Monday, October 27, 2014

SEVEN REASONS TO KEEP WRITING


HAPPY BIRTHDAY again Seekerville.  Sandra here, and I just can’t say it enough. One of the best things in my writing career is Seekerville and all the friends I have met here. Thank you all for making this 7th year so special.


 As you’ve guessed by now, we’re talking in sevens. And I have a list of seven that is really written more for me than for you. But since Seekerville is all about sharing the experience, there might be someone out there who can relate.





And speaking of birthdays, I have a big one coming up—you know one of those big zero numbers.  And we’re talking sevens here so does that explain why I shudder to even say it? LOL

Because of that and because of the “senior condition” of my abilities to micro manage, I have been considering retiring from writing. In fact, I was pretty sure I was going to on my next birthday. Then someone, I think it was Ruthy, came up with the bright idea to write a Christmas novella. I had so much fun with that, I have been reconsidering my decision. Hence this post.


Hope For the Holidays-Contemporary 


1. MOTIVATION
Why write?  Good question. I know I’ve heard people say  “its God’s plan for me. “ Well to be perfectly honest, I used to say the same thing. Notice I said used to.  One thing my relationship with God does do is make me examine my inner self.  And like the peeling of an onion, those little inner thoughts become exposed.
My purpose was escape. Pure and simple.  In the eighties when I started writing, I was in an extremely stressful job. I was involved in a program of teaching through a project with Arizona State University that turned out to be quite successful. Because of that, we had people trouping in and out of the classroom every day including the governor, educators from other countries, etc. This is very stressful because you have to be perfect every minute.  (Stop laughing, you folks who know how perfect I am NOT).   I ended up taking a sabbatical and started writing and became published. Miracle of miracles.

God’s plan?  Nope. Just a merciful reprieve. Because when the sabbatical was over, I lost all three editors and no sales. Back to teaching I went and looking back, I do know THAT was God’s plan for me.

Then when I retired in 2000, I thought. “Oh boy, I get to write now.” And I started writing again. But then, as those of you who have been in Seekerville all these seven years know, I had another stressful job: caregiver of elder parents, family members and a dear friend.  Again, I wanted to write to escape. And again, writing got set aside. And looking back, , I do know THAT was God’s plan for me.

But I have nothing to escape now. My life is pretty nice. I have been super blessed. And I thank my Lord for that every moment of the day.  So I can’t write to escape.

I need to find a strong motivation. Writing as you know takes a lot of dedication, perseverance and hard work. It is not going to get done if you aren’t strongly motivated.

So what is your motivation to write?


Christmas lights in Seville, Spain


2. ABILITY

A strong imagination, love of romance, love of people and a love of daydreaming gives me a gift for writing. I can write.  Although, I have my doubts after critique partners red line my first draft so much it looks like it is bleeding. And I do have doubts. It seems like every novel requires so much assistance from critique partners, editors and copy editors. I often wonder if I should be doing this when I need so much help.

However, whenever I am writing, the people I need suddenly appear in my life. Now there are psychological studies that attest to why this happens. There are those who say “God provides.”  Well, I say, “If I am supposed to write, why can’t I do it by myself?” I mean, really? Shouldn’t I be able to?

But that is just an excuse. All I have to do is read the reviews of my books and I know that I have the ability to write. At least some people think so. Smile So if I have a gift, shouldn’t I use it? I mean, isn’t that why we have gifts?

Do you write because you have the gift to write?


Tree of lights in the plaza



3. INCOME
Now when I was teaching, and wanted to escape that job, the motivation to write and become wealthy beyond my dreams did inspire me to write. Of course there were all those articles of sage advice not to quit your day job, but one can ignore any advice they don’t want to hear.  LOL

But I have to say, when I wanted or needed the money to write, I was writing a lot more than I am now when I’m sitting here with all of my financial needs met.

So even though money is a worldly reward, it certainly will motivate you. So perhaps I can channel that motivation in thinking of ways to use the money I do earn. Hmmm.  Good point.

Are any of you writing because you want the extra income?


Street in Seville during Christmas


4.  PURPOSE   
Writing does give me a sense of purpose. I have goals I set each day. I get up every morning and engage in productive activity. When I accomplish my goals, I feel good about myself.

Now there have been several studies on aging and it has been determined by several that all those elderly who do well with the aging process have one thing in common. They have a sense of purpose. It doesn’t matter really what the purpose is, but they feel they need to do something and they do it.  It keeps them energetic and young.

So there is a good reason to continue to write. I will have a sense of purpose which will help me age with dignity and will keep me out of mischief. Smile My hubby claims he loves when I write novels because then I’m not writing him a honey-do list. My family tells me I write because I’m so bossy and my characters are the only ones who listen and do what I tell them. So they see my writing as a reprieve. I’m too busy bossing my characters instead of them.  Chuckle.   Little do they know that those strong-willed characters often do what they please instead of what they are told.

Does writing give you a sense of purpose?


More city streets decorated for Christmas in Seville


5. DESIRES AND PASSION
When I started writing the novella, it reawakened the desire and the passion I’ve always felt for a good story. I was always an avid reader as far back as I can remember. I skipped Nancy Drew and went straight to my mother’s novels. I’ve always loved a good romance and spent all my spare time reading.

When I started writing, I discovered writing a novel was even more fun than reading a novel. My passion easily transferred to writing and creating a romance novel.

Personally, I think you need that passion and desire to muddle through all the disappointments, editing and rejections that come along with the writing process. It is a relief to know I still have that passion.

Do you have a passionate desire to write?



Beach at Matalascanas. Remains of a moorish tower


6. SATISFACTION AND GOAL ACCOMPLISHMENT
If you have the desire, passion, ability, motivation and determination to write a novel, then the actually accomplishment of writing one is extremely satisfying. There is nothing quite satisfying as completing a project or accomplishing a goal that you set for yourself. This builds your sense of purpose and your self-esteem.

