Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Have You Put "Success" on Your Schedule Yet?

Don't you dare laugh at me for suggesting that, cause you know I can kick butt with the best of them!

"But Ruthy, how can we schedule success? It's not like you can PLAN these things!"

Oy. Oy. Oy.

Let me explain this: Overwhelmingly, success doesn't just happen to anyone. Oh, once in a while someone gets lucky, all the chips fall into place, the dominoes are set up in absolute synchronization and Jupiter aligns with Mars on the third Tuesday.



But in general, success is no accident. It is visualized, plotted, planned, executed and achieved by a variety of factors, most of which start with developing strong work habits and work ethic.

WHAAA!!!! WHAAAA!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAA! Come on, that's not fair, we're doing what we love, we're writing the books of our hearts, clearly it's not the right time, the editor doesn't like me, I'm ahead of my time!

Come here, Grasshoppers, come close, and I'll whisper the secret in your ear. (Ruthy waits while folks gather close, and then says...) "There is no secret. Work hard, pray harder, keep writing, write, write, write and never, never give up."


(Notice how she sneaked her good friend Winston Churchill into this, oh that Ruthy's a clever one!)

This post isn't about writing each day, though. It's about visualizing, looking around, assessing success and emulating it.

Yes. Basically I'm telling you to COPY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE.

Why?

Because it worked for me and I want you to be as happy with your writing career as I am. Simple, right?

When Patti Jo's cats love you, you know you've made it big!!!
Work ethic: Sacrifice the unimportant to make time for the crucial. Family and writing are crucial. Television and fraternizing are not, which is why you don't see me spending weeks away from my desk at conferences, etc. My return on investment has strict guidelines and I treat my business like a business. Have you noticed successful MALE writers going crazy over conferences?

John Grisham attributed his inspiration to a MAGAZINE ARTICLE in Writer's Digest. Do I need to repeat that??? (waits, tapping foot, watching crowd...)

For $4.00 he was inspired to launch a career that has netted him millions.  Now I'm not telling you what to do, I'm advising you to THINK about each step you take, assess and choose wisely. If you have the money and love the social aspects and can afford the time off, then sure... But remember the line from "As Good As It Gets?" when Jack Nicholson is asked how he writes women so well... and he says, "I think of a man... and take away reason and accountability."

SNAP!

Who to emulate:  I used Karen White, Holly Jacobs, Nora Roberts and Lisa Wingate as my examples, because each one of these authors worked to evolve as opportunity took them. Lines closed, publishers faded from sight, editors changed houses, and these women weren't afraid to zig, zag and sometimes take a right turn to develop their strong writing styles and their readership. Yes, some of these have adult content, but I wanted to study/learn from the most successful with styles I loved. Those gals made the short list!

Here are words of wisdom from my buddy, multi-published, best-selling, award-winning Holly Jacobs:

We can technically start with Kensington Precious Gems, then Harlequin Duets, Silhouette Romance, Harlequin Flipside, Harlequin Signature, Harlequin American Romance (though they didn't die...I just don't do cowboys and that's what they wanted), Harlequin Everlasting Love, Harlequin SuperRomance (not dead yet! LOL I have an August book w/ them) and oh, Avalon Books, which got bought out by Montlake Romance so those books are still available (actually more widely available now) and still happily writing for Montlake Romance, too (my next release is out in two weeks!!).  I should add, I've done indie books, too!

Here's the thing...I love what I do.  I'm fortunate that readers have followed me from comedy, to sweet romance, to emotional stories, to the women's fiction/romances I'm writing now. (I've been thinking about this designation and really, I think they're very much a woman's journey...with romance more than anything.)  Oh, and the indie mysteries.  It might seem like I'm all over the place.  But each time a line died, I moved on to something new...and that new home brought with it some gift.  I learned to expand and grow my writing.  I've been very, very lucky!  And I'm so thankful so many readers have taken this weird journey with me!

Thank you, Holly!

I love that fortitude in all these women. I love the example they set of loving their work, but treating it as a job.

What have you done to make your dream come true today? Are you procrastinating?

Well, don't!

Visualize yourself, see yourself, put yourself in that successful author's shoes and then do what it takes to get there.

Many years ago I had an appointment to meet an author at a major Christian conference, it was one of those "sign up here!" things and I was totally starstruck and did it. Please note right here and right now that you will NEVER NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO MEET ME. EVER.

Just walk up and start talking as if we're besties and we'll be fine.

Anyway, I was kind of in awe, I mean she was going to talk to me!!! Like just ME!!! And when this author sat down for our fifteen minute appointment, she asked, "Ruth, where do you see yourself in five years?"

Being Ruthy, I replied, "Right where you are, publishing all kinds of books and winning awards."

She stared at me, folded her hands and said, "Let's pray."

No encouragement. No 'atta girl!'. No positive feedback, she simply prayed for my discernment.

Did that reaction cause me to doubt myself? Heck, no! It made me realize that no one longed for my success more than God... and me. And that in the world of publishing, there were only so many slots on the schedule and competition isn't always welcome.

I love encouraging people. I love competition. I love sharing the podium, the chairs, the advice and I'm always taken aback when folks don't do that, because Christ emulated that for us. To give... to love... to encourage... to accept.

Visualize yourself where you want to be. Believe you can do it, because I believe you can!

And if you are ever tempted to make an appointment to talk with an author... well, come meet me in the lobby when I hang out at these things, and we'll chat, no appointment needed, just like coffee hour after church.

