DebH said...

thanks for the pop-upside the head post today. excellent! someone has to do the tough love thing and i think you did a good job.

knowing when/if to quit something you've invested yourself in is the big kicker. my mom always says "pray and seek to be in the middle of God's will". i think if we listen to Him, we can avoid those cul-de-sacs and cliffs, because He'll be right there, encouraging us through the dips.

would love a chance at your books.
again, thanks for today's food for thought - very filling.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Jordyn! I thought of you recently when I was wondering how long a bullet wound would take to heal! :-) I almost messaged you to ask.

Will you explain what a flight nurse is? Because I can't figure that out. I keep picturing a nurse sitting with the flight attendants on a 747.

Not all of our dreams are meant to come true, I think. You make a lot of good points in this post! Sometimes there might be something better that God has planned that we haven't even thought to dream of yet. And sometimes the devil gets in the way. It's the nature of this fallen world.

Melanie Dickerson said...

To answer the questions, I persevered in pursuit of publication, and I think that has paid off. Some things I quit were teaching, which I really didn't enjoy very much, and I have also quit scrapbooking and gardening, but I'm not sure those count. I just stopped doing them because I didn't seem to have enough time!
I recently decided a book that I had finished and had worked really hard on was not good enough to be published, and I am completely reworking it and changing the plot. It was very hard for me to give up on that story, because I did love it. But I had to sacrifice that plot to make it into something a lot better. For a while I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing. But yesterday it was like, TA-DA! Yes! The chemistry between the H/H is now amazing, the plot is now exciting, and the story is so much stronger! So I'm so glad I continued with my plan to change it!!!

Susan Codone said...

Hi Jordyn,
I've been impressed with your medical writing and now am impressed that you know Godin's work so well. I like his writing, too -- he's been very successful but he's also realistic. I think knowing when to call time-out or walk off the field is valuable. But maybe the time-out or quitting is temporary. Maybe it means just not right now. I think it's helpful to remain flexible. I say that only because it's something I have to tell myself every single day!

Connie Queen said...


My daughter is still waiting for me to order your third book. She LOVED the first two and told everyone who would listen all about them.

I lean toward Vince's way of thinking. Whether I work at Burger King, stay at home w/the kiddos, or become governor, I'm to be a Christian.

But, I do believe the entertainment industry is bombarded w/crude, less-than-Godly shows/books. There is a big need for clean and wholesome entertainment. I want to be a part of that.

I've always loved drawing house plans, mainly for larger families because we got ready to build, I couldn't find any I liked and few to choose from. But I didn't want to spend that many years in college to become an architect. Basically, I only wanted to do the fun part--draw the houses.

I'm a stay-at-home mom and write. I'm living my dream. If I don't become published, I'm fine, I'll still continue to write.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Virginia, you made the right choice in dropping out! I think being miserable is usually a sure sign that we're doing something that is not God's best for us! Something similar happened to me. I'd wanted to be a missionary since I was a kid. Finally quit my job and went on the mission field, and I was miserable. I was lonely, had so much opposition from one fellow missionary and even from a local professor who tried to get us kicked out of the country and very nearly succeeded! I met some really sweet, wonderful people, and I have a lot of sweet memories from that year I was there (in Ukraine) but I realized I wasn't cut out to be a missionary. It had been a long-time dream, but it wasn't what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. Dream fulfilled. Time to move on. Haha!!!

Sara Ella said...

Hi Jordyn. This is a tough subject but I admire you for talking about it anyway. From the time I could walk up through high school, all I ever wanted was to be a ballerina. And then my sophomore year I was injured. The doctor said dancing was out of the question for me, professionally anyway. Physical therapy and even prayer didn't completely cure my tendonitis, which still flares up with too much strain.

Anyway, I may not be dancing the way I thought, but here I am, dancing the dance of writer/ homeschooler/ at home mom and I love it! I would never trade what I have now for the career I thought I wanted.

Thanks for your insight!

Susan Codone said...

Virginia -- and anyone else aching over graduate school -- you might want to read about Grad School Barbie:

Chill N said...

Profound, JORDYN, profound. I'm certain I'll be back to read this again today, mulling it over in the meantime.

I decided years ago it's okay to "quit" ... at times it's the only sane thing to do. I tell people I've had more jobs than Mark Twain had, but not one of those jobs has been 'for nothing.' I have quit and moved on and taken knowledge with me. But oh the getting up the courage to quit ... that's a whole 'nuther thing.

For now, I'm pursuing self-publishing and not about to quit. Check back with me in a year ;-)

Thanks for the honesty, Jordyn.

Nancy C

Sherri Shackelford said...

