Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Be a Fabulous Writer in Three (Not-So) Easy Steps

with guest Jan Drexler.


Whew! I just got back from ACFW Nashville and I’m pumped! Ready to hit the keyboard and get my work-in-progress done!
Jan Drexler & Mary Vee
But I didn’t feel the same way at my first conference – ACFW Dallas in 2012.

I remember browsing through the bookstore in Dallas, scanning titles published by Revell, Zondervan, Bethany House, Thomas Nelson…and wondering why in the world did I think my books belonged in their company?

I should just give up.

But I got over that funk in a hurry. I went to my hotel room, looked at myself in the mirror, and said: “I am a writer. I have talent. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be fabulous. And I’ll never give up.”

And I didn’t give up. My fifth book is being published by Revell next month, and there are four more in the pipeline. That means signed contracts, books in various stages of completion, and a lot of BICHOK (Bottom In Chair, Hands On Keyboard).

I’m here to tell YOU – don’t give up. You can be a fabulous writer in only three (not-so) easy steps:

First Step: Develop your talent


Do you have talent for writing? You must, or you wouldn’t be here. This innate talent is one thing that draws us to writing. 

But talent by itself isn’t enough. 

I’ve always loved writing and books, so when it was time to pick a major in college, I chose English With A Creative Writing Emphasis. Very important-sounding, isn’t it?

But there was one problem. I had never taken one step to develop my talent. All through high school and college I garnered honors, opportunities and good grades…but I still hadn’t applied myself to my writing. 

I didn’t understand that I needed to develop my raw talent. Raw talent by itself is full of potential, like an egg in a nest. But undeveloped talent? Just think about what happens if something knocks that egg onto the ground before it’s ready to hatch.

Not a pretty picture, is it?

So how do you develop your talent?

1) Be a sponge. Soak up everything you can. Hang around experienced writers (aka Seekers!) and others who are learning just like you are (aka Seekervillagers!). At the beginning it seems like you know nothing, doesn’t it? And the more you learn the more you realize how vast this pool of information is that you’ve just dipped your toe into. I know that in my first months of visiting Seekerville I felt like I was drowning in details! It was definitely a steep learning curve.


But the key point here is that I did learn…and so will you.  

2) Seek out new avenues to learn your craft. One of the best ones I found (after Seekerville, of course!) is the series of monthly on-line courses that are included in the ACFW membership. What I learned from those courses made the cost of the membership seem like nothing!
Click on this image to see the courses up close and personal and clear.

Another great way to learn is to read craft books. I know all of the Seekers have their favorites. A couple of mine are “The Breakout Novelist” by Donald Maass, and “The Moral Premise” by Stanley Williams.


3) And most important: READ!

Reading is necessary to develop your writing talent. 

Someone told me years ago that in order to write well, you need to read well. 



What does that mean? It means that you read voraciously, constantly, widely, and deeply. You read inside your genre and outside your genre. You read classical literature, popular best-sellers, fiction, and non-fiction. You read authors you adore and authors you hate (although not quite as often). 

You learn by reading. You learn about the human condition, about God, about life. You learn how author A writes a descriptive paragraph, and you learn how author B writes scintillating dialogue. 

When an author’s writing grips your heart, you go back and read that passage again. You dissect it word by word to learn how that author connected so well with your feelings.

And when you’ve finished that book, you pick up the next one. You can never read too much!

Listen to Stephen King, not Albert Einstein. After all, which one of them is a fiction writer?


Second Step: Work hard

Writing isn’t easy. 

I know, I know. We’ve all seen these romantic images of the famous author dressed in a long, flowing white dress reclining in a hammock, thoughtfully nibbling at the end of her pen while birds sing sweetly over her head.

But that isn’t reality. Look around at your life. This is reality. And somewhere in your own reality, you need to make the time to BICHOK and write.



Why is writing so hard?

 Think of it this way -  there is no one right or wrong way to write. Every author has his or her own voice, own style, own quirks. You have your own story to tell, and no one can tell it for you. It comes from your heart and soul, not anyone else’s.

So how do you learn to tell your own story?


Write. Write whenever you can, wherever you can.


Write blog posts. The great thing about blog posts is that they are short, and you can experiment. What works? Complex sentences or simple ones? Dialogue or narration? Humor or pathos?


Write stories. Long or short, stories are where your writing really matures.


And whatever you do, write something every day. Staring at a blank paper never improves your writing. Neither does watching a television show or playing a game on Facebook. 


Writing primes the creative pump…so write!

Third Step: Persevere

 
Finally: Never give up. 


Writing is scary. Crazy scary.



What makes it so scary? 


At some point someone else will have to read what you wrote. 


That’s the core of it all, isn’t it? Your words in that document are drops of blood. Your blood. You have explored the darkest corners of your soul and placed each tender word into that story. 


It doesn’t matter if this is your first story or your fifteenth, when the moment comes to submit your work to a critique partner, a contest, or an editor, your finger hovers over the “enter” key, your throat fills and you hesitate as fear creeps in. 


But don’t stop there. Say a prayer and hit that button. 


If your manuscript comes winging back to you in cyber-space, don’t give up. Look at the feedback and learn from it. Make the changes you need to make and send it out again. Don’t let one rejection – or even ten rejections – stop you from seeing your story in print.

Now that we’ve covered all three steps, are you ready?


I have one more thing for you to do: 


Find a mirror. 


Look yourself in the eyes and repeat after me:

I am a writer.
I have talent.
I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be fabulous.
And I’ll never give up.


Are you ready? Which one of these steps is the hardest for you?


Leave a comment today to get your name in the coffee cup for a copy of Mattie's Pledge for one reader and for a 5-page critique for one writer. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.


Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of more than thirty years, where she enjoys hiking in the Hills and spending time with their four adult children and new son-in-law. 
Find her here:
Website: www.JanDrexler.com
Facebook
Twitter
And on Mondays at the Yankee-Belle Café 

 
 
Preorder here.

Mattie's Pledge

When she feels the pull of both home and the horizon, which will she choose?

Mattie Schrock is no stranger to uprooting her life. Even as her father relocated her family from one Amish community to the next, she always managed to find a footing in their new homes. Now as the Schrock family plans to move west from Somerset County to a fledgling Amish settlement in Indiana, she looks forward to connecting with old friends who will be joining them from another Pennsylvania community—friends like Jacob Yoder, who has always held a special place in her heart.