Oh, how sweet!

Okay, NEXT NEWS ITEM!!!!

My highly acclaimed and poignant best seller "Running on Empty" is FREE UNTIL MIDNIGHT THURSDAY on Amazon! Free for your Kindle and Kindle app on any device.
CLICK HERE TO GO DOWNLOAD IT!!!!


And going back to that author's gentle skepticism, today we're giving away five copies of "Healing the Lawman's Heart", my upcoming 4 1/2 Star Love Inspired release! I'm over-the-top delighted with Leslie McKee's beautiful review, and I'm so grateful for Melissa Endlich's encouragement and advice as I brought Julia and Tanner's story to life...

I am so blessed to be doing what I love, and I want you to see yourself-- in your own way!-- living your dream.

Because that's why God designed us this way!

Come on inside, the coffee's fresh all day, I've got sweet tea for my southern sweeties and I made us some fresh, warm home-made bread and sour cherry jam, proper tea fare for us country folks!


Best-selling, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne has nearly thirty novels and novellas published, and more coming because she just can't stop! She lives in a big, old farmhouse in Western New York where every time she fixes one thing, she breaks two others. A mother and grandmother, she's been married for a VERY LONG TIME and loves God, her family, her country and is living the dream she dreamed decades ago, touching hearts and souls with God-inspired stories. Visit her on Facebook where she talks too much or stop by her website http://ruthloganherne.com 

116 comments:

Ruth Ann Dell said...

Hi Ruthy-thanks for another great blog post!

I followed the link to the Writers Digest article which inspired John Grisham, but the page is "not found". Do you have any other links for it?

Have a happy Wednesday!

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for the hefty dose of wisdom and encouragement, Ruthy. And for saying I don't have to go to every single conference that comes along in order to be a real writer. I love seeing my writer friends face to face, but with a husband who will retire at the end of the school year and a daughter who insists on getting jobs in exotic locales like France and Austria, necessitating pricey parental visits, I don't have the money to crisscross the US attending conferences. There's also the fact that if I want to produce books faster, I have to keep my backside in my cushy office chair and, to quote a famous author I know, "write, write, write."

I might not be able to attend conferences, but I can spend time hanging out with awesome folks right here in Seekerville. And for those of of you who haven't had the privilege of meeting Ruthy in person, let me assure you that she's the real deal. She means just what she said in her post. You can go up to her anytime, and she'll welcome you with open arms. She did indeed make me feel like her bestie when I met her. I'll never forget that.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ruth Ann, I'll check, it worked from Google.... (runs and checks link, puffing for air, must get in shape!!!)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ruth Ann, my precious namesake, it goes to the facebook posting about the article... not the article itself, which is GONE. Clearly they knew I was using John's example and thwarted me!

:)

I just thought it was cool that he credited a magazine article with his inspiration... and that he then buckled down and began an amazing career. That's $4.00 well spent!!!

Mary Preston said...

I makes sense to note how others do things well. How they have succeeded.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Keli, that's it exactly! It's fun to do things, but yes, life, times, children, family and circumstance take a toll... and it's a balancing act.

Men tend to balance it in a wiser fashion because they don't need the "brotherhood" like we seem to need the "sisterhood".

I love getting together with other writers, but I'm okay with doing that in less pricey... and less formal... settings!

And YES!!! BIG GRIN! Seekerville is free and the food is great!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary Preston, it's like the oldest trick in the book, it's a mindset that's used in all kinds of "sales" training, and it works!

Generally, it's the work ethic and perseverance that pulls us through... and gosh, our pioneer ancestors would be so proud of us, not quitting! Go us!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Amen and Amen to this. If the door doesn't open then knock it down.

Well as for the conferences. I need a bit of socialization as I never see people except non writers at the day job. So for me..they are a necessary thing.

Gwen Romine said...

I would love to meet authors but I have noticed lately that more and more authors are not going to conferences, for example Lori Foster. She has her own she does close to home and that is all. IIt's a business like you said.

Mary Hicks said...

Love your post, Ruthy! I believe in all the things you mentioned. :-)

But I love conventions, too. As a hard working, and successful photographer, I used conventions as a reward to myself after I'd held my nose to the grind all year.

I always came home inspired and fired up for the following year of work.:-)

I don't grieve and fret when I can't go to an event, I'm also very happy if I never leave home!! :-)

I'm going to Poland in October and I'll enjoy the trip, but three weeks away from my cozy nest will be hard on me. :-)

Jackie said...

Ruthy,

My head is spinning and my heart is pounding. My boys are 12 years apart, and for over 25 years I've cheered them on and encouraged them through sports and school. My baby is about to graduate.
I've worked hard on my writing the last few years. I've prayed and dreamed of being published one day. You've challenged me to be BOLD in my dreams. Thanks so much!
Two more weeks until Scott graduates from college. Until then I'll focus on him, but then I'm coming back to read your post again. And maybe again and again.
Congrats on your new release!

Kav said...

So encouraging, Ruthy. My wee brain is buzzing from your wisdom. :-)Raring to get back to work now. Woot!

Argh -- I hit a mysterious key on my laptop and itès gone French on me. See -- when I want an apostrophe I get è. And a question mark is É So frustrating...and I have no idea what combo of keys I hit to cause it to happen. Which means I canèt make it unhappen until it decides to stop messing with me. Frustrating, rightÉ Gah!

DebH said...

I think I need to put Ruthy posts (current and archived) on a daily reading schedule because they always, always, always pump me up and encourage me. Thanks Ruthy!!!