I knew this career was meant to be when I COULDN'T quit. I TRIED to quit. I WANTED to quit. This is a really difficult profession full of setbacks and disappointments. But no matter how hard I tried, something pulled me back in...

Like Ruth said...Stay if you must...quit if you can....

I remember once I had an opening scene that I really, really wanted to work! I even ARGUED with my critique group because OF COURSE it made sense! Why couldn't they SEE it made sense?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Mary Hicks said...

Good morning, Jordyn! Love your topic. Haven't we all been faced with the decision to stick it out or throw in the towel at some point in life?
When the subject is one that won't go away even after you've thrown it down—you need to rethink your decision.
I love writing—learning to write that is. :-) I get discouraged and think 'what made me think I could do this'? It last about an hour. Then my mind is back at the story that won't go away.
I had my own ( successful ) photography studio for nearly twenty years. Nothing about photography was boring or tedious to me—I feel the same about writing. I enjoy every moment that I'm in the throes of the story.

Photography and oil painting are like writing—looks
real easy when someone else is doing it.:-)

I'm sometimes pressed into giving lessons in both subjects. I refuse to teach a student that is not willing to start with the basics and build their knowledge on the foundation of sound principles.

That thins the crowd real fast.

Experiencing this in my own teaching prepared me to have the same mind-set in learning to write.

Having a good time at my laptop...

Myra Johnson said...

Excellent post, Jordyn! Every aspiring writer should consider these words carefully.

My "dip" was 25 years long, from the time I first seriously focused on the dream of becoming a published novelist until it actually happened. Look what I'd be missing out on today if I'd quit.

Sure, there were missteps, and more than a few projects I should have given up on much sooner than I did. But I didn't quit writing because I COULD NOT QUIT WRITING. That's how I knew I was in this for the long haul.

Mary Connealy said...

What Tina said....challenging.

Okay, I'll say what popped into my head.

I write three book series.

So, I'm on book #2 of the 3 book series AFTER Trouble in Texas and it's going well.

So, I need to figure out what's next right?

So, I spent some time doing that in the last few weeks and I've got an idea and three characters and I like it and I'm working on it EXCEPT it's a tough one.

Sometimes I just wonder if I'm being a jerk about writing, you know? Do I pick tough subjects deliberately? I mean...why did I need to make Seth Kincaid INSANE? Right?

Why did I need to have Cassie Dawson be an overly submissive abused widow?

What put it in my head to make Sally McClellen's love interest be an ARTIST for heaven's sakes???

Can't I just pick nice easy characters, huh? Why can't I just have a heroic cowboy, a pretty school marm, maybe a cattle rustler?


These three heroes have long, deep, dark problems that need to be worked out. The are brothers who need to find a way to let go of the past and love each other even though they have been raised to be at each other's throats.

Think Jacob and Esau meets The Big Valley. Only not.

And Jacob and Esau ...who are Jarrod and Nick Baraclay need to find a way to work together instead of wanting to kill each other and steal from each other.

And Audra Barclay needs to pick between the dangerous-to-the-whole-clan romance and ... someone else.

Maybe Heath Kincaid........

Meghan Carver said...

I'm in the dip right now in my writing, but the positive comments are increasing and I'm continuing to push through. Thanks for a great post, Jordyn.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm still flipping ideas around.

Mary Connealy said...

But my point is, it's hard. And sometimes we pick things that are so hard you wonder if you ought to just QUIT and pick something else.
So even if you do write, you still have to decide if you're writing the write thing, writing something so great, so full of conflict, so powerful and THAT'S WHY IT'S SO HARD!!!???

Or are you just writing yourself off a cliff?

Mary Connealy said...

That is one heck of a nasty dip, MYRA!

Mary Connealy said...

I don't know when I adopted this attitude.....but a long time ago I decided that if I can't CHANGE myself I can at least KNOW myself.

Does that make sense?

So toward that end....I do NOT buy bric-a-brac for my house that is going to need dusting.

I do not buy beautiful little kits for embroidery projects.

I do not buy exercise leotards.

I do not buy gym memberships.

I do not buy Mr. Clean.

Are you sensing a pattern here?

I mean why bother? These things just cost money, take up space and shout at me from where they lay, dusty, neglected, hating me, mocking me.

So, that's why I quit very few things. I just know better than to start. I can think of things I used to do that I've quit doing.

I used to crochet a lot. I've quit, but that's just me not having time. I have done some really pretty needle point in my life, not anymore. I don't really think of that as quitting, just a hobby I no longer make time for.

I just don't start much.

I've tried to learn PHOTOSHOP a few times. Do NOT get me started.

Tina Radcliffe said...

