Monday, November 9, 2015

Writing from the Deep: 4 Keys to Surviving the Writing Life

By Guest Blogger Karen Ball

Erin Taylor Young and Karen Ball
Photo Credit: Angela Hunt

If there’s anything we’ve learned from this whole writing gig, it’s that writers FEEL.

Everything.

We revel in the joys and successes—even to the point, for some of us, of doing our own version of the Snoopy Dance. (Um…tell me I’m not the only one…) We celebrate the completion of a writing project, singing out to the world that we’ve typed the two most wondrous words in creation: “The End.” We laugh, we cry, we fall in love along with our characters. No doubt about it, writers know how to feel. Which is wonderful.

Until it’s not.

Until we hit…those places. The rough spots. A bad or unfair review. A reader letter calling us heretical. An edit that demolishes our voice. A contract that offers less than half of what we were given in the past. Deadlines so far gone that we will never catch up. And then there are the personal struggles with family, friends, and faith. For so long, when I hit those deep places, I found myself listening to the insecurities and fears rumbling inside me. Which then allows my oh-so-powerful feelings to become weapons that undermine and decimate. And I’m left crying out, asking WHY. Begging for release. Wondering if I heard God wrong…or at all.

Have you been in a place like this? Are you there now? With all the changes in publishing, it seems more and more of us are. But that’s not the worst of it. Because there’s someone out there working against us, whispering to our spirit and mind that we’re the only ones…that everyone else is doing great, all the other writers are selling books like crazy, no one else has been at this for so long and yet has so little to show for it…

Writing friends, let me just say this: BALONEY!

You’re not alone. Not by a long shot. But the deceiver wants you to believe you are. After all, what better way to incapacitate those called to write God’s truth than to isolate them? Erin Taylor Young and I were talking about that truth one day, about that tactic that’s used so well against so many of us, and we discovered something. A shared spark deep inside that was fanned into life as we talked. A powerful desire to shine the light on the lies writers are too prone to believe. To let fellow writers know we all, at some point, end up in the deep places. But here’s the thing: It’s often in those very places that we find the greatest truths God has planted inside us.

As Erin and I talked, Write from the Deep was born. A place of podcasts, resources, even, one day, retreats all focusing on…well, you. On helping, refreshing, and equipping you for writing from the deep places.

As we’ve talked with those who’ve been in the deep, as we’ve shared about our own experiences in the deep, and as we considered what to share with all of you, we found four keys to not just enduring, but thriving in, the deep.



Key One: Expect the Deep
Face it, deep places are part and parcel of the writing life. But don’t fear them. Don’t dread them. Rather, expect them. As the cliché goes, “Forewarned is forearmed.” And, in this case, that cliché can work in your favor. Know they are coming…and move on to step two.

Key Two: Equip Yourself for the Deep
This is the forearmed part. Since you expect that, at some point, you’ll be in the deep places, prepare yourself ahead of time. I live in Oregon, a state overflowing with wilderness. When I was involved in Search & Rescue (SAR) here, I was taught to put together a “go” bag—a bag containing anything I might need in said wilderness. Water. Food. Emergency whistle. Waterproof matches. And so on. In the same way, you can prepare a “go” bag for being in the deep. What should you include? Anything you might need:

·      Scripture verses, sayings…any truths that encourage and uplift you
·      Books, music, movies… whatever soothes and encourages
·      A list of friends, family, or advisors you can call. Don’t try to go through it alone. Seek God in prayer, ask friends for prayer and counsel, let your family know where you’re at and what you need. For those you will ask to be with you in the deep, talk to them ahead of time, telling them what you’ll need from them if you have to call. Some of us need people who can just sit and listen to us. Some need those who speak truth in the face of lies. Some just need a warm hug. Or chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Ask those you trust for the specific things you need.

Another way to equip yourself is to learn from those who’ve been there before you. Talk with other writers. Ask them what helped. What to avoid. (And, of course, come visit, www.writefromthedeep.com.)

Do realize, though, that all the training in the world just can’t fully prepare you for the reality of being in the deep. So the best way to learn how to survive it is to be there. And, for as long as you need to, stay there. Which leads us to…

Key Three: Embrace the Deep
We’re so programmed in our culture to try and escape the hard places in life. The minute we’re in them, we want to know the way out. But what if those places are meant for our good? What if they work to prove our faith genuine and bring glory to God? When we stop trying to escape, when we focus on the Master and His purposes, we find that the deep places are where we get to know God best, where He refines us into a purer reflection of His son. That doesn’t mean you’re going to like being in the deep, but I promise if you can learn to embrace these times in your writing life, you—and your writing—will be richer for it.