Must look through my daily doings now to replace the unimportant with the crucial. I'm probably not gonna like what I find...

Please put my name in the draw for a Ruthy book. I love, love, love 'em!

Thanks again for being so encouraging, Ruthy. I really appreciate it. (and someday I hope we can meet up at a rest stop or coffee place during one of your travels through Virginia on your way to grandbabies in the Carolinas)

Jeanne T said...

Ruthy, I always love your posts. They're upbeat, and in-your-face, in the very best of ways! :) I love the thought of being intentional about our success. Scheduling time to write/work on story daily. Putting it on my calendar. I've been working on doing this more this year, and I'm making forward progress.

Books and Such had a similar sort of post today—dealing with the walls writers slam up against. It's a slightly different aspect to consider as we seek success. Here's the URL (sorry I don't know how to add a link) if anyone is interested: http://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/hit-a-brick-wall/

And for the record, I've appreciated the times I've gotten to brainstorm with you. You're just as encouraging in that arena as you are here. Thank you for that. :)

I really enjoyed your book, Running On Empty. I hope you get lots of downloads. :) And, I'd love to be in the drawing. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina and I have been known to use battering rams to knock doors down!

kaybee said...

"Men tend to balance it in a wiser fashion" because they don't feel guilty. Period.
KB

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Gwen, I've seen that, too! And it's not a bad thing, it's a new wave and I'm okay with riding it.

I stood back one day a few years ago and thought of men and how they approach a task, and how the outcome varies and it came to me that when it comes to business, quietly analytical works! To me it makes sense, but I know some folks love them.

And Tina made a great point, that writing is solitary in its own way, but I don't find that true now, with the Internet. Working with the Seekers and other awesome writers online and hanging out in Seekerville fills that need for me.

Of course that probably just means I'm CHEAP! :)

Good for Lorie!

There can also be an unfair pressure on people who choose not to go, as if it's the be-all, end-all.

I love people, but my success didn't come from conferences. It came from God, using the talents he showered on me, and working hard with the time he gives.

I do love getting together with other writers in low-key settings. Retreats, meetings, etc. I'm all over that!

Tracey Hagwood said...

RUTHY!
I return from my sister week in Florida to find you at the helm talking directly to ME about achieving my goals and dreams! Oh how I needed this today as I set a personal goal today and needed the encouragement to see it through.

"Visualize yourself where you want to be"

"Success is no accident"

"Sacrifice the unimportant for the crucial"

I'm taking all of these to heart and feeling blessed the day one of your books directed me to Seekerville.

And if you ever meet up with DebH in Va., I'll join in too.

Please throw my name in the cat dish for you book, can't wait to read it.

veralisa said...

"There is no secret. Work hard, pray harder, keep writing, write, write, write and never, never give up." Words to tack up over my computer, Ruth. :-)
Downloaded Running on Empty - thank you. Would love to be in the drawing. Your books are on my keeper shelf. ♥

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary Hicks, that is a great point!

Using conferences/conventions as a reward is a fine thing to do.

Guys use fishing trips... why not a conference? :)

So I see that, Debby Giusti uses that as a reward system, too, and I respect it.

My argument with the male comparison would be that they don't give a hoot what they look like on the fishing trip... Most women I know spend a week getting house/family/self ready for conference, 5 days at conference (including travel) and then a week of catch up at home before they can settle back in.

So there's a Mars/Venus difference we need to recognize and deal with. Again, not that it's bad, but the more clearly we look at something, the better decision we can make.

Portland! I'm going to Seattle soon, my FIRST WEST COAST trip. So psyched! I know you'll have a great time!

kaybee said...

I can't afford conferences right now, so I am grateful for Seekerville, the Alley Cats and my crit partner. Technology has really changed the way we do things. We don't have to be isolated. I guess what I worry about with conferences, or the lack of them, is the number of editors, agents and pub houses who will only consider your material if they meet you at a conference. This is where divine appointments come in. And contests. My crit partner has been to tons of conferences, but she connected with her publisher through a contest. You. Never. Know. (well, somebody must know or we wouldn't be passing advice around...)
KB

Marianne Barkman said...

RUTHY, you are my kind of,author....write, write, write,so I can read! I've got RUNNING ON EMPTY. I would love to be entered for your upcoming book. Thanks for a great post

Mary Lawson said...

I enjoyed reading this. You hit the nail on the head in so many ways. Thanks for the advice. Would love to sit and talk with you and enjoy your southern sweet tea. Looking forward to Tanner's story as my only grandson is named Tanner.

Mz.ZeyZey said...

I needed to see this today, Ruthy! It's like you were looking in my bedroom window last night as I procrastinated on my Blurb to Book Entry watching reality TV and thinking I can't do this. It's so important that we don't just wish for success but take the steps that others took to make it happen.

I'm dying to meet you one day, Ruthy! I just love your personality. Please enter me in the drawing to win your lawman!

P.S. Melissa is one of the editors who will be reviewing my entry. I love your books and many others she's been involved with, so I'm doubly excited to receive feedback (and hopefully progress).

Cindy Regnier said...

I'm so glad I know I don't need an appointment to meet Ruthy because I really want to do that someday!
Everyone - go get Running on Empty! (No appointment needed)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jackie!!!! JACKIE!!!

I totally relate to that sacrificial love!

I waited until Luke (NYC FINANCE BOY) was a junior in high school before I started writing in the middle of the night... and then I got published when he was entering his double Masters program in Boston.