This is so interesting. The dip is quite interesting.

I remember my dip as well. 2005. I was critiquing a bit with Missy and I remember telling her that if something didn't pop soon, I was going to give it up to quilt. I've always wanted to quilt. Can't write, quilt and work two job.

I became a GH Finalist for the first time in 2005 and the world lost a potentially great quilter.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Seriously, re Virginia, right Jeanne T?

I thought I was doing well because I learned all the cuss words in Italian, (passed down from Grandpa).

Tina Radcliffe said...

Sara Ella! You have a profile picture. Love it!

Joanne Sher said...

SO good, Jordyn! Definitely need to pick up Seth's book - and would LOVE to win yours! (have the first, but the other two sound SO Good!)

I've left so many different things, it's almost comical (especially in writing!) - and you've made me wonder if I SHOULD have pushed through on some. Will be praying about this for sure!


CatMom said...

Thought I'd stop back by here again and read some of the other comments---and now I'm laughing at some of MARY CONNEALY'S statements--oh my, whenever I need a good laugh, I think I'll start reading some of your replies, Mary! You are SOOOO funny (I mean this as a compliment, so I hope this doesn't sound rude....I would NEVER mean to be rude---Southern ladies should never be rude!) ;)
Hugs, Patti Jo (setting out chicken salad sandwiches for lunch--please enjoy!)

Donna said...

Lots of good advice shared here today. I can't think of anything I have quit other than hobbies.

Please enter me. I love to read suspense.

Boos Mum said...

Well, right now I am very busy with raising and homeschooling my kids. I do enjoy decorating. Maybe that is something I might pursue when I have an empty nest. I would enjoy winning your books. Please enter me. Thanks.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Tina-- someday I do hope to give up these 12hr shifts!

Hilleary P: Yes- I think I have combined my two careers in a positive way but I would like to transition to writing more full-time. We shall see what happens!

Thanks, Sandra! I love being on Seekerville.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Virginia M: Even though we may walk away from some dreams-- I do think there is longing, maybe wonder, over the what-ifs. I'm pretty settled in knowing I'll never be a flight nurse but part of me still would love the challenge.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Wow, as Tina said, challenging and profound.

Thanks for sharing this.

It's one of the things I love about Seekerville. We have to THINK!

I seem to change "careers" every 5-7 years, sometimes less. I've been a veterinary assistant, school teacher, political activist, owned two businesses (currently on 3rd), etc.

But it seems each one folds into what I'm doing next, like the next curve down the road to continue with your analogy. Same road, just different view around that next bend.

I'm very unclear what is next for my May the K9 Spy character. We now have a trilogy (wow. Right up there with CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien eh?! BOL!) but will there be more? Haven't a clue. I need to be about getting the stories in front of people and sharing May while she's still around.

So - who knows? Sometimes I've felt like a failure quitting one and moving on, but again, it all seems to fold in at one point or another. Like all the research I do for these stories. Hey. I'm a history major too, so, it comes with the territory!

Would love to be entered for your books. may at maythek9spy dot com

Thanks for being here today!

ONE MORE CELEBRATION DAY! WOW. Where did the month go?

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Cindy W: Thanks so much for sharing your story. Maybe your inability to do this OR position is God calling you back into writing. My lack of getting my nursing dream job pushed me to seek publication. God can be sneaky that way. And those 7th graders-- they don't know what they're talking about!! Though I do get the hurt other people can put onto a child. Just write . . .

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Ruth H: I know, right? We sound a lot alike. I can be quite the know-it-all. Pride-- ugh--- why is it so bad ;)!!

Sometimes book ideas come full circle, too. The medical mystery in Peril was first rejected by Kregel many, many years ago and now (albeit revamped A LOT) they are publishing it.

Some story ideas are good but need to wait for the right season.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thanks, Annie.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Jackie: Yes, the okay part is hard. Feeling good about the decision is a whole other ball of wax.

Your comment did make me chuckle because there have been several types of blog posts I've wanted to "tactfully" slip another-- like Michael Hyatt's how to manage people up posts on leadership but that's another story ;).

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


GOOD editors are hard to find so what you have is a GREAT gift.

You asked about writing all your stories and making them a series. Hmmm . . . I think this would be a hard way to break into the market.

The authors who have published short stories successfully have already been established as full-length novel authors and have a tremendous following. Some (like King, Koontz) have done a series of novellas but as an unknown publishing a group of stories would be hard.

If you did it-- I would have a thread running through them so they were joined somehow-- someway.

But . . . keep writing! I started out writing short stories and once I did a full-length novel I didn't know how I could so a successful short story again. Too wordy I guess.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Patti Jo: MAN!! I would love some peach pancakes and pecan waffles. Can I come over?