Key Four: Encourage Others in the Deep
Let’s face it, one of the best things you can do when you’re struggling is to get your focus off of your struggle and onto encouraging others who are in their own deep places. Speak the truth of your struggle. Write about it, even if it’s only in a journal, then take what you’ve written and use it to encourage others. Because those around us don’t need some false sense of bravado or the empty assurances that everything’s okay when it isn’t. They need our honesty. Our authenticity. Our vulnerability. Those are the things that change and help others. And if nothing comes from our deep places but that…

It’s worth it.



When Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young discovered a shared passion for encouraging writers, they developed the Write from the Deep podcast and website (www.writefromthedeep.com). They designed these helps with fellow writers in mind, crafting messages, podcasts, videos, craft tips, and more to encourage, refresh, and equip you in your writing journey.

If you’d like to know when new podcasts are released, sign up for their newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/brRM5b and receive the free, exclusive audio download: 5 Crucial Ways to Safeguard Your Writer’s Heart in the Deep. 


Bios:

A publishing professional for over 30 years, Karen Ball has overseen fiction for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group. She’s worked with such notable authors as Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Robin Jones Gunn, and many others. Karen is currently the owner of Karen Ball Publishing Services, LLC, a literary agent with the prestigious Steve Laube Agency, and an award-winning, best-selling author.


Erin Taylor Young is passionate about helping others embrace deep places with God. She’s an acquisitions editor and author liaison for Redbud Press, a publishing company she helped to found. She's also an award-winning humor writer. Her recent book, Surviving Henry: Adventures inLoving a Canine Catastrophe, has been repeatedly accused of making readers laugh until they cry.

127 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Thank you, Karen and Erin for gracing us at Seekerville with your presence here today. And thanks, Missy, for inviting them. Someone once told me that they prayed for individual authors, and though I don't do that, I do pray for you, because you are a blessing to so many. Thank you, and I hope you all have an amazing day!

Missy Tippens said...

Marianne, I love what they're doing to support authors. I look forward to exploring their site

Karen, thanks for your post! We look forward to hanging out with you and Erin. I've brought some decaff tonight for those who are stopping by before bed. I'm up because of too much caffeine earlier tonight. :)

I've set out some freshly baked pumpkin bread for those who drop by early in the morning before I return!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning KAREN and ERIN! In the deep...can relate right this very minute on a number of points. Thank you for the encouragement at 4 a.m. as I head off for a few hours of writing before I go to the day job.

Suzanne Baginskie said...

Hello Karen and Erin. Your 'In The Deep' column really impressed me this morning. It's raining and another Blue Monday. I almost decided to go shopping and forget about my writing. Now I challenged myself to write this morning and shop after lunch. I am a morning person and if I reverse these plans I know I will not write at all today. Thanks for the encouragement and support in your blog. I am toasting you with French vanilla coffee and pumpkin muffins. Have a great week.

Jackie said...

Thank you Karen and Erin for visiting Seekerville, and thank you for loving authors. I appreciate what you're doing.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Missy, Thanks for inviting us! Guess I should've stopped by last night when I couldn't sleep either. We could've started the party early. : ) My issues wasn't caffeine, though, just being sleep-defective. That's one of my own deep places. But I digress...

Glynna, happy writing! Kudos to your dedication!

Suzanne, I'm glad you stopped by on your rainy day. I hear you about being a morning person, and I love your choice to press on with your writing. You go, girl! And save me some French vanilla. I've gotta hit my exercise routine this morning before I can partake. : )

Vince said...

Hi Karen:

I’ve read two of your novels based on Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s recommendation as their being great examples of DPOV. Are you still writing books in deep pov?

Is an interest in DPOV what sparked your interest in “Writing from the Deep”?

BTW: Do you have a new book out?

Vince

Jeanne T said...

Such beautiful words and hearts revealed here! I really enjoyed Erin's class at ACFW this year, and I was sorry you couldn't be there, Karen!

I appreciate the reminder that when we are in the deep, embracing it is a good way to go through it. I've found God always has lessons for us to learn, about Him about ourselves in those deep places. We can always come out of them knowing Him and His faithfulness better, and we can come out reflecting Him a little more clearly.

Thanks for this post!

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, we almost passed on our early morning shifts as I headed to bed. :) I hope you got your words in!