We're all different, and we've got to find our paths...

Wilani Wahl said...

Ruthy, I love this post. I have found that reading great books like yours helps me with my own writing.

On one of the street teams I am on, the author shared with the group the first chapter of her wip. When I read it, something clicked and I totally redid my first chapter. No wonder I didn't make it past the first round. I am continuing to write and make it better and will submit it.

I am so glad I found Seekerville. I have been telling other fledgling writers like me about this site.

Pam Hillman said...

Success and sweet tea. Wow, what a combination! :)

Thanks for the pep talk, Ruthy. Success for me is producing stories. As you said, just writing, writing and more writing.

When I write, I feel successful. I can't control sales, but I can control production! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kav, I've done that kind of thing and then I google to find out what I've messed up. Google is my other BFF!!!

Kav, I'm wishing flowers your way! Pretty ones, long lasting! :)

Myra Johnson said...

Another kick-butt post, Ruthy! You never cease to inspire me with your go-get-'em work ethic!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb, on one of these drives we'll do that. I think my next one might not be until fall, but I would love that, and Dave gets a kick out of talking to other authors, too!

We need to find a Starbucks and a Chick Fil A because there are no Chick Fil A's up here! SADNESS!!!

Sherri Shackelford said...

You're always such an inspiration, Ruthy!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

There are two very nice men installing new kitchen appliances for me right now.... I had to CLEAN yesterday, behind the oven and the refrigerator, oh mylanta, you would not believe what was back there/under there/beside there.

I'm thoroughly ashamed, but no one else saw it and I did not take pictures.

Social suicide, that's what those pics would be! Social suicide! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jeanne, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed "Running on Empty", it's a story that's gotten more comments, e-mails, thank-you notes and reviews than any other.

243 Reviews as of today, all unsolicited because I don't solicit reviews. So that means a lot to me, to see the people that story has helped, and just raising awareness.

Just two weeks ago our local band instructor, a man with hundreds of children in his program, was caught in a sting because he was soliciting what he thought was a 14-year-old girl for a "Daddy-Daughter-Special" Relationship.

GAG.

And he's not the first local person, so if Running on Empty helps young people be more aware and parents be more aware and victims realize that they can move on... I'm the happiest woman ever! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kaybee, that's a huge component! Kaybee said "Men don't feel guilty".

That's true on a lot of levels. We're caretakers by nature (most of us!) and men will tackle what needs to be done and shrug off the rest.

I have such a hard time with that, even refusing invitations to things that eat up my Saturday, my only day to write. But I have to do it sometimes, and God understands... I only hope people do, LOL!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tracey, you're in and yes, let's make it a threesome... well, foursome, because we have to feed Dave, too! I would love that so much!

Seriously, if we can make it work on my fall trip to NC, that would be awesome. I'm going to part-time daycare in September, so I'm looking at a whole different and more open schedule! We do have a baby coming the first week of October via c-section, so my daughter might need me... that would be the turning point in trip plans, but I think we can do this.

Happy dancing! Yes, I'd drive 9 hours to see youse! Both o' youse and anyone else who wants to meet up!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Veralisa, I'm so glad you downloaded it! I hope you love it, and what a blessed and lovely compliment... to make the keeper shelf is every author's goal. Thank you! Bless you!

And I believe those lines for me, for you, for everyone.

Remember Good Will Hunting? Where Matt Damon taught himself everything the students at Harvard and MIT were learning by going to the public library. He took his amazing gift for mathematics and theory and fed it for free... or as he said, "For a dollar-seventy-five in late fees at the public library"...

I love the common sense of that, of making do as needed!

I had no money when I started, and by no money, I mean no money.

But I had a library, and a friend gave me a Brother Word Processor and then another friend, a young cousin, brought me an ancient computer! I called and ordered AOL and had another phone line put in by working an extra waitressing shift at night!

I was online! Psyche!!!

Sandy Smith said...

Thanks for the encouragement as always, Ruthy! I need more of that discipline to keep after my dreams. I finally started back to my speedbo book again. I have been struggling with how to organize chapters, etc. I have started reading another book with some similar elements and analyzing each chapter. It is helping me, I think. I have starting reading through my chapters again. I had thought it was really awful, but I can see that my basic story is good and I found some dialog, etc. that I really like. I just need to really flesh it out as it is more of an outline than a book right now.

I also would love to meet you someday. I feel like I already know so many of you here in Seekerville.

Please enter me for your book.

Now off to check my kindle to see if I have downloaded Running on Empty, which I am pretty sure I have. I will have to move that toward the top of my TBR list.

Pepper said...

Yay!! It's a kick-you-in-the-pants then give-a-hug Ruthy talk!
Love!!

WIse words...and good reminders to wisely use the time we've been given.

Just because it's a long journey for some (ME), does not mean there isn't success at the end. And there's also so much to learn in the journey.

Just think, if Dorothy Gale hadn't taken the long route, she'd never have met all those wonderful friends, learned to appreciate the journey, or become the hero of her own story.

Sorry - I digress.
Let me go back to drinking my tea and treating these adorable children!

Always love gleaning Ruthy-wisdom

Connie Queen said...

This reminded me of Dave Ramsey. If you want become rich, imitate what the people did to become rich. (Not in his words. Dave said it much better than that, but the point is the same.)

Don't hope for the lottery. Only one in millions win that.

Writing is the same. No one is going to listen to me describe my story and offer me a contract. And I just hate that because I'm really good at talking about writing!