Many of us work in jobs that are not very satisfying. Writing is one way to build that sense of purpose. Writing and completing something as difficult and seemingly impossible as a whole novel, is a great pat on the back. At least you feel that way until the rejections sail in. But then a determined writer eventually gets published and that really cements that feeling of self worth.

Do you write for satisfaction and the sense of accomplishing a goal?

7. PRODUCT
When you do actually accomplish your goal and fulfill your sense of purpose, you have a product that shows the result of all your efforts.  This product provides satisfaction, fulfills a sense of purpose and hopefully produces income. It proves you have ability and were motivated. Having the product in hand, in my case anyway, stimulates the passion and desire to write again.

Have you produced a product or finished work with your writing? How did it make you feel?


View from hunting lodge of the King in Parque Natural de Donana


So there you have it folks. Seven reasons to keep on writing. Like I said, this article was written for me and it has helped me see the reason I must keep on writing. Smile

And I must say, the product in hand, the novella that we are publishing this fall definitely convinced me that I have made the right decision.

And guess what?  This novella is my seventh novel that will be listed on Amazon under my pen name, Sandra Leesmith.  It totally amazed me to realize that I have seven books out there.

In case you are wondering about the photos I have within this post, they are shots taken in Spain where my novella is set. The name of my novella is A HEART FULL OF HOPE and it takes place in a small town in Southwestern Spain called Matalascañas.  It is about an hour drive from Seville. Part of the story is set in the beautiful Parque Natural de Doñana. One of the tour guides we hired while in Seville gave me his email address and when I told him about this story, he sent photos of Christmas in Seville. One thing about Spain, they do Christmas up big.  They have no qualms about statues of Jesus appearing everywhere and tour guides speak openly about the Christian influences. I loved it.



The video is called Mapping and it is like a huge slide show on the walls of city hall that depicts scenes for the celebration of Christmas. Thousands of people flock to Seville to see it. I will try and attach it, but I’ve never attached a video so hope it works. It’s quite amazing. That of course, is in my novella also. Smile




In Spain they delight in tons of Christmas pastries. And most of them drink coffee European style in thick lattés. So I have prepared a table full of delightful pastries and there are plenty of lattés.

My prize giveaway is a handmade kindle bag that my friend makes and sells in the craft fairs in our RV parks. It will fit a kindle or any tablet actually. I’m also including a gift card for Staples, a leather notebook, and some surprise print Seeker novels. I will also pre-order one of the contemporary novellas for the winner.



Also a pen and the ebook makes 7 items for our 7th birthday bash


So grab your latté and comment today for a chance to win. Remember to check in the weekend edition for the winner and to respond to the Seeker address.


If you are in the Phoenix area, checkout my author page, Sandra Leesmith,  in Amazon Central for upcoming events. November 8, Scottsdale Civic Library is offering free writing workshops. I will be there giving a workshop on Motivation and Focus



154 comments:

LeAnne Bristow said...

What an inspiring post, Sandra! I have to say, each point really made me think. Arizona sure has it's sure of amazing authors! I'm so privileged to live in this wonderful state....alas, I can't come to the Nov. 8 workshop. :( I will be hunting the elusive cous deer and making sure I don't become mountain lion bait in the process.

Helen Gray said...

Sandra, we're on the same track.

Writing gives me a sense of accomplishment, and having a product to show for my time and effort is satisfying. It's a God given passion.

Great post!

Coffee's ready!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh LeAnne, I'm sorry you won't be there. But I'm sure we'll bump into each other one of these days. And yes, be careful. Those mountain lions don't need a literary breakfast. lol

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Helen, Thanks for getting that coffee going. I"m heading for bed so will wait until morning to have some.

Glad you can relate. He is an amazing God isn't HE?

Terri said...

Sandra, I'm so glad you're going to keep writing.

Your list really made me think. I like writing. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I can't give it up.

Oh, and I feel just like you about those marked up red pages. Thanks for sharing so I don't feel all alone!

Jan Christiansen said...

Haven't been writing much lately, but your 7 reasons to write made me want to hit the keyboard again. I'll be seeing you Nov 8th! Throw my name in for the prize, please.

Mary Preston said...

A very interesting post thank you & the pictures are amazing.

karenk said...

i love your spirit...will keep my eyes open for your Christmas novella :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra, what a beautiful, well-thought post! Wonderful!

I'm all over those pastries and the latte....????? I'm not sure, what makes it thick????

I'll try it, though!

But first, the pastries!

Cindy W. said...

Wow Sandra, I pray you do continue to write! Your readers would miss your voice!.

I tried to post earlier but our phone line is out and blogger is intermittent. So I am here at work early so I could post.

I love the pictures of Seville. I was there in the summer many years ago and the country in Spain was beautiful.

Thank you for your inspiring points this morning and your generous gifts. I would really love to win your gift 'bundle'. Thank you for your generosity.

May you all have a very wonderful birthday celebration day in Seekerville!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Jackie said...

Hi Sandra,

We went to Sevilla last fall to visit our son, Scott, who was there for the semester. We missed the beautiful Christmas decorations though. I'm so glad you shared those.

The pastries were amazing. Sevilla is a true gem.

Thanks for sharing. I love your prize pack and would like to have my name entered. Thanks.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning TERI, Yes, those marked up pages are mixed blessings. They make you wonder why you write, but then again, they really improve what you write.

I'm glad you're hanging in there.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JAN, Oh I'm so excited to see you. It has been a long time. And yes, you must keep writing. See if it brings back the passion.

Happy writing.

Kelly Bridgewater said...

Thank you, Sandra! I truly keep needing motivation to keep writing even though I have the passion and the drive. I believe I will print this off and hang it near where I sit when I write to motivate me.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thank you MARY P. I left Spain in November so didn't see all of them, but they were already putting many up. I saw the big tree in the plaza. Not lit yet, but I could picture it.