Missy Tippens said...

Susanne, that's a great idea. I'm glad the post encouraged you to do the writing first.

We have the rainy, dreariness here as well. It seems like ages since I've seen the sun. It makes such a difference!

Missy Tippens said...

Good morning, Jackie!

Erin, welcome! I'm so glad to have y'all here today.

You know, I also struggle with insomnia without caffeine on occasion. It's not fun. I'm thankful I haven't had many of those nights lately.

Missy Tippens said...

Good morning, Vince! Since you asked about deep pov… Is that what you prefer to use when you write?

Missy Tippens said...

Jeanne T, I loved what you said: "We can always come out of them knowing Him and His faithfulness better, and we can come out reflecting Him a little more clearly."

That's so true. I've found that at times when I felt alone, doubting my abilities and my calling, God did ultimately grow my faith. It's amazing, later, to see what He's done. I hope I reflect that in my life.

Cindy Regnier said...

I signed up for the newsletter - thanks so much Karen and Erin for this great resource. Feel like I'm learning to 'see in the dark' but what a process! For Vince - DPOV is my preference in reading and writing. Karen does this so well.

Myra Johnson said...

So encouraging, Karen & Erin! (Waving to Erin, whom I haven't seen in such a long time! Love that we can connect from time to time on Facebook.)

Oh, those deep places. Yes, it's vital to remember we aren't alone in these struggles. Not only have my closest writer friends stepped in during such times, but God has often provided messages of hope and encouragement from unexpected sources.

I look forward to checking out your website and newsletter!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Ah, Missy, a fellow insomniac. I feel your pain. It's something I've dealt with all my life, worsened by fibro and a few other muscular issues. Hence the exercise routine--it helps, so I do it. But I confess I really like the morning jog. I've found that being outside in the sunrise is a place where I breathe in God.

What about the rest of you? Do you have places you go, or things you do, where you breathe in God?

Just Commonly said...

Hi! Thank you for such encouragement. We need to know that we're not alone during times of struggles. God is amazing. He will always see us through. Thank you. =)

Erin Taylor Young said...

Howdy, Myra! Good to see ya! You're so right about remembering we're not alone. And I love what you said: "God has often provided messages of hope and encouragement from unexpected sources."

Yes, exactly! Isn't it just like our God to know us so well that he can do that? It's like a little message in your lunchbox that says "I remember you. I'm thinking of you. I love you."

Erin Taylor Young said...

Jeanne T, I'm in agreement--embracing the deep is a good way to go through it. Yes it's hard, yes it's counterintuitive, but the mindset of embracing it changes everything, and gives us an attitude of submission--even through our tears--and a receptiveness to God's will as opposed to our own.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Welcome to Seekerville, ladies, and thank you for the encouraging words.

Publishing is a changing landscape. Our job is to adjust as needed. We are in such a time of amazing opportunity, of shaping our own careers, our own destiny, that we should probably all run outside, praise God and start cheerleading.

Options and opportunities abound. It is, frankly... amazing.

Of course my life revolves around change and chaos and fun and babies and life, so maybe the publishing changes aren't as intimidating because of that. Rolling with change is where it's at.

I brought coffee because I was in desperate need after my morning writing stint and errands. I'm back now, for round two, and thanking God for coffee... and I'll bring M&M cookies around later. Just because.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Vince, how do you see the notion of Deep POV?

Feel free to explain to me in simple words, my friend.

Missy Tippens said...

Erin, I'm terrible about working out. I should try the morning walk/jog. But it's tough to start off in our VERY hilly neighborhood. :)

I find I breathe in God most at the beach. But I don't get there much so also enjoy that feeling while working on my Bible study lessons (for my ladies Bible study group that meets weekly).

Missy Tippens said...

Cindy R, I got signed up too. I'm looking forward to the free download!

Missy Tippens said...

Myra, I've experienced those moments, too. Like Erin said, almost like getting little love notes in your lunch box. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Just Commonly, thanks for stopping by!

Missy Tippens said...

Ruthy, you're right. There is so much to celebrate right now (even if it's scary or unsettling sometimes)!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Missy, the morning jog thing started by necessity--trying to wear out our hyperactive, mentally-unbalanced dog. : )

But I do love the beach! Great place to breathe in God. Something about those waves rolling in over and over...it makes me think of God's power and permanence. And the vastness and depth of the ocean make me think of the verse that says God's justice is like the great deep. (Psalm 36:6)

And you're right, there's nothing like digging into God's Word to breathe him in. : )

Meghan Carver said...