And I received my copy of Healing the Lawman's Heart. Thanks so much Ruthy!!!

Barbara Scott said...

Ruthy, your optimism and humor always pick me up when I start doubting myself. You're my hero...heroine. In the paragraph that really got to me, you wrote, "I love encouraging people. I love competition. I love sharing the podium, the chairs, the advice and I'm always taken aback when folks don't do that, because Christ emulated that for us. To give... to love... to encourage... to accept."

Even as an editor, I wanted to encourage writers who had been damaged by comments telling them to quit trying. Those naysayers should be locked in the stocks with just bread and water!

Your book is on my side table ready to read next. Can't wait! The read will be all that much sweeter since I won it on Seekerville. Sure beats that radio I won at Civil Air Patrol Camp when I was fourteen. Tee hee!

Cynthia Herron said...

Ruthy, your words are a breath of fresh air. (Truly better than chocolate. And coffee. :) ) After my get-real blog this morning, I needed this wonderful dose of encouragement. Thank you!

Lyndee H said...

Ruthy, love your wisdom, as always! My method has been to throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. Maybe I need to just use a stick...or battering ram! Thanks for the years of encouragement!

Meghan Carver said...

Ruthy, thank you, again, for the encouragement, but I can't say you've helped me make a decision about ACFW this fall. :-) Let's have waffles today because I am what I eat! I know, bad joke, but I can't decide about going to the conference in September, and I'm just glad I have more time to figure it out. I could get a headshot by the wonderful Emilie. I could meet with agents. I could learn from some great marketing sessions and a session on suspense. I could have adult conversations. BUT, I could also save the money. I could go to the library for a marathon writing day. I could avoid TSA at the airport. Did I mention I could save the money? Well, more prayer!

In the meantime, I'll make the most of every day, optimizing writing time and cutting what doesn't matter. Thanks for the upbeat post!

Kathryn Barker said...

Ruthy, love, love your helpful, hopeful, happy posts!! Always! Running on Empty is a powerful story...still one of my favs!

I'm one of the Sweet Tea or proper tea peeps sharing time with you...

Thanks again for the encouragement...have a tea-lightful day...week...month...year...etc!

Janet Dean said...

Excellent post, Ruthy. Your long list of books is evidence that you take your own advice.

The definition of success is different for all of us, but certainly when God calls, we need to answer, whether it's stories told or hands to hold. Nora once said in a talk at conference that writers juggle a lot of balls and we need to know which balls are rubber and which are glass that we dare not drop. A wise woman.

As you are, Ruthy. You somehow manage to write, nurture family and friends, sing in church, bake, garden. I'm slinking off but before I go, mega congrats on the terrific review of Healing the Lawman's Heart. Love that title!

Janet

Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

I would have taken your example given below as high praise from a successful author:

"Being Ruthy, I replied, "Right where you are, publishing all kinds of books and winning awards."

She stared at me, folded her hands and said, "Let's pray."

No encouragement. No 'atta girl!'. No positive feedback, she simply prayed for my discernment.

Did that reaction cause me to doubt myself?"


Why would it?

What higher praise could she have given you?

There are prayers of supplication where you ask God to give you something. But there are also prayers of praise and thanksgiving where you thank God for gifts given.

Being Vince, a Unity loving believer in affirmations, I would have taken that invitation to prayer as meaning: "Let's praise the Lord for the gift of an aspiring writer who knows what she wants and where she is headed."

You were probably an oasis among a sea of quarter-hour appointments with would-be writers who didn't know what they wanted and were seeking some magic help in figuring out what they should be doing.

When that author ran into you, she just wanted to praise the Lord!

I'm reading "Healing the Lawman's Heart" right now and my reactions has been: "Praise the Lord".

How will you take that comment now that we've talked?

Vince

P.S. Success comes in many sizes. Queen size success, when hundreds of writers want to meet with you at the same event, makes appointments a welcome accoutrement to success.

Debby Giusti said...

I'm feelin' your enthusiasm and lovin' your success!

Thanks for your mention that conferences are a reward I give myself. Like Tina, I need to be with people. So conferences and reader luncheons are on my agenda. Plus, I learn while I'm interacting! I go to the workshops. I take notes. I come home with nuggets of writing gold that I use in my stories.

I admire your work ethic and your commitment to your daily word count, Ruthy! Plus, you're a woman of prayer, and God is blessing your work!

So...it's all good!

I know where I want to be in five years...still able to "love on" my family, hug and help a friend, meet readers and write stories. Amen!

Myra Johnson said...

I can vouch for BARBARA SCOTT's kindness and encouragement for authors. You were my first editor, Barbara, and I treasure everything I learned from you!

Pepper said...

Ditto on Myra's comment about Barbara Scott!
What a wonderful lady! So full of encouragement!

Deanna Stevens said...

Thanks for the copy of Running on Empty! Enjoyed your post today.. toss me into the hat please...

Missy Tippens said...

Ruthy, what a great post!! You always inspire. I want to be you when I grow up!

P.S. That's no comment on age. LOL

Missy Tippens said...

I, too, consider conferences to be more of a necessity. I get face to face meetings with my editor and agent. I get to see real live people who write what I write. And I go to a gazillion workshops! I attend almost every session. I love to learn about writing! It sparks my creativity and charges my batteries.

Jackie Smith said...

Ruthy, I am so excited about your new book. I always read ALL of your books so please put me in the "dish" for this one!
Keep up the great writing....you are such an inspiration!