The street lights are what amaze me. So bright.javascript:void(0)

Cara Lynn James said...

Great post, Sandra! I write for all the reasons you mentioned. But I always remember people come before writing. Sometimes they have to. Writing helps me get through life's difficulties. It's the great escape for me.

Kav said...

A motivating and inspiring post, Sandra. It helps put everything in perspective. A good self-check list for sure.

What an amazing sound and light show! Breathtaking! And I'm thrilled your novella is set in Spain. I love armchair traveling!

Awesome giveaway, but please don't enter me because I don't have a kindle or any kind of ereader for that matter.

Rose said...

Great post, Sandra.

Can you tell us how writing differs now verses back in the 80's? Especially the marketing aspect or is that an entirely different post?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KAREN, Thank you. You will be delighted with the Christmas novella because there are stories from several of us in the collection. So it is a bonus.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi RUTHY, You will love the latte's. I actually dislike anything in my coffee. I don't like it sweetened or milky so I never drank the lattes. But that is the way they drink it mostly so they make their coffee so thick you can stick a spoon in it and it will stand up straight. LOL They serve it in tiny cups. So I would order cafe Americana and they would pour the little cup of coffee into a bigger cup and add water and look at me in disgust. Nice disgust mind you. It was still much stronger than I normally drink, but I ended up loving it.

Now the pastries were easy to enjoy. Every block had a bakery with glass window decorations loaded with the most delightful concoctions. I always had something yummy with my coffee. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Cindy W. Yes, we are having fun this month with our birthday celebration. I love birthdays.

Internet problems are so frustrating aren't they? I had the same thing while posting and lost half my post. grrrrr. But eventually it came back.

You are in the cat dish.

Tracey Hagwood said...

What a beautifully introspective post, Sandra. It's proof alone that you should keep writing.

I especially like your observation,
"One thing my relationship with God does is make me examine my inner self".
I am constantly doing this too, asking myself what I want to do with this stage of life. Reading has always been a big part of who I am and I imagine that's the way a writer feels too. I'm glad writers have the passion for writing that I have for reading, that works out great for me :)

Happy Upcoming Birthday Sandra!

Congrats on the 7th novel! Great number, in bibical terms, the number of completion.

AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEEKERVILLE, APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE FOR COMPLETING SEVEN YEARS OF CARING AND SHARING!

Thanks for the pictorial Christmas trip to Spain, beautiful!

Please enter me in your drawing, thank you!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jackie, Didn't you love Spain? I thought that part of the country looked a lot like California. I kept thinking "no wonder the Spaniards loved California and settled there." It would have seemed like home.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Kelly, Thank you. I'm glad the list helps. Like I said, I needed it for me as well. Writing is tough and takes a lot of perseverance and drive. Hang in there.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Awwww CARA, We do need to escape sometimes don't we? Hang in there girlfriend. Hugs.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KAV, What? You don't have a tablet yet? I felt the same way as you do. But I bought one to take to Spain because I didn't want to haul my computer around. And I discovered I could take a lot of books in it. Sweet.

I still prefer print to read, but I'm getting used to it. Hubby likes the fact I'm not cluttering up the motorhome with so many books. He does have a point.

I do have a recipe book on Kindle which honestly does NOT work. Nope. Not one bit. Had to go and order it again and get the print. chuckle

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi ROSE, Yes, a different post. I think I talked about it once in a post, but I'm not sure where that is. Years ago.

But everything was different. I had to go back and learn how to write again. In the eighties, romances had a lot of "purple prose" - very passive. I had to learn how to write active scenes. Screenwriting classes actually helped.

And in those days there was no Internet so all the marketing was done by the publisher. You could send out postcards and also do book signings, but that was about it. Actually I kind of miss those days. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi TRACEY, Thank you for your encouraging words. I love the reminder that seven is the biblical number of completion. I forgot that. Sweet.

Your name is in the cat dish and Have a great day.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tracey Hagwood, excellent point...

From Sandra and then you!

Marianne Barkman said...

Hi Sandra. What a lovely way to start the week, having you post on Monday. Thanks!

Nancy Kimball said...

I heart this post and am so glad you're going to keep writing, Sandra! =)

kaybee said...

HI SANDRA, great post.
I've never been to Spain but I've been to Portugal (the Azores) and the culture is similar there. They're not ashamed of Christ.
I've had a longer writing journey than some, mostly because I've made so many mistakes (cue the going over an editor's head to complain about how long he had my manuscript, sigh), and there are many other things pulling at me. So I have to constantly reevaluate and ask God where we're at on this. I did work through the money thing years ago, both in realizing I would Never Get Rich and whether I was doing it for financial gain. I learned a lot form the Seekers in this respect, that you have to plow money back into the business for conferences etc., so I have a much more realistic picture of that now. I also made myself walk around the writing, kicking its tires and asking myself if I would still do it if I were financially independent. The answer was "yes." I'd just have more money to invest in the work with conferences etc. But it's a delicate balance and I think we all need to do a check-up from time to time to make sure our motives are in line with His. Sandra, I am glad you decided to stay in the field. Obviously you still have stories to tell.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

I made a caramel flan I picked up in the Azores. It is similar to Spanish desserts, help yourselves.
KB

kaybee said...

Funny about the 80s. And before. I remember sending out manuscripts in cardboard typing paper boxes, with return postage. Not sorry to see those days go.
KB

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Sandra! WONDERFUL reasons to keep on writing, and I'm so happy that writing a Seeker Christmas novella re-inspired you to continue to share your delightful stories with the world!

I think your post gives us all something to pause and contemplate -- why ARE we writing?

And thank you for sharing the amazing photos of beautiful Spain!

Sherri Shackelford said...

Excellent post and lovely encouraging words.

I'm afraid I write for the simplest reason of all: I can't quit.

Believe me, I've gotten frustrated and tried to quit, but I just can't stop! It's a sickness, I think :)

Mary Hicks said...