Since Mattie last saw Jacob, they’ve both grown into different people with different dreams. Jacob yearns to settle down, but Mattie can’t help but dream of what may lie over the western horizon. When a handsome Englisher tempts her to leave the Amish behind to search for adventure in the West, will her pledge to Jacob be the anchor that holds her secure?


Tender, poignant, and gentle, Mattie’s Pledge offers you a glimpse into Amish life in the 1840s—and into the yearning heart of a character you’ll not soon forget.

133 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Jan, I am anxious to read what new insights to the Amish you have written in this new novel. Thanks for the insights to your journey of becoming a writer, and your encouragement. As a reader, I love to hear what you have!

Terri said...

Wow Jan, this is a pump your fist get moving post! Perfect timing as I'm working on edits.

The hardest part for me depends on what phase of the writing process I'm in. Rejection- well it's hard to persevere. Tired from being at work all day - then coming home and working on my book.

Please put my name in the hat for a five page critique. I love those!

Trixi said...

Hi Jan! It was so fabulous to see all the pictures from the ACFW conference, and a few with you in them :-) Looks like a great event to help stir up those creative juices and get feedback, story ideas, or be able to shop talk with other writers!

I'm not a writer, but am an avid reader. I think your 3 steps can be applied to many areas of life. I think the hardest one for me is perseverance! I can go on so long at something and if I don't see improvement or progress I tend to start feeling wore out and discouraged. Then I start to lose interest, like a tire deflating. Eventually, I give up. Not a good thing sometimes, right? But what I'm learning from it, is to put it in God's hands and see where He's going with it. Giving up control sometimes is hard for me, especially when it comes to things I really want. I eventually accept that it wasn't something God wanted for me, so He has something else :-) I just have to rest in the fact that He has my best interest for my life. And yes, sometimes He says "keep on keeping on" or "having done all, to stand". That's the toughie! To do nothing when I want to do SOMETHING is hard. He always provides the peace though, one that passes all human understanding.

Okay, I said all that to say there is room for improvement on the perseverance front. I just got off on a bunch of rabbit trails...haha!

Please add my name in the coffee cup for Mattie's Pledge. I don't believe I have read any book by you, but it's never too late to start, right? :-)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Marianne!

You're the first commenter tonight!

I'm glad you were inspired by the post, and I hope you feel encouraged to read even more!

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Terri!

Does the fact that you're working on edits mean that you've written "the end"? I hope so! And congratulations!

Rejection is tough. One good thing about working with an agent is that she's the one who gets the rejections now. She softens the blow with phrases like "they don't have room in their schedule" or "they aren't looking for Amish stories right now," but they're still rejections.

The series that Mattie's Pledge is part of was rejected so many times that I lost count, but all of that faded away when I signed the contract! Rejections are just the bumps in the road on your way to finding the perfect publisher. :)

Thanks for stopping by, and your name is in the coffee cup!

Jan Drexler said...

Trixi, you said it!

One of your rabbit trails was: "But what I'm learning from it, is to put it in God's hands and see where He's going with it. Giving up control sometimes is hard for me, especially when it comes to things I really want. I eventually accept that it wasn't something God wanted for me, so He has something else :-) I just have to rest in the fact that He has my best interest for my life."

So true!

The older I get, the easier it is to step back and let God do what He will without too much of a fight. :) Resting in His timing keeps me sane!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Jan! Welcome back to Seekerville. Sorry to have missed conference this year.

Terrific post. Especially with so many new writers in Seekerville.

I have a quote on my computer to remind me that I need to unclench my fist and let God in.

"A mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control."

Planning is good, as long as you talk to THE PLANNER. ha!

Jan Drexler said...

Thank you for inviting me, Tina!

I love that quote - I'm putting it in my journal right now! Yes, my planning journal. So appropriate, isn't it?

We missed you at conference, but understand your absence. Another year, though!

Iola Goulton said...

BICHOK. I love it!

Thanks for the encouraging post.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Hi Jan! Congratulations on the publication of your fifth book...that's awesome.
This post is full of great advice and encouragement for both the newbie writer and the seasoned.
What I struggle with the most is time. I've found if I stay off-line my word count is much higher and requires less editing. The internet is a great tool for writers, but it can also be a major time suck for people like myself who is easily distracted.
Thanks for visiting!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

This is why we love each other! Because we agree on the basics of how to do this... and it starts with that perseverance to write, write, write... and to develop the craft even though that can be so stinkin' painful sometimes because what we think is wonderful initially... might prove to be kind of bad in reality!

So we grow, and you explained it so well here, my friend!

I got to room with Drex in Nashville.

She is an amazingly wonderful friend and roommate and we had so much fun! I hated to leave, but now I'm looking forward to the coming year of joy and challenge and then I get to see Jan AGAIN!

YES! Happy dancing!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Terri, I get rejections so often that it's part of the norm.

I am not kidding. I don't make this up. I just keep writing, knowing someone might love it someday, somewhere.

Then I revise. I resubmit. I look (well, now Natasha looks) elsewhere.

Like Jan said, the rejections are a part of the biz. I don't focus on them, and I just saw a great facebook meme about refocusing ourselves on the joys of life, not the sorrows... and it spoke to me about people and social media.

We can get so dog-gone fired up about little things that really don't matter... and forget the monster-sized list of good things surrounding us! Humans are the silliest of creatures, aren't they?

So you grab hold of the joy of gainful employment (I've been working full time all summer, so my heart hears yours!) and the steadiness of improvement... And remember Einstein's wisdom in this particular case: Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I love how science equates with writing fiction. :)

But I love that Stephen King champions aspiring authors like we do!

Go get 'em, Terri. It's always hardest when you're THIS close!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I brought coffee!!! And maple bars! Sweet, tender doughnuts covered in maple frosting... Oh, now there's a taste of fall gone wild!!!

Jessica Nelson said...

Wonderful post. I think the hardest part for me is "work hard". I'm someone who does a lot of things, and I do work hard to a certain extent...but I'm not a type A at all. And I think it's seriously affecting my career. Thanks for the motivation and all those awesome memes! Love them.

Connie Queen said...