Thank you, Karen and Erin, for such beautiful words of encouragement. I love the idea of a go bag...be prepared!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Ruth, I love your adventurous spirit amidst chaos!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Meghan, I love the idea of a go bag, too! I think mine would have to include my Bible and coffee. And chocolate. And then I'd try to stuff a couple of my closest friends in the bag too. : )

What about the rest of you? What would you put in your go bag?

Missy Tippens said...

My go bag would include my Seeker blog sisters. I call on them often for prayer and support.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Thank you for this encouraging post, Karen and Erin. All of the encouraging people I've met along this journey will definitely be stored into my go bag.
Thanks for inviting these wonderful women, Missy!

Kathryn Barker said...

Good morning Karen and Erin! Thanks for your encouraging words and helps for those difficult times we all try to slug through.

I've never met Erin, but I've admired Karen since I first met her at the Oregon Christian Writers conference several years ago. I had the privilege of sitting beside her at lunchtime. I was a tiny bit intimidated, it was my VERY FIRST conference, but soon she'd put all of us newbies at ease. And, being in her workshop was helpful and delightful!

Signed up for the newsletter and look forward to connecting on your new website.

Thanks again...hope to meet Erin one day!

Happy day to all. It's really raining here...and we need it in Cali...we're in the middle of a drought!

Missy Tippens said...

Jill, I do think meeting and hanging out with encouraging people are key. You are all good for me!

Missy Tippens said...

Kathryn, I now how scary those first conferences can be! But I'm so glad I've had the experiences to help me come out of my shell.

Enjoy the rain! Wish I could send you some of ours. :)

Erin Taylor Young said...

Kathryn B, Nice to meet you here virtually, anyway. : ) I plan to be at the OCW conference next year, so perhaps we'll meet in person!

You're right about Karen. She's a delight! And her kindness and authenticity truly do put people at ease.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Y'all seem to be having some kind of a shared rainstorm. Surely Oklahoma can't be the only place where it's sunny today?

Laura Conner Kestner said...

I really appreciate the opportunity to read this blog post - I needed it today! I've written for newspapers for years but I'm new to fiction, and have found myself writing from "the deep" often over the past year. When I typed the final words (I thought) of my book a few weeks ago and shot off my first query letter, I discovered that "rewriting" would have some similar "deep" moments. The (very sweet) agent made some recommendations based on the first few pages submitted with the query, including less "choppy" sentences and not beginning my character's story with a journey. But some of these changes did not come easily and as I struggled with the rewrite I truly wondered if I'd "heard God wrong...or at all." Again, thank you for this post, it's just what I needed.

BTW, I'm also new to Seekerville, and I love, love, love it, already! Thank you Seekerville hosts for this valuable resource.

Lyndee H said...

HI Karen and Erin. These are great things to remember. I have really benefited from the kindness and advice of other writers. It's interesting how God tends to give me those opportunities when I need it most.

Recently, I was stuck and in His wisdom, I won a chat with Seekerville's own MISSY TIPPENS. (WAVING TO MISSY). She faithfully wrote me several times, making sure I had new ideas and this gave me a chance to work out my problem. I have put some of her suggestions into action and it's really lifted a weight off my shoulders. What a blessing!

Karen Ball said...

Thanks so much, Marianne. I love that people pray for authors.

Karen Ball said...

Ooooo, pumpkin bread! I'll take mine with butter.

Karen Ball said...

Glynna, I so respect authors who write early in the morning. I can't do it until I've have my dose of VERY strong caffeine. Praying your writing time was a joy.

Karen Ball said...

Toasting you back with a beautifully foamed vanilla latte!

Karen Ball said...

Thanks, Jackie. Know we're here for you.

Karen Ball said...

Vince, I've written a reply twice now and it hasn't posted. Dontcha love the Internet??

I'm working on a couple of new novels, and Erin and I contributed to a great writing book that just released: Vince, I've written a reply twice now and it hasn't posted. Dontcha love the Internet??

I'm working on a couple of new novels, and Erin and I contributed to a great writing book that just released--Writing Success: You Book from Start to Finish to Publication


Karen Ball said...

Jeanne, you're so welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

Karen Ball said...

Awww, you all are making me blush. Thanks!

Karen Ball said...

Just be sure to let us know if there's any thing we need to add.

Karen Ball said...

Amen. It's so easy to feel alone in this task. What do you do to remind yourself that's not the case?