Oh, Sandra, such an inspiring sharing of yourself, thank you!
I hope you do continue writing.:-) Strong women laugh at birthdays and embrace all that come with them. May this next one for you be one of the very best you ever had!!
God is our strength and help.
If I never publish a novel, the time spent in writing, studying and learning will/has been a blessing in my life. :-)
And Seekerville is one of the best blessings and helps that God has added to my aboundance of goodies.:-)

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI MARIANNE, I traded days with Pam because I will be on the road tomorrow and I hate missing all the fun. Are you in Arizona yet? Will I see you Saturday? It would be so much fun.

Happy reading dear friend.

Mary Hicks said...

And speaking of abundance... your give away stash is very impressive, you generous person!!! :-))

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Sandra

I'm so glad you decided not to retire. You retire from a job. Writing isn't a job to me, a business yes, a passion, a calling, but not a job. Number 5 says it well, I enjoy writing more than reading. It's God's calling, so I enjoy it. Hopefully before long I'll have a product.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi NANCY, I so need to apologize to you. Folks I listened to Nancy's audio of Chasing the Lion. And I need to write a five star review. It was fantastic. I promise to get to that today, Nancy

Folks if you want a "can't put it down" audio, try Chasing The Lion

Nancy wrote about making the audio in her Seeker post in September called Behind the Scenes of Audiobook production.

Mary Hicks said...

Sherri, that's the best reason of all for doing anything. A true love, whether it brings fame, fortune or the simple joy of the doing it. That's why I paint and write.

Oops, I misspelled a word in my first post—I just gave the word an 'abundance' of letters!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KAYBEE, Wow some Portuguese flan to go with our pastries. Can't complain about that.

And yes, it is nice not to have to print, package and mail those manuscripts. I bet the editors are happy about that also.

And thanks for the encouraging words. I am glad you take inventory too. Those tires do need to get kicked once in awhile, don't they? Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi GLYNNA, Well I certainly hope you know why you are writing. You truly do have a gift my friend. I love your writing and I think your editors do also. smile

I am so excited that you have a book out right now. A Christmas story too. YAY.
I can hardly wait to read High Country Holiday.

Sandra Leesmith said...

SHERRI you are too funny. Yep, that would be a good reason. I'm so glad too because you have a great writing style.

Happy writing today.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MARY H. Thanks for your encouraging words and prayers as well. So I'm supposed to laugh. Huh!! We'll see. I'm still cringing. The other birthdays never bothered me, but this just sounds old. LOL But I will be looking for something special because He always answers prayer. smile

You hang in there. I'm guessing you are getting close.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great point ELAINE. I think you are right. It is good to think of it as a business, but it is also a calling for many. I'm glad you are hanging in there.

Happy writing and soon you WILL have a product. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

MARY H. You are too funny.

Wilani Wahl said...

Sandra, thank you for this great post. I could see myself in several of those reasons. I am looking forward to reading the Seekervile novellas.

Please include me in the drawing.

Have a wonderful and successful day everyone.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thank you WILANI, I'm glad these words touched you.
And yes, of course, your name is in the cat dish. smile

Happy writing.

Tracey Hagwood said...

I ran some errands then came back and watched the video.
What amazing technological wonder. I'm not sure how they did it, but it's great. In case anyone doesn't have the full 12 to watch it, the nativity starts at 8 min. and together with the snow and music I'm now in the Christmas spirit!

Myra Johnson said...

A truly thought-provoking post, Sandra! I sometimes wonder if there will ever come a time when I'm ready to retire from this business. There are days when I really, really have to ask why I put myself through this torture, but the truth is I can't picture retirement anytime in the foreseeable future. Despite all the craziness, I love what I do.

And it does help TONS to have a semi-retired husband who is proving himself trainable in the kitchen!

Janet Dean said...

Wonderful thought provoking post, Sandra! Perhaps seeing the years roll by makes us examine how we spend our time. So glad writing the novella reactivated your passion and commitment for writing.

Seeing a novel on the shelves is very satisfying. But even more satisfying is to get letters from readers telling me the book blessed them in some meaningful way. That verifies I'm doing what I'm meant to do. My motivation is to fulfill God's purpose for my life and hopefully impact readers to walk more closely to Him. If or when I retire that will still be my purpose. How that's done will just look different.

Janet

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi TRACEY, I'm so glad you liked the mapping video. It is pretty amazing. Did you notice all the people at the bottom taking photos of it? Gives you a perspective of the size of this.

Merry Christmas. smile

Janet Dean said...

Sandra, thanks for the pastries and the pictures of Spain! Wonderful!

Janet

Sandra Leesmith said...

oh MYRA, A trainable hubby. Tell me your secret? Although mine is fixing his own breakfast now so that definitely helps. smile

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JANET, You are so right. No matter what we end up doing, we want to always be focused on our Lord. Quite a feat in itself. smile And He assures us if we stay focused we will be doing what He wants and needs us to do. Amazing.

Happy writing.

Becky said...

Good things to think about. I don't write as much as I want to, but I'm hoping to "Get my ducks in a row" soon so I can :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning, Sandra! There are so many good reasons to keep pushing through.

The more you write the better you get is my personal favorite.

Those prizes look amazing!

Happy Birthday, Seekerville.

Tina Radcliffe said...

And you know what, it's a calling and I try never to say no to God. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi BECKY, You get those little "ducks in a row" smile. I think you will be glad you did.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks TINA, You are always so wise. smile My problem isn't so much as saying "no" to God as to listening to Him in the first place. Oh my.

Happy writing.

Cindy Regnier said...

Thank you Sandra for a great post. Writing for the extra income? that made me smile! I write because I'm called to it - not to mention I love it! I would really like one of those Kindle covers...

Janet Ferguson said...