I do LOVE taking care of sick kids. If that's all nursing was I would stay forever but it's just moving in ways I don't appreciate so much. Moving away from patient focused care but that's another story, too.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Kathy B: See Cindy--- Kathy says 7th graders don't know anything either.

The desire thing is hard for me because, like I commented above, I still HAVE the desire to be a flight nurse and I also DESIRE to be an awesome praise and worship guitar playing freak-- like Chris Rice-- but I know these things won't happen.

This is one thing I've struggled with. Separating my desire from God's Will because they don't always seem to be in line.

Maybe others can comment on this.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Great comment, Courtney. Thanks.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Jeanne: Amen, sister and you're right about Virginia!! All those languages!!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


Great comments. Not ALL story ideas deserve to be full length novels. This discernment can be hard, too.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Deb H: Thanks for the compliment. It's a tough subject to discuss among writers.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Melanie-- you can ALWAYS ask me those medical questions for your books. Don't be shy.

A flight nurse work on helicopters transporting patients from hospital to hospital or doing scene pick-ups of super-sick patients-- like trauma patient. Think Flight for Life or something along those lines. They get to wear the cool jumpsuits.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Melanie-- I had to give up scrapbooking, too. Not enough time.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Susan: Thank you and great points.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Connie-- Well, stop torturing your daughter ;)!!

I do agree-- we should present God's grace and love in whatever job we do. Most writers both "work" and write.

Amen to writing cleaner stuff!

Thanks so much for your comments.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Sara Ella: I do think God "takes away" some of what we want to provide us something more than we can imagine. Sounds like you are right where you need to be.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. I'll be with you next year self-publishing. I'm interested to see how it goes!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

So true, Sherri. Even if I quit publishing I would never stop writing!

kaybee said...

I agree with MARY. It's better not to start, and if you know yourself well, you won't.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Got a double confirmation today from all of you, especially Jordyn and Connealy.

I am going to quit cleaning my house. ASAP.

kaybee said...

I have been in the cul-de-sac for a while. Everybody says it takes time. It's at least 25 years for me so far, MYRA.
I guess I'll know enough to quit when it begins to affect other areas of my life, especially my spirituality. What Ever. It's cold and dark here today, I could never live in Sweden or Norway.

Mary Connealy said...

Tina, seriously are you going to QUIT CLEANING YOUR HOUSE????


Now which is it?

If you are right now, allla time cleaning your house like a Susie homemaker and you quit, then okay, you've quit. But if, instead you just sit around hating yourself for NOT cleaning your house. Then all you've done is stop hating yourself.
Your house is the exact same.
Think of the emotional energy you're saving and the house is the EXACT SAME!!!!!!!!

Jan Drexler said...

Hey Jordyn!

Welcome to Seekerville :)

Wow, this is a thought-provoking post.

And yes, there are things I quit when I should have - or long after I should have.

One thing I stuck with, though, in spite of all kinds of obstacles, was homeschooling. I'll never be sorry we took that road.

Meanwhile, though, writing took a back seat. Or maybe a box in the attic. Although I tried many times, my writing didn't take off until my youngest child was ready to graduate from our homeschool.

I chose to take it as a sign that I needed to put my first things first - and God knew I wouldn't be able to both at the same time :)

kaybee said...

Please enter me in drawing. It looks like a long cold winter. I need books!
Kathy B.

Myra Johnson said...

Hang in there, KAYBEE! You never know what's just around the corner!

kaybee said...

Thank you, MYRA. I'm feeling a little more down than usual because I am sick (two weeks with one cold). I'm sure I'll have a better attitude when I feel better physically.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am going to stop cleaning as an excuse to procrastinate. I don't hate myself about it at all.

The word hate is an awfully strong word.

I will maintain a moderate level of hygiene only because I don't like bacteria.

Pat W said...

Tina: I like the way you think!!!! I was just about to finish lunch and start cleaning. But now....)))))

Jordyn: I needed this post at this exact time. This is something I struggle with all the time. I think it's because I wasted so much time being a christian who did what I wanted to do instead of following God's will for my life. I no longer want to make that mistake. My question is how do you know that you know this is what He wants you to do? I realize the answer isn't the same for everyone because we're all unique. I love reading everyone's responses. Thanks for a great post!

I would love to win your books so please put me in the drawing.

Mary Connealy said...

Well, teenster, as long as you're not a fanatic.

I think I've managed to avoid that whole cleaning fanatic thing, personally. I hate to see it happen to those I care about.

(oops, there's that word hate again!)

Mary Connealy said...

Pat W, I love this question.
Because I see people struggle with things and saying, "Satan is trying to stop me."