Jan, this is so true!!!
And the hardest part is letting someone else read our writing. For me, add without getting in a defensive stance. I'm so bad defending my writing, at least mentally. LOL.

And Ruthy, I LOVE THIS! "We can get so dog-gone fired up about little things that really don't matter... and forget the monster-sized list of good things surrounding us! Humans are the silliest of creatures, aren't they?"

Cate Nolan said...

Oh gosh, everyone has already said so much of what I'm thinking as I read this.

First, this is a wonderful post, Jan. It's so full of succinct advice about the whole journey. And it's important to keep the big picture in mind when it's so easy to wallow in whatever stage we are in.


I'm with Jessica and Terri. For me the hardest part is the work work work after work work working at the day job. I'm not complaining because I feel so blessed to be able to work two jobs (3 if you include tutoring) that I love. But it is hard to find the energy to write after a day spent teaching 30 children.

I have been so blessed to have 2 months to focus just on writing, but now I have to divide my time again.

I was redoing my office this weekend and came across this motivation I wrote on a scrap of paper years ago. I have no idea where it came from originally. Now, though the paper is tattered and the ink has faded, I still feel empowered when I read it.

"She wrote what she loved til she loved what she wrote. And she sent it out one more time."

And that one more time can make all the difference, as we all know.

Happy Tuesday. I'm back to cleaning the mess in my classroom left by a summer of construction.

Rose said...

Hi Jan!

Waving to you from across the state.

I think I have to chime in with others about the work, work, work after working an 8 hour day. It's easier for me when I have a deadline. I am very disciplined then. However, I have found a good balance. I write during my lunch hour. I am lucky that I can eat at my desk while I do my 'day job' then head to the library (I work on a campus) to write for about 50 minutes. On a good day, I log 750 words...on a bad, about 400. BUT both helps get me to my daily 1000 words!

Great post.

Rhonda Starnes said...

Jan, thank you for this wonderful post. I gave it a quick read through as I'm getting ready to head out the door, but I'll be back later tonight to give it another one. It was so great meeting you at the conference and getting to hang out with you at the Donald Maass early bird session! I love hanging out with authors I admire. I always pray some of their wisdom and talent rubs off on me.

Janet Dean, the color of the day is red. :)

Waving to you all from Sweet Home Alabama!!

Carol McClurg said...

Jan - love, love, love reading anything and everything you write! You are such an amazing person! I'm so proud to be your cousin - moreover so proud to call you my friend. Love you!!

kaybee said...

TINA, I love the idea of "talking to the Planner" first. When I was in Campus Crusade for Christ (IN THE 70s) we used to say, "Plan your work, work your plan, but don't let your plan work YOU."
RUTHY, you are so right, when someone is "SO CLOSE" it is even harder. That's when we get rejected, not necessarily because of talent, but because our genre isn't selling, the line we wrote it for gets gobbled up by a corporation or dies on its own, they just published a similar theme, or we don't have enough platform. And at this point the maddening "This doesn't meet our needs at this time" just might be true. At this point it's seldom a lack of talent or ability, and certainly not of hard work. It just is.
I passed a point of no return when I became thankful for contest judging, even if I didn't win. When I began to look at the scores and comments as a chance to get better.
This is a good post, Jan, and so appropriate.
Kathy Bailey

J Baugh said...

Thank you for these wise words and inspiration! Please throw my name in for the critique. :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Ahhh, Jan. SUCH a great post. Your exhortation and suggestions are spot on. It's hard to move beyond our fears sometimes, but I love your idea of speaking truth to yourself in the mirror. :) Even that takes a little courage—to choose to believe the words. :) Doing the work . . . yep, I'm eager to get back at it after ACFW.

And, I loved that we both had our newbie ACFW experience in 2012. :) It's been so fun to watch you grow!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JAN! Encouraging, informative post! Seeing that list of on-line writing workshops, though, makes me wish I still had time to take some of them. I love learning and applying what I learn to my writing. Before I was published, the on-line courses were such a blessing to me, even if I just chose merely to "lurk." :) So I'd encourage writers starting out to make the most of them -- most are minimal cost. And sometimes if you're a member of an organization that sponsors the classes, you are granted access to the archives of the 'lectures.'

Richard Mabry said...

Jan, you've got it--the three steps that are require for writing success, and they're all important. Thanks for sharing.

Renee McBride said...

Oh, I love that, Jan! Rejections are just bumps in the road on my way to finding the perfect publisher. I needed to hear this today.

I've recently decided to move on after a couple rejections from Love Inspired. Actually, they invited me to revise and resubmit, but ultimately the reasons for the rejections convinced me that, even if I satisfied everything on the editor's punch list, my writing just doesn't fit the line.

I've come to the conclusion that this was not my perfect publisher, as I tend to write more plot-driven stories along with character journies that don't fit the line. It doesn't mean I can't write or that I don't have talent. It just means I have more work to do and more research to find the publisher that fits my writing style.

Thanks for your inspirational post this morning. I hope to meet you and all the Seekers next year at the ACFW conference.

Renee McBride said...

Oh, I love that, Jan! Rejections are just bumps in the road on my way to finding the perfect publisher. I needed to hear this today.

I've recently decided to move on after a couple rejections from Love Inspired. Actually, they invited me to revise and resubmit, but ultimately the reasons for the rejections convinced me that, even if I satisfied everything on the editor's punch list, my writing just doesn't fit the line.

I've come to the conclusion that this was not my perfect publisher, as I tend to write more plot-driven stories along with character journies that don't fit the line. It doesn't mean I can't write or that I don't have talent. It just means I have more work to do and more research to find the publisher that fits my writing style.

Thanks for your inspirational post this morning. I hope to meet you and all the Seekers next year at the ACFW conference.

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Wonderful post, JAN! So inspirational and encouraging - thank you! Congratulations on book number five!!

You said: Be a sponge. Soak up everything you can. Hang around experienced writers (aka Seekers!) and others who are learning just like you are (aka Seekervillagers!). At the beginning it seems like you know nothing, doesn’t it? And the more you learn the more you realize how vast this pool of information is that you’ve just dipped your toe into. I know that in my first months of visiting Seekerville I felt like I was drowning in details! It was definitely a steep learning curve." This is so true - I've learned more from Seekers and Villagers than I can even relate!