Sarah Claucherty said...

Hi Ruthy! I'd love to be tossed in the drawing :)

I'd love to get more info about conventions, both for readers and for writers...Any suggestions on where to find that information?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

KayBee, I don't think meeting them at conference means much, honestly.

If they are blown away by your idea, by your work, your words, they don't need anything other than a signature, honey.

It can be really beneficial for aspiring authors to hear what editors want, what they like, what they're buying... but you can do that for a $25 investment at the bookstore, right?

Melissa has always told people: "Read what I'm buying now, read my current authors, that's what I want."

I think that holds true across the board. Sure, different genres, but if you're writing a certain genre, you can find the editors who love that without ever meeting them face-to-face. I found that finaling in contests was more helpful than meeting people at conferences, because those kudos letters, or the R&Rs or the rejection letters when a full was requested (or a proposal) were huge in teaching me how to write for the market.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandy, I'm so proud of you and so glad you're back into your speedbo book! YES! Attacking and re-writing and revising is the stuff that makes us smoooooooth.... irons out those pesky wrinkles. Go you!

And if you don't have it, dear girl, go grab it. I'm so happy to provide it to people because it is just a beautiful love story that shows how we all need to be trusted and loved.

I just love that book.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hello, Pepper! I'm so glad you stopped in today, I miss you!!!!! And I love stopping by your place now and again, gleaning wisdom for so many wonderful people over there at the Alley!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Marianne, LOL! I will become a reader's dream! YAYAYAYAYAY!!!

And Mary Lawson, I agree! Tea together, yes!!!! Let's do it!

That's the part I love about retreats and conferences, the sharing time.

Isn't that the best????

Ruth Logan Herne said...

ZeyZey, I love working with Melissa. She's smart, intuitive and so good at knowing her audience, the readership. She's been such a good person to partner with on my books and she's not afraid to let me know when something's not working and she's good about admitting when it is!

Yes, the procrastination bug is a huge deterrent, and it's so easy to mess up the work habit! For me, though, being older, I wanted it so bad I could taste it and refused to let anything inconsequential get in my way. Now it's just ingrained, and that's good! Because now I can keep up production and I'm honestly having the time of my life. No joke!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cindy, LOL! No Appointment Necessary, I'm laughing!

But I totally mean it, I look back at that and I think of how naive I was... and AWESTRUCK.... and now, ten years later I'm like... Did I really HEAR THAT RIGHT????? But this is something Tina and I have in common, if someone makes us feel like we CAN'T, then we're just more stinkin' determined to do it.

Oh, Captain, my Captain! :) Let's all plot our course... and captain our ships.... together!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Wilani, God bless you for spreading the word about Seekerville!

I am just so blessed and happy by that, because I/we truly believe there's plenty of room for all!

When we were new, there weren't a lot of places to go for coaching, mentoring, inspiration that didn't cost an arm and a leg, so this "give back", paying it forward, is so special to us!

And I know just what you mean about that first chapter. I've done that. Seen the error (even now, with almost three dozen books written) and then it's like opening my eyes and I can see what I need to do!

Go you! The trick is to keep on... go in and fix, and re-fix if needed. I'm so proud of you!

Sandy Smith said...

Thanks for your comments, Ruthy. And yes, after discovering that my kindle was completely dead and waiting for it to charge, I found out I do have Running on Empty on there. I look forward to reading it.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, y'all, Pam Hillman noticed that "With This Kiss Historical" is at #1 in Amazon historicals today!

So stinkin' happy to hear that, and a huge thank you to Overcoming With God (Carrie Fancett Pagels' blog) for promoting that collection, for their great reviews, and gosh, just for loving and supporting Christian fiction the way they do. Their blog blew me away last week... SO FUN!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Myra, it's the old soccer coach in me!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Waving to Sherri Shackelford! Hello, Sherri, thank you!!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Connie Queen, I love Dave Ramsey.

I love the common sense of the situation that even if you find yourself in tight financial times (and I've been there soooo often, but that's okay!) you can plan your way out of it. And sometimes that meant three jobs, but in the end, it worked!

Now, if you're more the gilded lily type, I've got nothin'! I'm definitely more dandelion than lily, gutting it out despite the mower, then bobbing my head back up again.

I love dandelions! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Barbara, right back at you! Such beautiful, kind words, thank you!

I keep telling Barbara how glad I am she's back in the mix because she's just stinkin' talented, nice and loves God so much... and I love that her light is peeking out from under that bushel! :)

I hope you love Healing the Lawman's Heart, gosh, I was so glad that they let me take a little left turn, mid-story... I thought it worked great, but I was thrilled when Melissa thought so too!

Hey, I might show up to annoy people in Nashville next year. I love that city so much!

The Jews went through WWII saying "Next year in Israel"... We can say "Next year in Nashville"!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

By the way, have you noticed that NO ONE COMES TO ROCHESTER????

I should probably see the writing on the wall, LOL! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Vince, I love you!

Yes, she might have meant it that way, but the prayer wasn't exactly worded like that, my friend! I'm laughing because I want you to know that if it had been meant like that, I'm guessing I'd have known it!

I don't agree about the appointment nonsense, and I don't think they do that now... It may have only been that one year, I'm not really sure.

But what I do know is that it's silly, Vince. I suppose that's why I don't like book signings where folks have to stand in line for ME. I hate that. I'm of the race that knows Joseph and while I don't mind being the center of attention, I do mind keeping people waiting as if I'm somebody.