And I'll wonder if maybe GOD is trying to stop them.

It's just one of life's struggles to find the will of God. I suppose I just think it's probably not that hard.

I think God is probably laying His plan for your life right in your path. We make it harder than it needs to be through our own ... oh ... HUMAN-NESS, I suppose.

I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

I do know once I very prayerfully approached someone who was taking a path I thought was all wrong, in the name of God and advised them against it and they pretty much said, "Get thee behind me Satan."

I was more than a little annoyed.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Jordyn! Excellent, thought provoking post. I think God is involved in our plans, our dreams. But, still believe we have freewill. Jonah's freewill got him in a whale of trouble. Sorry. His heart wasn't right. Maybe that's when God intervenes.

Thanks for sharing Seth Godin's book with us.


Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Such great points, Mary! Thanks for your comments.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

I so agree, Myra!

Tina Pinson said...

Mary, I quit feeling like a failure over house cleaning many moons ago. Although if someone wants to come clean my house because they have a fetish for it (TINA R) I feel as though I should clean it so they won't think I'm messy or anything.

Surely I'm not the only one with such an ailment.


And after moving again, I'm in agreement with forgoing knick knacks, so much fun to pack, so much fun to dust.

Melissa, I have been delving into photography and would like to do a bit more. One of my photos will be on the cover of This Shadowed Land, which releases early next year.

Jordyn, thank you for the post.
My dips come and go, but then we weren't talking about children were we... LOL

No, I can get caught in a rut pretty easily. Thinking I have to keep doing something. I quit some things at church long ago because they were being done more because I'd always done them.

I actually thought of going back to work so I could help with the finances, then I hurt my back and was forced pretty much to be on my back or my side with an ice pack, still can't sit in the ol office chair for sure for too long.

I try not to use that as my excuse not to accomplish something in my writing.

I realize it's not always best to keep going around a mountain if you're supposed to be on another journey, but I also know there is something to be said for commitment and not giving up either.

I've come to realize for many things that if I do them and continue on and resent doing it, I really need to rethink what I'm about and why I'm doing them at all.
granted sometimes I just need an attitude check. A lot of times I took on things I wasn't supposed to, or still have a choke hold on things I should let go.



Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Mary C,

Not to diminish other writers who write non-complicated characters but to each their own and I think some authors are more gifted at writing on tough subjects. Others are more gifted at writing funny ,quirky characters which I can't do.

One of the best compliments I ever got was if you're going to write on a tough subject-- then *write* it. Do the subject justice and don't dance around it.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Meghan C: Shoulder in! Sounds like you're getting that positive reinforcement.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Mary C:

Don't you think that's part of the writing process though. That "dark" moment where you feel you've written yourself into a corner and you can't write yourself out of it?

I've heard several novelists talk about-- even Terri Blackstock.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Mary C: Hmmm-- I've thought about getting Photoshop and now maybe I won't ;).

One thing I quite was Scrivner. I know a TON of authors love it. I got the tutorial and everything. It just wasn't very intuitive for me. The dip wasn't worth it when I was happy and productive with Word. Who knows-- that might change.

I'm a needleworker, too. Cross stitch. It's my one thing that helps me relax.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Mary C: Hmmm-- I've thought about getting Photoshop and now maybe I won't ;).

One thing I quite was Scrivner. I know a TON of authors love it. I got the tutorial and everything. It just wasn't very intuitive for me. The dip wasn't worth it when I was happy and productive with Word. Who knows-- that might change.

I'm a needleworker, too. Cross stitch. It's my one thing that helps me relax.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


I quilt, too!! Not as much as I'd like but we could dabble together in between writing books.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thanks for stopping by, Joanne!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


I don't know . . . I don't think I could give up house cleaning. Too OCD. I think Mary might die in my house. LOTS of little things to dust.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


Maybe we could trade because I kind of thrive in cold and dark. I think Oregon and I would get along pretty well.

Tina Pinson said...

I tried live scribe you know the pen that is supposed to remember what you're writing and put into the computer. It was twice the headache of just writing out in long hand like I usually do and putting it in the computer.

I've tried to use writing programs and several and have had to stop.

I find I have seasons where I really want to tackle something and I do it, like sewing or painting or spend more time drawing, which I love, then move on. I feel much better about things that way.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Jan!

Great *seeing* you here.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Feel better, Kaybee.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Pat W: If you discover the answer about God's Will and how to TRULY know then you MUST e-mail me. I keep asking for that gold note card on my pillow when I wake up but . . . nothing.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Mary C: Sometimes I wonder that, too. Is God trying to stop me.