CATE, I love the quote you keep in your office: "She wrote what she loved til she loved what she wrote. And she sent it out one more time." I'm going to type that up and put it near my desk :-)


Myra Johnson said...

Loved this, Jan!

And may I say, I love-love-loved getting to spend time with you at ACFW!

Actually it's your fourth step that continues to be hardest for me--simply believing I can actually do this! Even with published books and awards and some pretty nice reviews to balance out the not-so-nice ones, sometimes I still have to step back and remind myself, "Yes! This is YOU--YOUR life, YOUR books! You're living out your childhood dream!"

Honestly, if not for step #3, persevering, it wouldn't have happened.

Jackie said...

Thanks so much for the inspiring pep talk! I even pinned a couple of your pictures on my inspirational board.

It was great seeing you at ACFW!

I'm with Myra in that step four is the hardest step. Although Myra, your stories are great! You are an author!

kaybee said...

I also love CATE'S comment, "she wrote what she loved till she loved what she wrote." That is so true.
KB

Myra Johnson said...

Thank you, JACKIE!!!! <3 <3 <3

kaybee said...

JAN, put my name in for the critique. Tks,
KB

kaybee said...

RENEE, what I'm doing right now doesn't fit Love Inspired either, my plots are too complex. I'm not ruling them out for the future, I would LOVE to be an LIH writer, but not with the stories I have right now.
Kathy B.

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

UGH--just lost my comment, so I will keep this one short & sweet. Great advice, much needed. Time to get my BICHOK & get busy! Please add me to your drawings. TY
Vicki

Jan Drexler said...

Good Morning, Seekerville!

Yes, I know some of you are on your third cup of coffee already, but it's still early out west and I have a couple dogs who are begging for their morning mile. I'm grabbing one of Ruthy's donuts and telling the dogs to wait for a few more minutes while we have a quick chat...

Jan Drexler said...

Hello Iola!

I'm not sure who came up with BICHOK, but I got from someone here on Seekerville. It is part of my life when there's a deadline...which (thankfully) is a constant right now!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Jill Weatherholt!

That staying off-line thing...some days that's awfully hard. When my characters seem to be leading me into something hard or emotional, I start thinking "I'll just take a quick break and let this idea simmer a bit."

And then I read something online and the idea is gone.

Writing takes a LOT of self-discipline, doesn't it?

Jan Drexler said...

Okay, did everyone read Ruthy's comment?

She said she loves me! Now when someone can say that after living together for three days, you know she's either a good liar, or it's true.

Hmmm. Ruthy does write great fiction, which is the next best thing to lying... :)

But seriously, Ruthy, I love you, too! We've always said we were kindred spirits and getting to know you in person proved that.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Jessica!

That "work hard." I'm not type A at all either. But when it comes to something I really want, I put my shoulder to the wheel.

My husband taught me that long ago. Our children were ages 2 to 12 and I was feeling overwhelmed. I was also arguing with God a lot, and that was the main contributor to my discontent and unhappiness. I knew what I wanted, but thought that I needed external changes to achieve my dreams.

And then my husband said if I wanted that thing in my life so much, then just do it instead of complaining about it.

I learned to change myself - starting with submitting to God instead of arguing with Him - and slowly God began to give me the desires of my heart, which by then had changed to fit in with His plans for my life.

So now when I work hard, I go to Him first. When He opens doors, I know I had better do the work involved to walk through them.

Kathryn Barker said...

Good Morning, Jan. Fabulous post! So happy you and Ruthy got to room together and still like one another! It's not easy sharing space with anyone!! LOL

You've summed up a writer's journey succinctly! Books have been penned with far more words...but none with better advice!! I'm especially thankful for the encouragement to persevere!

Please toss my name in the coffee cup...empty I hope! LOL

And maple bars sound just right this morning, Ruthy!

And one more cuppa tea before I'm ready to write...write...write!!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Connie Queen!

I went for years trembling at the thought of someone else reading my writing.

But at a writing conference in college (long ago - I'm old), someone famous read my pages. It was a critique group where the famous author critiqued the pages we had submitted in front of the group of about twelve other college students. I listened to him give constructive (but devastating) criticism to about six or seven of those other students, while my mouth grew drier and my hands shook. When he got to my paper he looked at it, then asked whose it was (something he hadn't done for anyone else). I admitted it was mine, thinking he was about to launch into the worst criticism ever, but all he said was, "This is good. Really, very good." Then he put it away and went on to the next paper.

Through the years since, that comment has bolstered my courage. That famous author said my writing was good, so at least someone thought I had talent! As raw and undeveloped as it was. :)

When I started writing again a few years ago, I started a folder on my computer called "things to read when the going gets tough." I copied and pasted every single positive thing someone said about my writing. I gleaned them from comments on Seekerville, people who had critiqued my work, contest judges...every positive word.

Whenever I get nervous about someone reading what I write, I go through that folder. It makes me smile, and I hit send. :)

Jan Drexler said...

Good morning, Cate!

I have so much admiration for you and all the others who work full-time jobs and still write! I can't imagine having the mental energy to write after a day of work, let alone the physical energy!

But I know - you do what you need to do, and you work as hard as you need to work.

And I love, love, love that quote! "She loved what she loved 'til she loved what she wrote. And she sent it out one more time." Perseverance. :)

Jan Drexler said...

My poor dogs want to get their walk in before it rains...I'll be back in a bit!

Wilani Wahl said...

Great post. I love to write, but often wonder if I will ever be good enough to be published. Yet I can see a vast improvement from when I first started writing. I keep writing and learning the craft. No giving up for me allowed.

Please put me in the drawing for a critique.

Janette Foreman said...

Hi, Jan! Great advice! I struggle with each of these, depending on the stage of writing I'm in. If I get wrapped up in writing, I forget to read. If I hit a road block in my goals, it takes me a while sometimes to choose a new route. :) It just depends. But you're right; if you want publication badly enough, you must continue to push forward. Thanks for the encouragement!

Cynthia Herron said...

Jan--LOVED this! Which is hardest??? ALL of them! They're all hard. BUT...as Ted Dekker said in his awesome ACFW keynote, "as you witness the light, you are transformed by the story." I think that's what makes me press forward--the belief that I have stories to share and stories that will transform/heal others. THAT's worth the "hard" and worth the work.

Fabulous post!

Mary Vee said...