Karen Ball said...

Hey, I jog. In the middle of the night. Several times. From the bed to the "necessary room." Anyone over 50, you KNOW what I mean.

Karen Ball said...

Meghan, what would you put in it?

Karen Ball said...

So grateful to be here, Jill!

Karen Ball said...

Kathryn, you'll love Erin when you meet her. She's a genuinely NICE person. And smart as they come.

Karen Ball said...

No rain here, but Oregon is overcast. Typical fall weather.

Which kind of weather do you like best for writing?

Karen Ball said...

Such a joy to know we've been a help!

Karen Ball said...

There's just something wonderful about brainstorming with other writers.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Laura, oh the deep places of rewriting. I think we've all been there--you're not alone! We sink into the deep until it feels like we're battered and bloody. And then we realize we're not even halfway there. We must go deeper yet. But the deeper we go, the better the treasure.

Vince said...

Hi Karen:

I went right to Amazon to buy, “Writing Success: Your Book from Start to Finish to Publication”, only to find I bought it in October after James Scott Bell mentioned it. I can tell you this, it’s a book Seekerville writers will love.

Actually, I have not had a problem with 'the deep' over a life time. I’ve always been into Unity type positive affirmations. However, my biggest problem has been being dragged into 'the deep' by those who seem to live there and who seek 'deep-enablers'.

How do you balance the desire to help others with the danger of having others pull you into 'the deep' with them?

Vince

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Karen! You're on the list of people I admire for your transparency and fun filled spirit. The desire to help writers when they're in the deep is a great fit for you. Thanks for the terrific tips in this post!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Erin, thanks for your heart to help writers in the deep!

I'm impressed you can run with fibro. I breathe in God when I'm outside in His beautiful creation. Lately that's walking along a River Greenway with fall leaves crunching underfoot and the sparkling reflection of the lowering sun on the water. I also breathe in His presence during our time together in the morning.

Janet

Jan Drexler said...

Oh, Karen and Erin, thank you for great blog!

And I love your website. It's a great resource. I'm signing up for the newsletter as soon as I finish this comment :)

Janet Dean said...

Karen, I'm still able to walk to the Necessary Room. I'm calling that a victory. ;-)

Janet

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I have brought the M&M cookies as promised!

Everything is better with homemade cookies.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

About feeling alone... That's exactly why we started our Seekers group to pray one another into publication... and then that's exactly why we started the blog "Seekerville" because this can be a very lonely business with a somewhat severe line of division: Published and unpublished.

We work to erase that line.

This way we have each other and all of the villagers and we can brainstorm, chat, commiserate, laugh, cry, pray, and help others get published.

This is our payback for God's amazing grace to us! Who'd have thought we'd all make it over that great divide, ten years ago?

But we did and we love, love, love helping others do the same thing. So that makes it not lonely, I hope!!!

Anyone who gets lonely, call me.

We'll talk!!!!

CatMom said...

Thanks for this powerful post today, Karen and Erin. Sounds like the Lord is using you to minister to a LOT of us. :)
I remember sitting next to you both at a dinner table at ACFW a couple of years ago. You both were quite entertaining! ;)
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Karen Ball said...

How cool that you already bought it.

As for finding that balance, it's hard to do. We believers are so focused on helping others. But I've learned that I only get involved like that if God makes it clear I'm to do so. How do I know that? I submit any possible involvement to Him in prayer, and to a group of advisors who will pray for God's direction and tell me what God makes clear to them. This way I know without doubt that I'm supposed to be involved.


Without that holy "Amen", I don't move forward.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Janet, it's truly a blessing to reach out to writers in the deep. God always meets us there and nourishes our spirit as only He can.

About running with fibro--what I do is better labeled a jog. A slow jog. : ) Except the day I crossed paths with a skunk. That turned into a bona fide run...

I love your description of breathing in God on the river greenway: "fall leaves crunching underfoot and the sparkling reflection of the lowering sun on the water." It makes me think of this verse: "They who dwell at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy." Psalm 65:8

Karen Ball said...

Janet, thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated.

Karen Ball said...

Yay! So happy to share wisdom from the deep with you.

Karen Ball said...

Amen, sister!

Karen Ball said...

Wonderful insights!

Karen Ball said...

We have a lot of fun together. Delighted that entertains others.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Ruth, to your comment, "Everything is better with homemade cookies," I say YES!! Anyone who can make good homemade cookies (or good homemade anything, for that matter) is my hero!