Because we're all somebody! My cup of tea, my comfort level is sitting down in a room and chatting. Sharing coffee and cookies or big ol' submarine sandwiches except then I can't talk because my mouth is full!

One of the lessons I always loved about Jesus was how he walked with the crowd. Amongst the people. He'd have copped a squat in Central Park or Harlem... Or Ferguson or Baltimore or the homeless folks under the bridge. That's what gives me comfort, is being of the people.

And I love the book you're reading, I'm just in love with those characters, with that whole story line, so I hope you love it, Vince!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cynthia, I'm so glad you liked it! We'll join hands in the real world together! Laughing!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lyndee, congrats on Fabulous Five my friend! I'm so proud of you!!!!

And thank you, your words are beautiful... The throwing things against the wall, laughing because I was guilty of the same thing, and you know, eventually a bunch of that has sold!

But you're right to come up with a plan of sorts and the battering ram! Go you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Our grass is green.

THIS IS MOMENTOUS

I have lived in shades of gray, beige, brown, white and slush for months.

We have daffodils and green grass, I am happy dancing!

Dana R. Lynn said...

So much wisdom in this one post! I especially need to remember the part about sacrificing the unimportant! Sometimes its hard, but so worth it in the end. Because I want to be as successful as God plans for me to be, and that means using my time wisely. Something I struggle with.

I love the thought of giving and cheering on other writers like Christ would. That's a great goal to strive for. Because in the end, He's not gonna care how many books I sold if I'm stingy with what He gave me.

Very excited about a new Ruthy story coming out. It looks fab...but don't they all?!

Sherida Stewart said...

Ruthy, thank you for all the encouragement and enthusiasm. You are so generous, open, and positive. Sweet tea, bread, and sour cherry jam would be a perfect treat to enjoy when we sit down and chat (without an appointment) someday. CONGRATULATIONS on the 4.5 star RT review for Healing the Lawman's Heart. You are a blessing with your efforts to point us to wards success. Thank you!

Cara Lynn James said...

Ruthy, I didn't realized you had so many novels and novellas published !!! Wow! YOU are someone to emulate.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Great post, Ruthy, and thanks for bringing in Holly and her encouraging words. She was one of my first auto-buy authors before I even heard of LI.

Ruthy, you're a treasure and I can vouch for you and the rest of the Seekers when I say that you welcome us with open arms without reserve anywhere.

I downloaded your free ebook, Ruthy, thanks. Just wanted to let the Canadians out there know that amazon won't let us get it through the .com site, so use the .ca one.

As for Kav... if you're still having a problem, there are 2 things to do...
1. Restart your computer and problem solved; or
2. If you're like me and have several windows and programs open and don't want to shut down, these are the keys you want to press - ALL AT THE SAME TIME:

Left side: Ctrl, shift, and FN
Right side: Ctrl and shift

If that doesn't work, add the ALT Button to the right hand as well. Sometimes it takes a couple tries.

Pepper said...

I don't get to stop by as much because I'm taking your advice, Ruthy :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Dana, thank you and I totally believe those words. The more we give, help, love and encourage, the more we have. The simple side of all this is what I love!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Meghan Carver!!!! You know, I went to several conferences and I learned a lot. Part of that was learning that I didn't really need them to become successful, and that's what I'm sharing. So there's positives and negatives like anything, which means I'm no help!

:)

But the good thing is making us think... yeah, maybe even making us think like a MAN, LOL! Because at the end of day, we talk to God about being good stewards of money... time... family... and faith!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pepper, LOL! Good girl, that's the best way to do it, nose to the grindstone and day by day! Go you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kathryn, I'm glad you liked Running on Empty. Me, too! :)

Thank you for your kind and wonderful words. Bless you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Janet, you made me get all sentimental. Stop that this instant!

But thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

If the prayer had been meant the way you took it, well, IT WORKED!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb, I love how you reward yourself... I use my mini-reward system the same way, and the learning is an awesome plus!

We're blessed to have been doing this for a while, we can see through that glass dimly with more accuracy. Oh, that God!

:)

And how awesome is it to have varied opportunity? In America, this is the norm! How cool is that???

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sherida, we need to plan a time for the Ruthy Bread and Jam Tea!!!!

We seriously need to do this, we'd have a ball. Bread, jam, faith, women and no cost.

I'm All In!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cara, they sneak up on you, don't they? I'm over-the-top delighted that there are two single titles, wait four that are written, to come out in late 2015 and 2016... So that's just going to be WAY FUN!!!!! And two Love Inspired's out in 2016, so I'm happy dancing!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Anita, thank you for that Amazon.ca tip! I never thought to mention that!

And I'm hugging you from afar. I love your gentle words of affirmation and wisdom. You are such a gift!

Here, darling, I've got some fresh bread for you! We can break bread together!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

It's a Barbara Scott love-fest!!!! I'm in for that, Barbara!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deanna, you're in sweet thing, and glad you grabbed Running on Empty. I hope you love it!

Missy Tippens, LOL! I'm dying laughing at that "wanna be you when I grow up" comment, you BRAT.

'Sall I'm sayin' 'bout dat!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Missy, they have workshops at conferences????

FOR REAL? Who knew????

(Ruthy is laughing because she realized she was a class skipper, so why pay $500 and skip class? #nobrainer)

But I respect the right of those who actually do want to learn and my hat is tipped to them because I'm proud of them.

Let me just add I did NOT skip classes in school. I was a nerd. Eager to please. Who always did homework.