Jan,
I was beyond tickled pink to meet you in 3D. I wished I would have brought some Lindt to share with you. :)
How cool is it that you have published so many books? What an inspiration. Truly Never Give Up is key.
Thanks for another fabulous Seekerville post.
Love
Mary Vee
A Writer's Alley Cat

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jan, right? It worked perfectly!!!

And I could be lying, but I'm not. This time. :)

You walk the dogs, I'm going to go paint Pumpkin signs. I got my writing done early, I'm getting back on my East Coast schedule (YAY!!!) but I've never had a better time at a conference/book signing/event.

PERFECTLY MARVELOUS.

And Patti Jo's peaches... a touch of Georgia heaven!!!!!

SMILING!

Jan Drexler said...

The dogs are happy, I'm happy, and we almost beat the rain. We were warding off a few sprinkles in the last block before home!

Nicky Chapelway said...

I am a writer, I have talent, I'm willing to do whatever... Oh, sorry, just got carried away.

Okay so, to answer you question. Which step is the hardest for me? Hmmm... Well certainly not the one that involves reading. I love to analyze the books that I read, figure out what I liked best about them, and see what I would do differently with the parts that I didn't like. The perseverance part was probably that hardest also I'm terrible with the whole BICHOK thing.

I totally get what you're saying about being nervous about people reading your books. Just recently I signed my book up for a blog tour. People are going to read my book! Then they are going to review it! What if no one likes it?! Ahhh!!! It's my first book and I know it's not perfect and just thinking about it getting a glaring one star review is enough to send me running for cover.

Please enter my name for the critique.

Jan Drexler said...

Rose!

Waving back at you across those miles and miles of miles and miles! (Don't you love South Dakota?)

I started writing a year or two before my youngest boys graduated from our homeschool, and I had that same kind of goal. 750 words in the morning before school started, and more later if the schedule allowed.

It is amazing what you can do in small chunks of time, isn't it? Now that I write full time, I have days when I struggle to meet that word count goal. (Especially today - trying to get back on track after conference is tough!)

Jan Drexler said...

Rhonda! Loved running into you at Conference!

You said: "I love hanging out with authors I admire. I always pray some of their wisdom and talent rubs off on me." Me, too!

Have a great day!

Connie Queen said...

Jan, that was a wonderful confidence booster!

Several years ago I went w/a friend to a writing class by Jodi Thomas. These people had paid to be in it, but I was just a visitor. Ever so sweet, Jodi asked me to read my opening aloud.

I get real nervous in front of people. My opening is sad, but I giggled several times as I read my most heart-breaking scene. Even though I felt extremely silly, Jodi still smiled and said she enjoyed it. Love her!

Jan Drexler said...

Hey, everybody, my awesome cousin Carol McClurg stopped by!

Hi, Carol! I'm giving you a big virtual hug right now. :)

And if you're looking for something to read, check out any of the authors who are hanging around today!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi, kaybee!

I hadn't thought about that before, but you're right. You said, "I passed a point of no return when I became thankful for contest judging, even if I didn't win. When I began to look at the scores and comments as a chance to get better."

That is a big turning point, isn't it? When you reach that place in your writing, you've started the learning process. :)

Thanks!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi J Baugh!

Your name is in the coffee mug!

And anyone who knows me knows that the coffee mug is clean and dry. It will always be clean and dry. My tea cup is another matter altogether!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Jeanne!

Everyone - Jeanne and I were roomies along with Val Comer and Melissa Jaegers in Dallas 2012.

I love watching your writing grow, too, Jeanne! Isn't it a great journey?

And yes. Stepping up to the mirror and facing that writer. Some us have her/him buried so deep inside that sometimes you have to look very closely to find her.

Debby Giusti said...

Jan, what a delightful post! So inspiring and motivational. Love your memes! They could be made into prints to hang in a writer's office...namely mine. Have you thought of producing them for sale? Each is so insightful!

Being with you at ACFW was a highlight for sure! You exude peace, which is something I try to hold onto...so being with you brought joy and calm to my spirit. Also loved our chats about the Amish way.

Your latest release is calling my name. Great conflict, and it sounds like a heartwarming romance that I WANT TO READ!!!

Hugs and love!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Glynna!

A good reminder about those course archives. ACFW does that - the archives for the online courses are available for members, and what a great resource! Just go to the course list (link in the post above) and look for the link there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jan Drexler said...

Dr. Richard Mabry!

Thank you! I learned those three steps right here at Seekerville. It certainly pays to listen to these wise ladies.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Renee!

You said, "I've recently decided to move on after a couple rejections from Love Inspired. Actually, they invited me to revise and resubmit, but ultimately the reasons for the rejections convinced me that, even if I satisfied everything on the editor's punch list, my writing just doesn't fit the line."

It's hard to make that decision, isn't it? But that's one thing I love about the business side of writing - we're in control. When we know something isn't a good fit, we can step back and go a different direction.

That doesn't make it any easier, though. Congratulations on knowing yourself and your writing and having the courage to follow your dream, not someone else's!

Meghan Carver said...

Good afternoon, Jan! It was wonderful to meet you in Nashville!

I wholeheartedly second your suggestion of writing blog posts to get some practice and keep writing. I was just encouraging a new writer at the conference to use her blog as a way to get in the habit of writing.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Laura Conner Kestner!

Hanging around these Seekers is great, isn't it? I love cheerleaders and fans, but most of those people don't know what it takes to work in the business. The Seekers and the other great authors who pop in and out of Seekerville are right in the trenches with us. :)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Myra!

I think we must have signed up for all of the same workshops, didn't we? It seemed like we were sitting next to each other in a lot of different rooms with different speakers!

It was so great to see you and chat as much as we wanted. I'm coming out of that post-conference fog and I'm suddenly missing all of you!

Yes. Step #4 is a biggie. We wear a lot of different hats, but when I take off the "mom" hat, the "wife" hat, the "Sunday School teacher" hat, and all the rest, there's this little one at the bottom that never comes off, and that's my "writer" hat. It affects all of my other roles, but sometimes it's hard to see it in the crowd. But when I do, then I know I can do this.

Jan Drexler said...

Jackie! I'm so glad we finally got to meet at conference!

Can you believe we lived so close to each other for five years and never met? I was even in your small (tiny) town almost every Tuesday night during those years!