We may not know until Heaven about some of these earthly things.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Great thought, Janet. Thanks for sharing.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thanks Tina P for your thoughts. And congrats on your photo getting a cover!

Tina Pinson said...

Of late, one of the little things I've wanted to do is the bathroom, been chipping grout.

Can I just say not so little a job, chipping grout can put a chip on someone's shoulder. It is most time consuming.

And I just keep chipping and chipping, my dil said she would have taken a hammer to it long ago. But I chip. And isn't that life?

sometimes we want to stop chipping, and times we should, but remember a church in Germany, in the rock that was chipped away for years.

some of the most beautiful songs and stories come after years of chipping. If the old grout isn't removed the new grout may not adhere and you're left with holes of water and grime.

I was just thinking about how we are all works in progress in the potter's hand and how he keeps molding away.
And when the times comes for something in your life to fall by the wayside he knows...

Lyndee H said...

Very insightful post, Jordyn. Right now I'm not aware of curves, dips or cliffs.

I'm just trying to keep it on the road!

(Right, Tina?)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Amen. Lyndee. LOL.

Tina Radcliffe said...

There you go. Got Scrivener. Took the class. Bleh.

I pay for Corel Paintshop Pro. It's great. You can download a 30 day trial CLICK TRIAL

What's better. picmonkey

I pay 2.99 a month and it's saved me a ton in photo image fees. I make my own more often now.

Here's the Link. You can also use it free sans a few bells and whistles.

Abbi Hart said...

Great post! I love how it is not just applicable to writing and is something everyone can learn from!
Would love to win your books!

Jenny Blake said...

late again. I actually went for a walk yesterday afternoon and go past retirement units. got chatting with a couple of older men there (one is from our church) the other then wanted to introduce me to his wife and his neighbour so I could get a cutting of a flower that I was eyeing off.

But I digress in one way, firstly I am not a writer but this does apply to all walks of life. In the past week I have walked that way when I was up to it in the afternoons to partly get out the house and when the pain was bearable and am beginning to think maybe one of my callings is to be a friend to some of the elderly up there. The last few times my 40 min walk has been more like 2 hours cos I have ended up chatting with different people there and I now have invitations to come visit several of the people. While I dont want to work in a nursing home I do enjoy visiting and talking with these people. (even there bad jokes).
I also feel a passion to help promote books and to be of help to authors in some way. I am now working out how to do it better. Will be managing a newsletter and mailing list for one next year but am hoping to also be able to help with blogs, designing, setting up etc and even websites. I feel Gods hand in this and when I get the health issue under control and can concentrate more I will look into it more.

Oh looks like I have occipital neuralgia (and for the first time I spelt it right).

Chill N said...

Mary Connealy said..
If you are right now, allla time cleaning your house like a Susie homemaker and you quit, then okay, you've quit. But if, instead you just sit around hating yourself for NOT cleaning your house. Then all you've done is stop hating yourself.
Your house is the exact same.
Think of the emotional energy you're saving and the house is the EXACT SAME!!!!!!!!


Heaven help me, I think I understand what she said ...

Nancy C

Pat W said...

Mary, I think if someone said that to me, I quite possibly could turn into Satan right before their eyes! People can be so rude.

I agree with you on the whole God puts our path right in front of us thing. I just have to see it.
It's like Jordyn said, "separate my desire from his desire." At least I think Jordyn said it lol.

That's the problem I have.....aka.....making it harder than it has to be!!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


I think "the dip" is the years it takes learning a craft, too. Some dips are more shallow than others-- like learning Twitter for instance.

Others-- like learning an art-- (dance, music, photography, writing) take YEARS. But is it rewarding, fulfilling during the journey AS your learning. I think that's part of it and it probably does feel like chipping away at grout.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Lyndee H:

I totally get that. Staying on the road is important, too!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thanks, Abbi!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


You're right and it sounds like God has blessed you with some very special gifts.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Pat W: I have that gift, too. Making things too hard.

Christina Rich said...

First, how cool is it that you have a blog to help writers with medical accuracy. I'm so going to be all over that. I have a contemp where my heroine spends time in the hospital on more than one occasion.

Second, publication was my dream, but I got to a point where I was pushing and pushing and pushing until I collapsed to the ground against the wall. With head buried in hands I cried to the Lord and said Okay, if you don't want this for me then I'll follow your lead. A few weeks later I received the call. God is just so super awesome!!!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. By the way, that flight nurse thing sounds really cool. I have a friend who is transports with children on helicopters. My heart went out to him because it seems like it'd be difficult seeing all these sick children but he said he finds the children are more resilient and hopeful than most adults he's cared for.

Anna R. Weaver said...