Missy Tippens said...

Laura K, I'm so very glad you found us!! Please don't feel alone on the journey. You'll find out we've all been in that same boat.

Welcome! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Lyndee, I was so glad to be able to help! God has perfect timing, doesn't He? :)

Erin Taylor Young said...

Jan, thanks for the encouragement! I'm glad the website is helpful! The newsletter will help keep us in touch, and don't forget to download your free audio--5 Crucial Ways to Safeguard Your Writer's Heart in the Deep. : )

Dawn Ford said...

Thank you ladies for bringing this darkness to light! I've slogged through this place several times in the past eight years, ever since I decided I was going to take this writing thing seriously. The worse was when my mother died. I had been writing and missed going over to see her. The guilt was almost overwhelming. The devil was working overtime on me then. It took a while, but I got through it, slowly and surely. I am now back to being able to write and use that emotion to deepen my character's lives.

Karen, I want to thank you personally for helping me (years ago during a conference) figure out what voice was. No one can really explain that elusive being, but you were able to help me to understand what it was. I get it now. And I'm so thankful for you and your heart for teaching.

Missy Tippens said...

LOL on the jogging, Karen!!

Missy Tippens said...

Janet, your description was so lovely I feel as if I've been on a wonderful fall walk along the river! Thank you! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Ruthy, you're so right about why we formed our group and our blog. It's been a blessing!

YUM on the M&M cookies!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Dawn, thank you for your transparency when you wrote about your mother and that "The guilt was almost overwhelming. The devil was working overtime on me then. It took a while, but I got through it, slowly and surely."

Oh, how our enemy wants us to despair! How he hates us. Yes, HATES. But what I love about your testimony is that the enemy didn't win. He never can. Not truly, because the end of the story is that God already DID win. And in Christ, so have we.

Missy Tippens said...

Jan and Patti Jo, thanks for stopping by!

Janet Dean said...

Erin, thanks for supplying the perfect Scripture. Nature is a signpost toward God, yet too many miss it.

Janet

Myra Johnson said...

I subscribed to your newsletter, Erin & Karen, and have already listened to the podcast--very inspiring! Got it saved to iTunes along with all your other podcasts and look forward to even more encouragement and inspiration! Thanks again so much for sharing this ministry with us today!

Debby Giusti said...

Karen and Erin, I'm jumping in late because I was...well, In the Deep! Just sent my manuscript to my editor. Basically, I wrote non-stop for the last month. My body is hurting...back, arms, hands, but there's a smile on my face and a sense of accomplishment.

So your post was perfect as I crawl out of my writing hole and face the world again. Need to go back and reread, then catch up on all the comments.

Glad you could be with us today! I always feel your energy, Karen, and your enthusiasm. Heck, let's just call it passion. I'm seeing that in this blog post today.

Congrats on all your success!

I've brought Dove Chocolate to celebrate meeting my deadline. Enjoy!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Myra, thanks for subscribing! And here's a podcast scoop for y'all: Part 3 of How to Find Your Catalyst in the Deep will be posted later this week, and coming after that, the wonderful Angela Hunt will visit with us and talk about rejection. I bet we've all been in that deep place. : ) Then after that, we'll have the insightful Steve Laube talking about our lifeline in the deep. We're so honored that these folks have taken the time to share their wisdom with us!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Debby, woohooo! Celebrating your deadline success with you!

And yay for Dove Chocolate--one of my all-time favorites!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb Giusti, you are amazing!

And I'm with your and Erin on the Dove chocolate.

Mmmm...............

Missy Tippens said...

Dawn, thank you for sharing. I've felt something similar after the death of a friend. I'm glad you were able to turn that around and use that emotion for good.

Missy Tippens said...

Debby, I'm celebrating with you!! Maybe tomorrow you can splurge and go get a massage! Or at least maybe a pedicure. :)

Julie Jarnagin said...

Good stuff! Thank you Erin and Karen for doing what you're doing!

Missy Tippens said...

Julie J, thank for stopping by!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome Erin and Karen! Love it. and I like the 24 hour rule myself. Whine for 24 hours and then move on. It has done me well!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

We have been known to enforce the 24 hour rule here.

And by enforce, I mean... well, youse all know what I mean.

Whining is severely limited and never encouraged and barely tolerated, LOL!

We pull up our Big Girl Panties and move on.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Thanks for visiting, Julie J!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Tina and Ruth, I love your 24 hour rule!

Terri said...