Thanks for the inspiration as I try to pound out the last ten thousand words on a first draft! Need pastry now. Must heat up coffee and keep going. I've never seen a light show like that. Very cool. I do have a new kindle that could use your cute cover,too, by the way.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CINDY R. Thanks and your name is in the cat dish. Those covers are so handy. They have a long handle that fits over the shoulder and even a zipper pocket inside. I love mine.

I'm so delighted you are called to writing and love it. Have a great day.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Woohooo JANET, Way to go. Only 10,000 more words. You are on your way. And yes, coffee does help. So does chocolate.

Your name is in the cat dish.

Happy writing.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Sandra,

First of all, that video is fabulous. I only watched the first couple minutes, but that taste makes me want to come back and watch the whole thing when I have more time - maybe on my lunch break.

Your seven reasons made me think - why do I do this? I mean, lets face it, there isn't a lot of glamour, money or comfort spending my days with my computer. And I can think of a LOT of other ways I can spend my time.

I guess it comes down to the fact that I do it because I have to. I get up every morning and head to the computer so I can write down these stories. I can't explain it. I just do it.

But I love it. And I'm thankful every day that God has made it possible.

And happy birthday in advance! You know, I used to think 30 was old. Recently I've been thinking that 40 is awfully young. Age is all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

Jeanne T said...

I loved this post, Sandra. A good list of sevens. I loved your thoughts on each of these points. Especially the one about being about to see God's plan for you when writing wasn't the main focus of your days. Whether writing was your primary focus or not.

So often, He places situations, opportunities, needs in our lives that cause us to keep our eyes on Him. Writing does that for me. And so does mothering, "wifing" and whatnot. When I write, I'm depending on Him, as I should be in everything I do.

I loved your other points too. This one was the one that spoke to me today. :)

And, those Christmas pictures in Seville? A-MAZ-ING! How beautiful that must have been!

Nancy K. Sullivan said...

I'm Novice (yes, with a capital "N"!) and this article is so helpful. This past year I self-published a collection of several years of articles and poems. My motivation? My mother's very last request of me. I couldn't finish it in time for her to see the finished product, but I promised her I would see it through. Money? I think I have $3. and some change in my royalty account. One of these days, I may actually decide to promote the book :) Thank you so much for sharing. I write because I enjoy it and because it gives this homebody an avenue for sharing her faith. God Bless.

Donna said...

Sandra, your post was very thought provoking. I think you have helped many of us reaffirm what we are doing!

Please enter me for the giveaway. My sweet dog chewed the corner of my nice faux leather Kindle cover. : (

Sandy Smith said...

Sandra, I can relate to most of your seven points. I think what scares me most is if I have the ability to do this. I started writing short stories 24 years ago and have published many, but always gave excuses for not starting a novel. I developed my idea for one several years ago, but still haven't done anything with it. I wonder if it is too late to start up with it now, but I know it will only get later so I must do it now.

Please enter me for your generous prize package. I would especially love the Seekers novella.

Debby Giusti said...

Loved your blog, Sandra, and the photos. Seville at Christmas is so beautiful!

"Let your light shine!"

Glad you decided to keep writing. The world needs your stories.

This writing journey takes determination and persistence. I fluctuate on reasons to write, although I do feel it's my mission for this season of life. The writing allows me to interact with readers and other writer friends, which warms my heart and brings so much joy. Sometimes I wonder if I write so I can interact.

I, too, have considered stopping, but I quickly realize this is what I'm called to do. Hopefully God uses me and my stories for good, even if I don't see the whole picture.
But then, I'm finite, and He's infinite. So I listen to His promptings and continue on...

Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, these are some great reasons! I started out many years ago because I wanted to be able to work at home while my children were little and earn some income. Then later (after receiving wonderful reader letters), I began to feel like my writing is a ministry.

Sarah, Will, Sloane and Clay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Garvin said...

Wonderful post, Sandra! I've never analyzed why I write, which is probably why I don't really know what's behind my current slump. I can't imagine *not* writing, of course, but I'm lacking the enthusiasm to push forward with all the other aspects necessary for the pursuit of publication.

One reason I like writing is for the comfort of self-expression it offers ... getting the words that rattle around in my brain organized and on a page. It's likely why most of my writing this last while has been in my journal, because my emotions aren't ones that are useful in telling my characters' stories. Heh!

Vince said...

Hi Sandra:

Your post is like a walk down Memory Lane.

I just love your pictures of Spain. When I was newly stationed overseas in the Air Force I went to Spain alone to spend Christmas. I was in Barcelona on Christmas Eve dining at a fine, little, out of the way, restaurant. Then all of a sudden Father Christmas came in to great excitement. He gave each diner one of those little liquor bottles. Mine was Johnny Walker Red. I’m sure I still have it somewhere.

That night was also the only time in my life that I had “Baked Alaska” – you can imagine my surprise when they lit it on fire at my table! I didn’t know what it was! (I just knew it had the word ‘Alaska’ on the Spanish menu). I didn’t know if I was supposed to blow it out or let it burn. I let it burn.

Everyone was so happy that night. Even though I was about six thousand miles from home, I wasn’t lonely at all that Christmas.

Oh, and like you mentioned: the Christmas lights were amazing. Barcelonans say they have the largest fountain in the world. It was acres in size and made a spectacular light show for back then in the 1960’s.

So now you have me thinking with your philosophical questions. (Which reminds me of reading Shirley Maclaine’s “The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit”.)

While many may be motivated to be writers, far fewer are actually motivated to write. I believe that to the degree one has to be motivated to write, to that same degree one should not be a writer. (If you have to be really motivated to get out of bed and play pickleball, then maybe you should not try to become a professional pickleball player.)

Writing should be its own motivation!

A good reason to write is because one has something to say. The more important that something is, the more important it is that one should write.

I believe that one reason it’s said that ‘if your scene is just about your scene, then you’re in trouble’ is because writing should have a purpose beyond itself. Great writing tells us something important about the human condition; therefore, in that same sense, great writing is timeless. Great writing has the potential to advance the reader's ARC. Indeed, great writing can teach us important truths about life without preaching to us and often without us even knowing we have been taught anything.