Good post, Jordyn. I believe that God has a plan for our lives and a place that we can serve Him best or the most effectively. It's up to us to find out what it is and be willing to follow, even if it's not our first choice. In the past year, I believe that God has been "tweaking" my calling, moving it more to writing than ever before. I guess we will see what happens next, but my goal is to be faithful with what I have: learning my craft, writing every day, etc. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

Anna R. Weaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie Adams said...

Late to the part... hope there's some cake left.
Great post Jordyn. I'm going to check out your blog. My characters are often in need of medical attention.

Audra Harders said...

What an inspiring post Jordyn. Every word of it is true. There's no way you'll figure out the dip, cul-de-sac or cliff of your path unless you pray for guidance. And even then, it's tough to figure out if giving up is something that's good for you or just something you want to hear.

We're such a puzzled mass, we writers.

I love your insights and examples. Thanks for the very thought-provoking post!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


You've been cleaning your house???

I'm sad.

I'm... umm.... taken aback.

I'm downright chagrined!!!!!!


Say it ain't so.

Don't leave me to HANG ALONE!!!!!

(leaves, muttering, chin tucked.... tail tucked, too!!!)

bonton said...

Hi, Jordyn!

I'm not a writer - but read Seekerville, it helps me appreciate what Christian fiction authors go through to get those wonderful books to me. At times - the posts apply to non-writers, also! Thanks for your helpful post, today!

I don't think there is anything more important than being in God's will for your life - whether a writer/author, or another profession. PAT W: I can identify with your comment of wasting too much time following your own will, instead of God's will. I spent many years doing this - making the decision not to pursue higher education (until my 50's), choosing a mate, completely unsuited to me - which resulted in divorce, & my working numerous jobs at the same time (for years). This was necessary to support my children, & kept me from being able to find that occupation that I loved so much, that I just "couldn't quit".

I am retired now, & within God's will for my life, but could have had, many, much more enjoyable years - had I followed His will sooner. I feel the need to encourage seeking God's will for one's life - for optimum, fulfilling, happiness.

PAT W.: It isn't always easy to determine God's will for your life, it isn't always revealed in the same way - but daily bible study, prayer, church attendance, spending time with other Christians firmly rooted in God's will for their lives, listening to, & singing, praise & worship music, giving of yourself to, & encouraging others; have all been a big help to me, in that area.

MARY C.: Thanks for your humor, we all tend to take ourselves too seriously, at times - making it difficult to move forward! And -keep on writing about those difficult characters, they draw more people to your books. I love difficult characters, even though they may be difficult for you, as an author!

MELANIE D.: SO glad you have found God's dream for you! I have to question the motive of those people who gave you so much opposition, in your missionary pursuit - even though, it turned out not to be God's perfect dream for you.

bonton said...

CHRISTINA R.: Your post mentioned a very important part of determining God's will in one's life, which I omitted, in my post: submission, & opening up, to His will, whatever it may be, above our own desires. Thanks!

Terri said...

Great post. I'm seeking God's guidance now on the feasibility of making a major life/career change that involves writing.

Is anyone else like me and sometimes has trouble discerning what's God's will?

Eva Maria Hamilton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Very thought provoking post, Jordyn! Awesome job with it!

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” - Albert Einstein

Best to make sure you actually want to devote yourself to it :)

Debby Giusti said...

Sorry I've been away from my computer all day...

Loved your post, Jordyn...also love your blog! :)

Seth Godin is a man to read. Must get THE DIP. Thanks for providing an overview. BTW, I enjoyed his TRIBE.

So important to know when we're supposed to move forward and when we're supposed to change course. If I'm busy with something I'm not called to do, I may not have time to achieve the one thing I am supposed to do...the thing that only I can accomplish.

Terri said...

To continue my post above, I've got to admit I never even thought about praying about whether or not my day job fell in God's plan for my life. Still He had blessed me with promotions and favor.

Courtney Phillips said...

Right now I'm hoping God's Will isn't for my town to be hit with these nasty storms we have headed our way. . .heavy rain, tornado watches, you know, the fun stuff :/

My WIP has storms as a main element. . .but hopefully God isn't going to give me any more first-hand insight for some of those scenes. Say a prayer for Tennessee:)

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Christina R: You are more than welcome to send me writing related medical questions any time. I usually get back right away with at least a timeline of when the answer would come-- depends on my writing schedule, etc.

That is very TRUE what your friend said about kids. I've done both adult and pediatric nursing and KIDS ROCK!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


Thanks for your comment. I feel that way, too-- that God may be leading me away from nursing or at least seriously cutting back. We shall see.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Let me know what you think, Jamie!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...