Erin and Karen - I appreciate this post. I often wonder if I'm just beating my head against the wall.

And the 24 hour rule, well my mom always said it was fine to get on the pity pot as long as you didn't stay there too long.

Pam Hillman said...

Chiming in late. I read in my local paper that our library was celebrating NaNoWrMo this month and since I'm on deadline, I figured I'd rush out the door to the library and write with friends. It was a great day. Met the new librarian and met a new friend named Sharon and we all wrote for about 2 hours. I promised I'd be back next Monday and we hope to have more join us. :)

I do like the idea of preparing for the deep because we know it's coming. It's like preparing a rainy day fund. We're not always going to be flush with cash, a good job, good health, or even fresh and chipper with ideas flowing from our fingertips.

I need to do more to prepare my emergency kit for "the deep"!

Missy Tippens said...

Tina and Ruthy are the queens of pushing up past the "pity pot" as Terri's mother says! :) I love that, Terri.

Missy Tippens said...

Pam, that sounds like such a fun day! What fun to write with a group in person like that. :) I'll have to remember that for future library events to mention locally.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Terri, you crack me up!

Vince said...

Hi Missy:

To answer your question, I like to use DPOV much like Mary does.

Given its sever limitations, I think DPOV is best used in an ideal context for about one to two pages and then have it blend back into a normal POV. This is what Mary seems to do when I find DPOV in her writing and it seems like the most natural and enjoyable use of DPOV that I’ve found in my reading.

I’m going to go more into this with my answer to Ruth so you might want to check that comment when I can get to it.

Vince

Wilani Wahl said...

Thank you I needed this today. I am still a beginning writer. I have faced a lot of opposition especially from family so I don't talk at home about writing. I just keep writing and keep studying how to write. One goal I have is to get some things written so I have something to enter in contests next year.

I have been riding on a high that I knew was too good to last. I started my second novel for nano on Nov. 1 at this point it is over 27,000 words so I am way ahead of schedule. Then a family member walks into my apartment this evening and has a fit because I am not doing what they think I should be doing. I refuse to let this spoil the joy in my heart and guess what, I am not going to quit writing or reading. My joy doesn't come from people, It comes from the Lord.

Tonight at 9:00 I will be participating in a virtual write in. I have never done that before.

Sharon Srock said...

Great article. I find myself listening to the wrong "still small voice" to many times. Did I hear God wrong, or at all? Yep, so right there!!!

Erin Taylor Young said...

Pam, gotta love libraries! Very cool that y'all had a NaNoWrMo thing! Have a homemade M&M cookie and some Dove chocolate to celebrate! : )

I love what you said, "I do like the idea of preparing for the deep because we know it's coming. It's like preparing a rainy day fund." That's a great comparison because it implies a long-term approach. You don't save up that rainy day fund all in one day. Neither can you best prepare for the deep that way. It's a commitment that takes perseverance and persistence. But the nice thing is, it's okay if we just take small steps--bit by bit, we can get there.

Erin Taylor Young said...

Wilani, you have it exactly right--our joy comes from the Lord. If God has given you this task of writing, then your obedience is a joy to God as well. Your situation makes me think of Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Erin Taylor Young said...

Sharon, I hear you! I sometimes think we're most prone to confusion about that still small voice when things go entirely differently from what we expect. In those times, I think one of the best things we can do is go back to the things we DO know. Chances are there's a marker there somewhere--a point where we KNOW we heard right, and that becomes a little circle of light around us. Then we pray, and wait for God to light the next little bit of the path for us. And we follow. And then we pray...and wait...and follow...and repeat... : )

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, I"ll watch for that additional answer to Ruthy. And I'll also check out what Mary does! I don't think I ever studied it that closely.

Missy Tippens said...

Wilani, I'm so sorry that happened. And I'm glad you didn't let it steal your joy! Hang in there.

Missy Tippens said...

Sharon, I'm glad you dropped by!

Tanya Agler said...

Karen, thank you for the encouragement. Yes, sometimes it is easy to look around and think everyone else is having it so much easier, but thank you for the reinforcement and ways to look beyond that.

Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

I think DPOV is the most narrow, flat and restrictive of all the POVs – except perhaps trying to write a whole book in second person POV.

In DPOV the reader is limited to getting what the POV character in the scene can directly think and experience thru the senses. This is very restricting. I believe all the 100% DPOV books I’ve read up to this point had to start with a non-DPOV prologue as it would be incredibly difficult to set up the framework for a story that would make sense to a reader in reasonable time when in 100% POV.