After all, “The Price of Victory” is not just about bicycle racing. It’s about what gives life meaning. It’s a ‘product’ to be proud of!

Perhaps, in the end, it all comes down to this:

You gotta wanna.

Just look at Mary and Ruth. I think they are Queens of the “Gotta Wanna”. Now, if that could just be made contagious. :)

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

Sandra,

Congratulations on SEVEN books out there in your name too! PAWSOME!

This is a great list, with insights for reflection. Just excellent. Thank you!

Love your Spain photos. Research. Ahhhhh! ;)

I'm at this point too in a way. Never thought I'd get ONE book finished, much less a series of 3. Book 4 is still scattered in my mind, precious little on screen.

But I think I'll get to it. For one, people are asking (!) and two, I'm not finished with what needs to be said yet... Plus there is a dearth of "decent" material for middle-graders, especially boys.

So. Thank you for the encouraging words. We'll keep at it! But the "we" has to somehow change from May to Cass... /sigh/ Still miss my May Muffin, best co-author there ever was... :)

DebH said...

Wow Sandra
THANK YOU for this very inspirational post. You may have written it for you - but it speaks to me. Will be printing this out and posting somewhere I can look at it often.

Right now, I believe I'm in a period of transition, seeking the next employment phase God has for me. I'm gifted in graphics/animation/writing and I know these gifts God has given me are going to be used more now than ever. The how? I don't know.

I do know that God is using Seekerville to provide hope and wisdom during this time. Wisdom such as what you've posted today. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh, and I'd love to have a cool Kindle cover. Name in cat dish please.

DebH said...

oh, p.s.

I ADORE the Spain Christmas pix! I would love to visit during the Christmas season. Sounds like they know how to celebrate the way I love.

CatMom said...

What a wonderful post, Sandra - - thank you so much for sharing these reasons to keep writing. And I have to admit I am THRILLED that YOU are going to keep on writing! *big smile*

Also enjoyed the lovely photos of Spain--WOW!! So glad you've been able to visit that country. I've never been out of the USA (truthfully I hardly ever leave Georgia, LOL---except for ACFW). :) So I always enjoy seeing photos from my "world traveling friends." ;)

Thank you again for this post today---I think lots of folks here can identify with these reasons.
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yikes, 14 more comments. I snuck off to play pickleball. So glad you all joined us.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jan, You are tooooo funny. Yes, age is a matter of persective. I used to think the age I am was ancient. Now it seems young. Well the mind says young, but the body reminds me it is getting up there. LOL

Yep, I would say you have the passion motivating you. Hang in there. Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JEANNE, I'm so tickled that these words touched you. Isn't it amazing how the Lord does that? See, we think we aren't writing much and then something we wrote touches a heart. I guess that's enough isn't it?

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi NANCY K, Miss Novice. Hey, we all started as novices and look where that got us? So glad to have you aboard. Writing is simply wonderful. It is very therapeutic also. Hang in there and keep on writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh dear, the dog ate your cover DONNA? Yikes. I will surely put your name in the cat dish. Good thing Ruthy washed it out. Lots of names in there.

I hope you meant your own writing was reaffirmed. Hang in there. Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Sandy, Wow, you've written that many short stories? My dear, I think you will be able to finish a novel. Its the same word count as all of those stories.

The secret is to set a nice reasonable goal. Start with a low word count. 500 words a day is only two pages and in time you will be amazed because you will have a finished novel before you know it.

Hang in there.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DEBBY, That is one thing I've always admired about you You DO listen. I'm so trying to listen more. Its amazing how that helps with not only the writing, but life in general. Such a concept. smile.

And I agree with you. One of the many blessings is all the friends we have, especially here in Seekerville.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Awww MISSY, I would surely say your writing is a ministry. You have surely been a blessing to me. And I'm sure to others. Thank you dear friend.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CAROL, Are you sure those emotions aren't going to benefit your characters? I would wager that one day you are going to call on those emotions for your characters. We've all done that.

But in the meantime, journal writing is wonderful. They say to keep on writing. Even those years I didn't write novels, I journaled. I think it was a wonderful blessing for me. Hopefully for you also.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi VINCE and I'm so glad to hear you were made welcome on Christmas even though you were alone and far from home. A good lesson for all of us to pay attention to those around us. smile

Yep, "You gotta wanna" and don't go comparing me to Ruthy and Mary because if I thought I had to write like them, I would go hide under the bed. They are amazing. And the danger of being friends with writers like them is that watching them could make one think I shouldn't be writing after all. So I find it better to not look at other writers, but continue to place my eyes on the Lord. Keeps the eyes from turning green (even thought that is my eye color ha ha)

Thanks for the compliment about Price of Victory. You see, that is when I know I should write, because I wasn't really writing that for any explanation of life purpose. I've comments like that about all of my books and so then I know God used me in a way I didn't even realize. So then I get encouraged to write.

Thanks for joining us today. You are a treasure and you encourage us more than you realize. Thanks Vince.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KC, Yes, yes, yes, my nephews are waiting for book 4. Please get busy. smile

And I so relate to your missing May. Its tough when they go "over the rainbow" I miss my little Suzette because she would sit on my lap while I typed. Then when she wanted attention she would put her paw onvthe keyboard and a bunch of kkkk's would let me know to take a break. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Ahhh DEB H, Thank you for the wonderful words of encouragement. I am always amazed how these posts in Seekerville touch our hearts. We certainly had no idea this would happen when we started seven years ago.

Hang in there and stay close to Him and He will let you know what you are supposed to do. My dear friend who was a spiritual mentor used to tell me "Just look at what you're doing. That is your purpose. He wouldn't let you do something too far off than what you are supposed to." Good point.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thank you PATTI JO for the encouraging words. It always amazes me how words that I think are only of interest to me touch other people as well.

And yes, the photos are lovely. I was thrilled when Francisco sent them to me.