Good point about prayer and something I don't do enough of.

I heard a story about people who "detect" counterfeit money. They go to school and all they want to see first is the fake money. Their instructors say-- we going to study "real" money in detail-- for like a year (or some serious length of time).

The purpose of studying the real money is so they can easily detect the fake at a glance because they are so familiar with the "truth".

I think this is what prayer does. It helps us become so familiar with God and His ways that discerning his voice and direction becomes easier.

Maybe I should figure out if that's true and pray A LOT more.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Audra-- and yes, we writers are a puzzled mass and mess!! Amen!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Bonton-- thanks for all your comments. Sounds like you are where you need to be after many years of HARD work. Those will never be wasted.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Terri: Ummm, yea, me . . . me . . . me!

I'm in the middle of such a decision myself. Let's pray for one another.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

True, Eva and great quote. I love it!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thank you, Debby and GREAT point. Glad you love the blog. You are welcome to guest blog any time!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Courtney: Praying!

Missy Tippens said...

What a great post, Jordyn. Very thought provoking, because it took me almost 12 years to make my first novel sale. I always wondered at what point I would give up. At first I thought I'd give it 5 years. But encouragement and stubbornness kept me going, I guess. I always seemed to get positive feedback right when I was ready to quit.

I'll definitely check out the Godin book!

I'm praying, Courtney! My sister lives in TN.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

So many good quotes on here. Eva's Einstein quote, the Proverbs, Ruthy's tombstone.

Seriously, This is a really tough topic and I love all of the thoughts everyone has here regarding God's will.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...


Exactly. When something isn't working, you know it. And it's so weird to feel like God has paved the way, so long, so far, only to be told to go in another direction. But we do, because we're listening. :)

Mary Connealy said...

btw Jordyn, absolutely beautiful book cover. Love the green eyes!

Christina Rich said...

Thank you, Jordyn! I'll be taking you up on that offer soon, I'm sure.

Mary Preston said...

I think the key for me has always been to just not lose faith.

Edwina said...

WOW - I needed this today! Thanks for sharing. I'll be getting Seth's book asap.

Would love to read your books!

Leona Loller said...

You gave us a lot to think about, Jordyn. I didn't go to college right out of high school. Instead, I married, had children, and led a pretty good life. Then, I realized I could still complete my dream of getting a college education - so, I did. It wasn't easy and there were several "dips" along the way. But, I persevered. I was convinced I was being called to teach and I was good at it. However, it didn't happen. Just as I was about to finish my last semester and begin my career, my health failed and there was no way I could teach. fortunately, I had majored in English and had learned a great deal about writing while I thought I was studying to become a teacher. I had always written for myself and for newsletters that were sent to members of my 4-H club; but, not for pay. Then, I got a job free-lancing for our local newspaper. That career has lasted 15 years and I plan to keep at it as long as God allows.
Nevertheless, pursuing publishing for larger endeavors has not worked out - yet. I keep praying for God's will to be so apparent I can't miss it, but that hasn't happened yet, either. So, I will keep pushing through the dip with publication and continue doing anything else I feel God wants done. Unlike Vince, I believe God does have a plan for our life and will direct our steps, if we let Him. I know we are expected to serve Him here on Earth and glorify His name.
Thanks, again, for the food for thought. Since I am dieting, that is the only kind I can devour freely :)

Leona Loller said...

A couple of other thoughts I forgot about while writing the first post:
isn't it interesting that author Seth's last name is "God-in"? I think I want to read that book.
And, the thing I love abut writing is that I can be anyone I want to be (inside my heroine's head); at least, until the book is done. Have a great day!

Julie Lessman said...

Oooo, gutsy post, Jordyn!! And painfully true at times, no question.

You asked, "what is a dream where you’ve persevered through the dip and had great success?"

For me that was publication. I had dreamed of being published since I started my debut novel at the age of 12, and although it took 40-something years for me to finish the book and another five to get it published, I definitely persevered through the "dip" to finally get there.

You also asked,"On the flip side — is there something you’re pursuing that perhaps you are considering quitting and why?"

That would be the pursuit of success as the world measures it. I am not just "considering it," I am determined to DO IT because pursuing that kind of success only steals one's joy and is, frankly, nothing more than fool's gold. And it steals your attention from God and His plan for your life as well ... not to mention the joy of writing! :)


Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Mary C: Thank you. I think Kregel did an AMAZING job with the book covers, too.

Leona-- I agree. I think God does have a plan.

Julie L: Great thoughts, Julie. God's success is definitely not what the world views as success but something we as Christians need to keep in perspective. I really love those thoughts.

Michelle said...

Sounds like an interesting series. Please enter me in the drawing.