This is because of the big myth regarding DPOV. The belief is that DPOV is the most immediate and direct method of eliminating the narrator and thus giving the reader the same experience of reality that the POV character is experiencing. This idea is very wrong.

Consider this example: if you tapped into the mind of a random person walking down the street and only had access to that person’s immediate sensory experience plus their raw thoughts, your experience would in no way be like that person's walking down the street.

The actual person has access to all their memories and past experience. A given slight pain could mirror the onset of a past heart attack. The reader inside the character’s head would have no idea such a slight pain could have such a major impact on the actual character. Indeed, the slight pain would seem meaningless to the reader.

Also, most thoughts a person has when they are thinking would make little sense unless placed in the context of the person’s past life.

For example: the simple thought ‘James River’ could remind the POV character of a past approach he used to face a major conflict. The POV character knows this 'short-hand' thought reminds him of how he intends to argue with his boss. The reader however has no idea what 'James River' means to the POV character -- without being told this by the narrator. (A no-no in DPOV.)

As such, the reality that a reader has when tapping into the POV character’s mind is not even 1% of what the POV character is actually having. This is why an all DPOV book seems to have to start with a non-DPOV prologue. It is also why I like DPOV to be one to two pages long and used in emergency situations where past history pays little part in what the reader is directly experiencing.

As I told Missy, the above is how I believe Mary uses DPOV and it is how I think DPOV is best used. A whole book in DPOV makes the reader work twice as hard just to figure out what is going on in the narrative.

I truly believe this is written in very plain language. I hope you find it so. It is a deep subject that I feel is little understood.

Vince

Vince said...

Hi Missy:

I’ve just posted my answer to Ruth. However, Mary gave a very good example of how she wrote some DPOV in one of her books. I feel that DPOV was the best I’ve read so far. I wonder if Mary could tell you in which post that was.

Vince

Deanne Patterson said...

Congrats on your deadline and hey Dove chocolate is the absolute best !

Erin Taylor Young said...

Missy, I just want to say thanks again to you, the Seekerville gals, and to all your wonderful readers. You've been delightful hostesses and truly made us feel at home. I pray God's blessings on you as you continue in Christ, encouraging one another, and spurring each other on toward love and good deeds. (And good writing!) : )

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Tanya! I'm glad you stopped by.

Vince, that's an interesting perspective! I'll have to think on it. My first thought is that in deep pov the reader would have access to all that character's thoughts and memories. Of course, thinking of those memories could end up feeling like telling, I guess. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Deanne, I, too, love Dove chocolate. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Erin, we enjoyed having you and Karen! Thanks for spending the day with us.

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, WOW, did I miss a good blog today!! I am SO sorry I'm late, but JUST finished a deadline, and now I'm ready to soak up all this timely wisdom from Erin and Karen. I'm thinkin' this is a printer-offer that one could almost absorb over and over, which is what I intend to do.

Thanks SO much, ERIN AND KAREN, for such an inspirational post -- I realllly needed it right about now!!

Hugs,
Julie

Edwina said...

Karen and Erin,

Thanks so much for an amazing post. I agree with Julie - this one gets printed and goes in my inspirational file!

Going to check out your website now!

Blessings,
Edwina

Christine said...

LOL, Karen, jogging 50 times a night to the necessary. Loved the discussion. When I am frazzled with the multiplicity of marketing back list, waiting for the editor to send me back the one she has been working on, arranging speaking engagements, doing the blasted social media (can I say blasted here) and trying to start the next book, I need to get out in the park, and just breathe in the air of God. Prayer Walks work for me. That and taking a break to spend time with my husband, or take my mother for coffee.

Mark Abel said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for your encouraging post. I agree we face an enemy who seeks to lie, kill and destroy that which the Lord has called us to write. Thinking about your message one might say we are Warriors with a sharp two edged pen! Yes we should expect a battle.

Just sent you a note at Writing from the Deep. Thanks again, Mark

Missy Tippens said...

Julie and Edwina, I'm glad to see you popped in today!

Christine, you're fine! :) I like the idea of a prayer walk. Thanks for stopping by!

Mark, I'm glad you dropped by as well.

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Thank you for the warm welcome, Missy Tippens!!

Karen Ball said...

Dawn, you're welcome. Thanks so much for letting me know.

Karen Ball said...

Congrats, Deb! Celebrating your victory with you.

Karen Ball said...

Terri, we all feel that way at some point. So grateful to know God is the one in control.