But I wasn't writing back then, so we were traveling in separate circles.

And I agree with you about Myra. She IS an author!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Vicki Marney!

So glad you stopped by again, even after Blogger ate your first comment. I'm sure it was glowing with praise... ;)

Keep on writing! See you on Facebook!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Kathryn Barker!

Yes, Ruthy and I still like each other. But that isn't hard to do. There are some people who are exactly the same on-line and in person, and Ruthy is one of those.

Keep on writing, Kathryn! And your name is in the clean coffee mug!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Wilani!

You said, "Yet I can see a vast improvement from when I first started writing. I keep writing and learning the craft."

You have the secret formula - keep writing and learning. Sometimes I think I'm like Dory. You know, "just keep swimming," but that's a dead end. If you "just keep swimming," you just keep doing the same things over and over. But writing and learning, writing some more and learning some more...that will keep you moving forward to those contest wins and publishing contracts!

But only in God's way, and in God's timing. Resting in Him as we grow. :)

S. Trietsch said...

Welcome Jan and thank you for the kick in the pants!! I'm doing deeper research for my WIP and have rationalized that I should wait to continue writing until that's complete. I also entered a contest earlier this year and to my shock and horror I felt sick trying to hit the 'send' button! Letting someone look over your 'baby' is HARD!

Have a blessed day!

stephanie

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Janette Foreman!

You said, "I struggle with each of these, depending on the stage of writing I'm in. If I get wrapped up in writing, I forget to read. If I hit a road block in my goals, it takes me a while sometimes to choose a new route. :) It just depends."

It's so hard to keep things in balance when a deadline is pressing, or conference is right around the corner...or when one of the Seekers publishes a new book... :)

But I do the same thing - two steps forward in one area, then a giant leap in another. It depends on what is at the top of my list on any given day or week.

The key, though, is to continually press on, reaching toward that goal!

Speaking of that, we're taking a giant leap forward in making our new ACFW chapter work tonight! "See" you at our virtual meeting!

DebH said...

hi Jan
Awesome post today. Three simple, yet not so easy steps. I love how you broke everything down and made it sound doable. My biggest struggle right now is just getting the hind quarters down and write. Have a six, almost seven year old boy who covets "mommy time" since I work all day while daddy takes care of him (until school starts). Little man is going to start fall baseball this week and I'll have time to write while he's practicing - so I've got my trusty notebook and pencils in pouch ready to go. Hopefully my muse will come along for the ride.

Seekerville is awesome. I always learn a little something new here. Thanks so much for sharing!!! I really need to remember to go look in the mirror and tell myself I can do this. Always good to remind oneself.

Name in coffee mug for a critique please. So generous of you!!!!!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi, Cynthia Herron!

Ted Dekker had a LOT of great things to say, didn't he?

But the greatest was the one you brought up - God can transform lives through our writing.

He has given us this gift for a purpose, and that makes all of the hard work worth it!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Mary Vee!

It was so great to finally meet you in person!

And I finally found some Ghiradelli at the airport. Not Lindt, but close. :)

Isn't it cool that Tina chose the picture of us together for this blog post? Now everyone knows we actually DID meet. Even my husband, who tends to think that my on-line friends aren't real. ;)

Jan Drexler said...

Ruthy, Patty Jo's peaches were divine!

My dogs are happy. Have fun painting your signs!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Nicky Chapelway!

I had to run over to Amazon and check out your book...and it jumped into my cart...and is now waiting for me on my Kindle!

Like I needed to add anything to my TBR pile! But it sounds like a great book. :)

Where was I? Oh, yes...reading... You said, "I love to analyze the books that I read, figure out what I liked best about them, and see what I would do differently with the parts that I didn't like."

That is the best way to read! Analyzing, learning, picking the prose apart... you've got it!

Have fun on your blog tour!

Jan Drexler said...

Hello again, Connie Queen!

You said, "Several years ago I went w/a friend to a writing class by Jodi Thomas. These people had paid to be in it, but I was just a visitor. Ever so sweet, Jodi asked me to read my opening aloud.

I get real nervous in front of people. My opening is sad, but I giggled several times as I read my most heart-breaking scene. Even though I felt extremely silly, Jodi still smiled and said she enjoyed it. Love her!"

It sounds like she saw through your nerves to the writing itself. I'm sure she could identify with your giggles - after all, she was in your shoes at one time!

That thought keeps me sane - even my favorite authors get nervous sometimes. :) Maybe not Beverly Cleary, though. Now that she's reached 100 years old, maybe that kind of thing doesn't bother her anymore.

Maybe. :)

Laurie Wood said...

Hi Jan and fellow Seekers! Thank you for these worthy reminders that God's in control, even when we think we're too far behind or things come in to our lives that we can't control. Those three easy steps aren't always easy but we need to remember them. I loved your memes and also copied them to my current Pinterest inspiration board for my WIP. And I wrote down Tina's affirmation "a mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control. - talk to the PLANNER!" This is SO me right now. Thank you both for the reminder to persevere but look to God in the art and planning!

Jan Drexler said...

Debby Giusti, I always love chatting with you. Your warm personality makes me feel peaceful!

I hope you enjoy Mattie's Pledge. I love all of my characters, but I really resonated with Mattie. She's a bit snarky at times... And Jacob! He is so faithful through all of Mattie's stubbornness.

Thanks for the hugs!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Meghan Carver!

It was such a delight to look at the name tag next to me at conference and see that it was YOU! I loved meeting you and learning to know you a bit. The time was too short!

Thanks for passing on the secret knowledge of writing to the newer ones coming along. Isn't that just the most rewarding thing to do?

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Stephanie Trietsch!

You wrote, "I'm doing deeper research for my WIP and have rationalized that I should wait to continue writing until that's complete."

It is so easy for me to get caught up in research! I would rather research than write some days - it's so much easier!

I often research a future project while I'm writing my current project. Yesterday I started research for a book that might be seven books in the future. At this point, I research just enough to get an idea of the direction for the story so that I can come up with a proposal.

Then there's that deep research you spoke of...I love it! But I make myself write my 1K in the morning before I dig into those research books. It's one of my rewards!

And the research helps fuel the story ideas, so it's all good.

Yes, I did just say that I can be doing the research for two or more different projects at the same time...I told you I love research!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Deb H!