#boring

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jackie Smith, did I pay you to say that, darling? Because if I DIDN'T, I should have!

You're in, sweet thing!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

VINCE!!!! VINCE!!!

Yes, that is it exactly, because it made me more determined than ever!

Because in my heart I knew... it was like I'd always known and just had to wait until God's timing said "now..."

So when she kind of brushed it off, that little voice inside me said "No. Don't listen, because you are wonderfully made!"

And I didn't listen, and I'm so glad!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Anita Mae, you knew how to FIX THAT????

Oh, I'm hugging you again.

Kav, do you see this? Parlez vous francais?????

Oui?

Tanya Agler said...

Ruthy, Thanks for this post. I often look to your top ten list that I printed out for my desk. Number one is writing daily. I love how today's draws on that point in such an encouraging and relatable manner.

I love your point about family and writing. I think that is spot on, great advice.

Thanks. Now I have to prove I'm not a robot.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tanya, you know you don't have to click the robot thing, don't you? We have no idea why it's there, but you can ignore it and NOTHING HAPPENS!!!!

Ruthy's Top Ten List, perfectamente!

Laughing and encouraging you from upstate because the simpler you keep it, the more sense it all makes!

I like to look like a girl, but I'm okay with occasionally thinking like a BOY! :) But that's probably because my four boys love to shower me with advice, bless their hearts!


Elaine Manders said...

Ruthy,

Your posts are always encouraging. I'm hearing that old kiddy song "High Hopes" playing in the background. Yes, success is on my schedule, right below loving what you do. Everything else will come.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Ruthy,
Late to the party but had to stop by and say hi! Great advice as usual!
Cheers,
Sue
If Canada is allowed, I'd love a chance to win your book!

Sarah Claucherty said...

Ruthy, THERE ARE FLOWERS BLOOMING IN MY YARD!!!

I'm in Sweet Home Indiana ;) so trust me--I am VERY familiar with the slush, snow, freezing cold, and mucky colors of winter. Isn't it lovely to see colors outside again?

Sally Shupe said...

Love this post. Would love to be entered for Healing the Lawman's Heart. Thanks for the encouragement!

Edwina said...

Ruthy, As always your post was a delightful read and so encouraging. As for authors to emulate, all of the great writers at Seekerville!

Please put me in the fish bowl for the drawing.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Elaine, I love that song! I sing it with the little ones and it's so fun!

And you know, I'm not saying we don't get smacked around at times, because we do, but you know what? Getting back up and staying strong builds character, and there's nothing wrong with a little extra character!

Good for you!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sue, Canada is allowed, tossing your name in the cat dish right now!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, Sally! You are most welcome, dear girl, and I saved some bread for you guys! A little late night jam and bread is AWESOME!!!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Edwina, bless you! Thank you for your kind words and yes, I'm tossing your name in right now... Thanks for coming over and NICE JAMMIES!!!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sarah Claucherty hooray for flowers! Hooray for hope of spring, Hallelujah chorus bein' sung up here!

And yes, you're no stranger to winter over there!

Putting your name into the cat dish, and the cats are sleeping right now, so we're all good!

Dee LeRoye said...

"No one longs for my success like God...." I never thought of it that way before. Wow! Thanks Ruthy. I needed that, badly. Blessings to you and keep 'em coming. I make room to read what you write.

Julie Lessman said...

Gosh, Ruthy, I'm a day late and WAY more than a dollar short, but it was worth the wait -- GREAT POST!!

You certainly have inspired me, my friend, so thank you for all the cheerleading you do for the Seekers and others!

Hugs,
Julie

Dawn Crandall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn Crandall said...

I liked your comment about copying what has worked for other "successful" (there are so many levels to that one word!) authors. It sounds kinda shifty at first, but really it's simply noticing what's working for others and applying it to your own situation. That's just plain smart. ❤️

Barbara Scott said...

Just hopping back on the thread this morning. Yesterday was a bit crazy and I didn't make my way back to Seekerville.

Ruthy, send me an email or give me a call when you're coming to Nashville!!! I'll meet you somewhere and we can have some REAL coffee, although I do love those virtual pastries you make. ;-)

Caryl Kane said...

Hey Ruthy! As a reader, I found your post encouraging! Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV) Then the Lord answered me and said:“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets,that he may run who reads it. May we run our races well and achieve the prize.

Thanks again for this great post!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Thanks for the freebie heads-up, Ruthie, and for the advice. I actually bit the bullet and talked with an author at the last mini-conference I attended. So glad I did. Mary and I talked for a whole, enjoyable hour. :) I came away blessed and encouraged. God is good. Sometimes it's the best thing to do to step out of our comfort zones. :)

Deb said...

Your comment about sacrificing the unimportant to make time for the crucial struck a chord! Thank you!

CatMom said...

Oh my stars!!!!
RUTHY!!! I've just returned from a "girlfriends' getaway" in Florida and am trying to get caught up. One of my priorities, of course, is reading the Seekerville posts I've missed.
I was reading your AMAZING post (I always, always love a Ruthy post) and suddenly notice a photo of my Delilah with your book!! Love it! :) (and yes, my kitties truly ARE Ruthy-fans too).

Thank you SO much for this post - - you always motivate and encourage us (which I certainly NEED!!).
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Becky Dempsey said...

Never give up, Never surrender! (Galaxy Quest, if you don't recognize it) Thank you for the words of wisdom. It would be cool to meet all of you ladies sometime!

I'd love to be in for the drawing.