Happy writing.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Such an inspiring post, Sandra. Thank you for this. When I finish writing a story I always feel as though I can accomplish anything. But what really makes me feel I'm honoring God through my writing is when someone tells me my story touched them in a special way. No amount of money can give you that feeling.

Myra Johnson said...

SANDRA! You snuck off to play pickleball??? Well? Did you win? I'm hoping hubby and I can get over to the court this evening. It's the last time these courts will be open in the evenings until basketball season at the center is over in February. At least we can still go over on weekday mornings! (Assuming I can get my you-know-what in gear!)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sherri Shackelford, I agree. I can't quit. I would work for free....

But indie publishing makes it so we don't have to fret about that anymore.

:) BIG SMILE. OPTIONS WELCOME!!!

Connie Queen said...

Wow. Love the hunting lodge view.

The finished product would have to be at the top of my list. Getting to the finish can be stressful and not fun at all, but once I'm there it's great. I suppose most things that requires a lot of time of dedication is like that.

Toss my name into the hat please.

kaybee said...

SANDRA,
You don't look the age you're hinting that you are. But to quote Gloria Steinem, What exactly does that age look like? Also, the age you're hinting that you are is really the New 50, so you can do anything you want.
Also, writing is one of the few professions we can keep at until we drop. Like Phyllis Whitney was still turning them out at 90 or whatever.
KB

S. Trietsch said...

I enjoy writing...I'm learning to not cringe when others want to read said writing. LOL!

Rebecca said...

Hi, Sandra. It's amazing to be able to look back on our lives and see the hand of God and how he directs things according to his plan for us. I love how you were able recognize and flow with his plan for your life, whether that was writing or teaching. Thanks for sharing your list with us.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JILL, What a special motivation you have. Thanks for sharing.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MYRA, Yes, I won a couple games and lost a couple. We are teaching someone how to play so that is always fun.

Yes, we have to share the courts in some of the places we go. Hang in there. The mornings are my favorite time to play.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yes, RUTHY, Indie publishing is amazing and just proves that not all we write doesn't have to fit in some publisher's guidelines.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CONNIE QUEEN, Your name is in the cat dish.

And yes, the hunting lodge was gorgeous. I especially loved the statues of animals. They had several lynx which are unique to the area and on the endangered list. Since the lodge became a park, the lynx are coming back.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KAYBEE, you are so right. When you think that they say our generation is going to live to be 100 I guess this age is "middle age" ha ha.

And I think Barbara Cartland wrote uniil she dropped also.

Guess is I'm going to live that long I better stay busy.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi S. TRIETSCH, I know what you mean. It is so scary to have someone read what you write. I feel that way about the novella since it is the first I've ever written.

But be brave.

We'll both be brave. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi REBECCA, It would be nice if we could know beforehand, but I imagine that might scare us to death. LOL

Thanks for joining us. And thanks for the encouraging words.

Laney4 said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your seventh book!!!
MY lucky number is 4, as in Laney4 of course!

Sandra Leesmith said...

LANEY4 Congratulations on the number 4. woo hooo

Guess you have the reasons down. Four great ones. smile

Happy writing.

Debby Giusti said...

Vince, your first Christmas far from homes needs to be in a story. I know it would touch readers' hearts! Consider writing it...before Ruthy includes it in one of hers books! LOL!

Debby Giusti said...

Sandy Smith, I started off writing short stories and slice-of-life vignettes.

Never thought I could write an entire manuscript. Then I decided to think of each chapter as a short story, which I wrote one after the other until I had a completed novel.

The trick worked. It can work for you too. Give it a try.

Julie Lessman said...

SANDRA!!! LOVE this post, girlfriend, ESPECIALLY Point #5 -- Desires & Passion!! ;)

Gosh, my motivation has never, EVER been money (until very recently when it seems like a good thing to make a return on one's investment), which was a good thing because most authors don't make a killing in this biz.

No, my purpose for writing is FAR more noble -- to save my marriage!! It's a WHOLE lot safer infusing my books with drama and angst than my marriage, so I see it as self-preservation of sorts. ;)

And I know you're pushing the big 70, but honestly, I have NEVER seen a woman who looks like it less, my friend. Must be all that pickleball keeping you in shape!

Hugs and more hugs!
Julie

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DEBBY, Great ideas to think about for SANDY

And yes, VINCE does need to write that in a story.

Thanks DEBBY.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Vince!!!!

God bless you for all your kind words and wisdom.

You make my stubborn, ornery nature look GOOD!!!

Well done, my friend!

:)

Ruthy

Sandra Leesmith said...

JULIE, Thanks for the sweet words. I don't think I look my age either until I put my glasses on. YIKES. ha ha

That is too funny that you write to save your marriage. I was talking earlier about how writing is very therapeutic. It is a wonderful way to get rid of all that angst and look how much emotion you get in your story that way.

Did you see your book in that pile? I love it. yay. I better get busy and write that review.

Folks, if you want a terrific read, try Surprised by Love

Sandra Leesmith said...

RUTHY is right, VINCE. You are a treasure.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

So many good reasons. I started writing to take my mind off of some troubles in our family and to give a long ago family friend an HEA she never got in this life.

Put me in for the drawing.

Peace, Julie

Debby Giusti said...

Julie Hilton Steele,

Loved your pic on FB. Too cute. I'm still laughing.

Everyone needs to see it!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JULIE HS, What an inspiring reason to write. Do you feel better after giving your friend the HEA? Interesting concept. Thanks for sharing.

And yes, your name is in the cat dish. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Debby and JULIE, can you direct us to the Facebook picture?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Think of James Michener, Herman Wouk, Laura Ingalls Wilder....

And yes, Phyllis Whitney! How blessed are we to have jobs that don't require certain taxing physical aspects... but a working brain and hands!!! SUHWEEEET!

Go, us!

We have the sky as the limit, male or female.