Writing at baseball practice...I know there are a lot of moms who do that! I used to brainstorm during Boy Scout meetings. :)

And you're right. Seekerville IS awesome. I brag on this blog as often as I can, and I always send new and aspiring writers here.

Have fun with your little guy!

Mary Connealy said...

Jan, I LOVE that 1 Timothy verse. I don't think I've ever read it with myself in mind before. THANK YOU!
I had such a good time hanging with you.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Laurie Wood!

You said, "I loved your memes and also copied them to my current Pinterest inspiration board for my WIP."

Thank you! I printed them out and laminated them. They're on a key chain clipped to my purse where they are a constant reminder. I'll have to Pin them, too.

Those memes are a compilation of advice I've been given. Good advice. :)

And I love your comment, "Thank you both for the reminder to persevere but look to God in the art and planning!"

Yes, persevere! But also resting in God's timing, God's way, and God's plan. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Mary Connealy said...

What a great and TRUE post, Jan.
And an encouragement. I'll never listen to Einstein again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Oh yeah, like I even know what he's ever said.)

Mary Connealy said...

I learned to write mostly by writing and reading great books. Not book on HOW to write but great fiction.

Keeping in mind it took me TEN YEARS to get a book published, I may not be the one to listen to!!!

But I remember reading a Mary Higgins Clark book, the first one, before I knew who she was, just some book I picked up.

I closed the cover and looked down at the author and thought, "How did she do that?"

I'd just been taken on a roller coaster ride. She grabbed me and dragged me through that story as surely as if she had her hand sunk into my shirt.

Amazing skill.

I credit Clive Cussler and Walter Farley for having an equal impact on me. Who are these guys? How did they do this to me? How did they drag me right into their book???

Jan Drexler said...

Mary!

So good to see you here! Your name and presence always bring a smile to my face! What a great time it was hanging out with you at conference. And so much fun to see your cowboy again.

One thing about the verse from 1 Timothy...I took it out of context, but it still applies. The gift we aren't supposed to neglect is the gift of salvation...the gospel being lived out in our lives. But it applies to our spiritual gifts, too. And writing - reaching people with the gospel through the parables we tell - is one of those gifts.

And you, my dear Mary, are in no danger of neglecting it!

And I only listen to Einstein when he's talking about physics. Never when he talks about reading. :)

Jan Drexler said...

Now you've done it, Mary. You've opened the door of favorite authors.

I'm with you - reading some of those authors is life-changing!

So I read to find out how they do what they do! Because I want my writing to have that same kind of impact on my readers.

Lucy Reynolds said...

So glad you didn't give up. Congratulations on believing in yourself and your talent.

Theresa Van Meter said...

Dear Jan,

I want to thank you for your wonderful article. For the past few days, I have clung to several past Seekerville posts, like they were my lifeline-my writing lifeline.

I feel encouraged and I am excited to be writing again.

I plan to cling to step 3 in your post: Persevere.

Also, I want to thank you for sharing the information about the ACFW on-line courses.

Jan Drexler said...

Thank you, Lucy! And thanks for stopping by. :)

Josee Telfer said...

The timing for this post is perfect, Jan!

I'm submitting my story to several contests this week. The excitement, joy and fear are palpable. It's exciting to KNOW you're doing that which God prepared you for.

You know how in your senior year, you're supposed to choose a quote for your yearbook photo? I chose one by Calvin Coolidge:
"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

I'd probably amend that with "By the grace of God."

Josee Telfer said...

Oh and please put me in for the drawing. Thank you

Jan Drexler said...

Josee, I love that quote! And I would amend it the same way..."by the grace of God."

Have fun with those contests! And the excitement and joy will see you through! But tell the fear to take a back seat. God's got your back. :)

Patricia Bond said...

Hi Jan, Hope you are enjoying this nice summer day. I really enjoy reading all your books and I am looking forward to reading Maddies pledge and all you future books, as God has given you a great talent to write the books that you do

Josee Telfer said...

Absolutely, Jan! There's no room for fear.

I found myself asking "Why would anyone publish my stuff?!"

Then chased that with "Why NOT me?"

I need to find a few writer friends so we can "pray each other into publication" like you all did!

Julie Lessman said...

JAN!!!! Gosh, it was SO good seeing you at ACFW and getting to know you a wee bit better, so reading this blog today was all the more fun!!

You asked: Which one of these steps is the hardest for you?

I would have to say step #2 -- Work hard. Not that I don't work hard, because I do, but it tends to be on the wrong things. For instance. This is Tuesday, and I arrived home late Sunday, but I have been so busy responding to emails and FB posts and trying to get my next indie book out that there has been no time to write. Now ... if I were Mary, Glynna, or Ruthy, I would have gotten up at 4:00 AM to get my writing in, but I don't think my hubby would like that, nor would I. But when I do have a deadline, I do get up at 5:30 or so to get the writing in, just not when other things are clogging the pipe.

But I have NO PROBLEM whatsoever with #1 -- developing your talent, because I have taken plenty of courses, read plenty of blogs, and have tried my hand at several different genres, PLUS I read about 6-8 books a month. :) And no problem with #3 -- persevere, and I have the 46 rejections on APMP to prove it. ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Sherida Stewart said...

Jan! I've brought extra chocolate for you! ABSOLUTELY great ...and needed...advice.

For me, the "working hard" is a problem. I seem to need uninterrupted, concentrated blocks of writing time, I'm working on the write anytime, write anywhere concept. I KNOW you're right.

I'm printing your "I am a writer." pledge! Perfect! Thank you and congratulations on another beautiful book!

Tina Radcliffe said...

You know, I've been an ACFW member since it started and I had NO idea they had online classes. So thank you very much for that.

What a great member bene.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hahahaha! I love that your husband has doubts about your online friends being real.

Can I blame him? We talk to ourselves and our imaginary friends all day, right?

Carrie said...

Jan, LOVED meeting you at CFRR & ACFW! Next time I'd love to spend more time getting to know you :) And Einstein - pfft. What does he know anyway? ;)

Chill N said...

A delightful post that feels like you're cheering me on! Thanks, Jan :-)

Nancy C

Shelli Littleton said...