I love what we get to do, ladies and gents.

Sandra Leesmith said...

You said it RUTHY, We definitely are blessed.

And Seekerville is what makes it even suhweeeeter. smiel

Jamie Adams said...

Had to work late and missed today's party but loved the post, Sandra!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hey JAIMIE, Glad you made it. We love having you. How was work today? Hope you had a great day and I know if you're like me, you're glad to be home. smile

Have a wonderful evening.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Sandra, such a great post!!!
And I loved Vince's comment:

"I believe that one reason it’s said that ‘if your scene is just about your scene, then you’re in trouble’ is because writing should have a purpose beyond itself. Great writing tells us something important about the human condition; therefore, in that same sense, great writing is timeless. Great writing has the potential to advance the reader's ARC. Indeed, great writing can teach us important truths about life without preaching to us and often without us even knowing we have been taught anything."

So much to ponder :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI EVA MARIE, Thank you and yes, our buddy VINCE is quite a guy. His words always inspire us.

Lots to ponder. This is true.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

Chill N said...

Oh, Sandra, so so much in your post I can relate to ... or... to which I can relate (in case Grammar Queen is about). I had a disconcerting feeling you were reading my thoughts :-) Some interesting questions to ponder. Thanks for the motivation!

Nancy C

Chill N said...

P.S. Gorgeous pictures!

Nancy C

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi NANCY C. Thanks for your kind words. And if it seems I'm talking to you, then I am. smile. It amazes me how that happens. I almost didn't write this post because I was so thinking it was for me. But you aren't the only one who has said these words were for them. Guess we needed them.

Have a wonderful week.

Audra Harders said...

Terrific post, Sandra! You made me think on so many levels. I agree with you about the time and season of life. God knows exactly what He's doing and we just need to listen!

Glad you chose to follow the writing path...twice : )

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi AUDRA, Yep, the trick is listening. LOL

Actually I think this is the third time. There is an old saying "third times the charm"

Have a blessed week.

Sandra Leesmith said...

It has been a wonderful day. Thank you everyone for such great insights and discussion of why we must write.

Be sure and check next weekend to see whose name got picked out of the cat dish.

Have a great week.

Happy birthday to us, Happy birthday to us.

The Artist Librarian said...

Great post! I also really liked the video --what a cool tradition! Thanks for the chance to win! I see some of my favorite authors' books there. =)

Carolyn Chambers Clark said...

good ideas, great gifts. sign me up

Sara Ella said...

What an awesome prize pack, Sandra! I love the Kindle bag:)

I think my reason for writing changes from day to day. Sometimes it's because I've committed to this thing and need to see it through. Other times it's because I love my characters and want them to have the ending they deserve. No matter what, though, I know the simple truth is that I can't not write. It's who I am. I ignored it for so long, embarrassed to tell friends and family that I wanted to be an author. But now that it's out in the open and most every one who knows me knows writing is my thing, it feels like I'm finally doing what God called me to do:)

Thanks for sharing!

Patsy said...

I'm a reader not a writer. However, I have often felt the pull to write a children's book. I already have the theme in my mind. If I were to write the book I wouldn't know what to do after that.

Love your prizes!

Jessica Johnson said...

Thanks for the encouraging post, Sandra. And the pictures were great! I'll be going to Spain in July, so they got me all excited! Maybe I'll take extensive notes and set a novel there, as well :)

Dana McNeely said...

Thanks for inspiring us, Sandra. I can't wait to read your new book set in Spain - such a romantic destination.

Deanna Stevens said...

Interesting, I could see where a love of daydreaming gives you a gift for writing. Great giveaway today, please enter me :)

Ash Leigh said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear. I'm a full-time college student working a job that I find extremely stressful, even though I know I'm lucky to have a job at all. I'm trying to remain grateful for everything God has given me, but at the same time I keep asking Him why He hasn't given me more time to write or why He hasn't guided me on a path that leads to a publishing house yet. This was a huge encouragement and reminded me of the many reasons I love to write and can never quite. Thank you!

Tina Pinson said...

Interesting how the desire to get published and get a book out there compels a person to keep writing away.

Then after a few books out and a touch of life, you do question yourself and whether to keep plugging away.

It's funny how that question arises more frequently than before, and yet when I tell myself time to let it all go. I still have the desire, though a touch weaker at times, to write.

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Awesome post, Sandra. Thank you for being so transparent with us.

One of the reasons I write is to have the finished product. There is nothing in the world like holding a finished copy of your blood, sweat, and tears in your hands. It's addictive. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi ARTIST LIBRARIAN, Thanks for joining us. Sorry I'm late getting back to you. Your name is in the cat dish. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI CAROLYN, Thanks for being here. Your name is in the cat dish. Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi SARA ELLA, Great reasons to keep on writing. Thanks for sharing with us.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi PATSY, We love our readers because why else would we write if we didn't have readers.

Happy reading.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JESSICA, You will love Spain. Wish I could hop aboard with you. smile

I love setting my stories in places I have traveled. Doing so brings back all the fun memories.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DANA, Thanks for joining us. Yes, my month in Spain was a great adventure.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks DEANNA, You are in the cat dish. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi ASH LEIGH, I love your name. Yes, college can be stressful. And a job too. Wow. But if you're writing inspite of that then you have your reasons. smile

Remember there are seasons for everything.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi TINA P. Yes, it is odd, but so much of our life isn't it. I'm glad you are writing also. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi ANNA, Well addiction is a reason also. LOL I'm really chuckling because there is more truth in that than I like to admit. Thanks for sharing.

bonton said...

Thanks for your insightful post, Sandra!! I always enjoy learning the motivations behind an author's writing.

I'm not a writer, but feel that most of the points on your list should be the motivation for ANY worthy undertaking.

Thanks for the opportunity to win a wonderful giveaway!!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

Janet Kerr said...

I wish I was in the Phoenix (my daughter's name:-) area to take your class!
Jan