Thank you so much for this encouragement.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Carrie!!!!!!!!!!!! I love seeing you here! I loved CFRR. My Bethany House marketing and publicity team and I had a long talk about how useful and different and special it was, and how you managed to pull it off.
We were impressed!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Jan I think I know how to do what they do. How to make you feel like you're in the middle of the book, living the book.

I don't know how often I achieve it but I try and sometimes when I'm revising, I can feel myself getting pulled in.

I love that and strive for it.

Crystal said...

My head is still mush while simultaneously exploding from all I learned at this conference. I am solidly in step one right now. But I am rolling up my sleeves, making a plan, reading writing craft books/blogs, taking novel classes, and praying all the way. Thanks for the great post today. Now back to reading.

Jan Drexler said...

Sorry for my long absence! I set my timer for a power nap, and then another one, and then...zzzzzz....

I'm still recovering from last week's wonderful conference! Or maybe I'm just recovering from Sunday's travel. Having your 10 pm plane delayed until 11 pm, and then arriving home long after midnight is a recipe for brain-dead non-functioning tiredness the next day.

Anyway, I'm back and awake!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Patricia!

We're having beautiful summer weather here in the Black Hills, but I'm ready for fall. :)

And thank you for your kind words about my books! I still feel like such a beginner sometimes, and I'm thrilled when a story turns out the way I wanted it to. I hope you enjoy Mattie's Pledge!

Jan Drexler said...

That's right, Josee! Why NOT you?

Keep persevering!

Jan Drexler said...

JULIE!!!

I know it's been a good conference when I get to spend time with Julie!!!

I hear you on the working hard on things other than the writing! There is so much to do...research, reading, marketing, thinking, living...sometimes that BICHOK time gets shoved aside. I try to write first thing during the school year, but in the summer I walk the dogs first, before the sun heats up the pavement. If I'm not careful I let other things follow that and suddenly it's almost lunchtime and I haven't touched my WIP.

But once school starts, the streets are busier before 7:00 (I hate fighting traffic when I'm walking) and the sun comes up later...much later...I let the dogs wait and I sit down at my computer with my first cup of tea. That really is my best productive writing time.

I have to say it again - it was SO GOOD to see you last week. :) Hugs back!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Great post, Jan. I'm so happy for your success. I treasure our time at ACFW Nashville and really tried to be a sponge this year. Keep inspiring us. :)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Sherida!

Thank you for the chocolate! Ruthy's donuts hit the spot this morning, but the mid-afternoon lag can only be helped with chocolate!

I do best with long, uninterrupted blocks of time, too. But one of the things about working hard is that you make things work within the reality of your life right now. Not "someday" or "next year," but now.

Have fun with your writing!

Jan Drexler said...

Tina, I was thinking I had heard about those classes here on Seekerville! They are great, though!

And my husband grudgingly admits that Mary Connealy is real. After all, he has met her in person. But he's quick to say that I could have hired someone to stand in Barnes & Noble in Sioux City and pretend to be Mary! ;)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Carrie!

It was great meeting you at CFRR, too! What a wonderful day that was. Loved it!

Jan Drexler said...

Nancy C, I AM cheering you on!

I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Shelli Littleton,

I'm glad you enjoyed the post! And the concepts can be applied to more than just writing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jan Drexler said...

Mary, you said, "I don't know how often I achieve it but I try and sometimes when I'm revising, I can feel myself getting pulled in."

You definitely achieve it. There are some authors whose books I can't read in the evening...because I'll be up all night. You're in that group. If I want to read a Mary Connealy book, I choose a long Sunday afternoon with no interruptions.... :)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Crystal!

You've got it. Roll up your sleeves, find the best of the best material out there, and learn the craft. The great thing about craft books and online classes is that we get to sit at the feet of the masters!

Plus, you have Seekerville! Every day another writing course! Isn't that great? :)

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Anita Mae!

It was so great to see you at conference and to meet your own personal cowboy!

We had a great time chatting, even though I did miss my airport shuttle...but no worries. Another one came by a few minutes later!

Boo Smelser said...

I don't know if I necessarily have a problem with any of those three points per say- I mean, I soak in everything, dissecting what I like and don't like in what I come across, but I haven't done anything particularly active in honing my craft recently (except this blog and constant writing and editing, of course). And I do the same when it comes to reading, though sometimes I spend more of my limited time on writing than I should on reading... And as for persevering, I'm doing that, but sometimes it's too easy to to forget that I'm actually persevering for a goal instead of just doing what I always do. Someday my other stories will join my first born (the Ninja and Hunter trilogy: The Time I Saved the Day, The Time I Saved a Damsel in Distress, and the Time I Saved the World) as published works. Someday.

I think.

Boo Smelser said...

Oh, please consider me for the critique.

Barbara Scott said...

Jan, I am so making a poster of your "I am a writer" quote...and then read it outloud every day. Thanks!

Barbara Scott said...

Jan, I am so making a poster of your "I am a writer" quote...and then read it outloud every day. Thanks!

Tanya Agler said...

Jan, thank you for this post. It was so fun meeting you and meeting so many other wonderful people this weekend.
Let's see what do I have trouble with the most? I guess mine would be persevering as sometimes I get discouraged, but then I go to conferences or programs and hear what everyone has to say and that motivates me to get back in the chair and go to it. Thanks for sharing your advice.

Renee McBride said...

I like to write complex plot-driven stories too.

Renee McBride said...

I never thought of it that way. Thanks. I'm smiling from ear to ear.

CatMom said...

Jan, I LOVED this post - - WOW!! Definitely one for my Keeper File, and I especially love your "I am a writer" quote - - thank you!!
It was sooo wonderful seeing you in Nashville, and I am very happy that your writing career is going so well. YAY JAN!! :)
Hugs (with a cyber peach, LOL), Patti Jo

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Inspiration at its best! Thanks, Jan!

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

Great encouragement here, Jan... As usual!

For me, I'll take door #2.
I work hard when I work, but LIFE seems to intervene.

Perhaps because I'm an only child, perhaps it's an excuse, but I write best in the quiet, no other beings except a dog nearby. This doesn't happen too often these days so I find myself carving out the time where I can.

Then being indie pubbed, trying to do everything else required to keep things going.

It's a balancing act for sure, but definitely God's timing.

Just when I wonder what in the world I'm doing, an email comes in, or a review, or another school visit scheduled and it keeps me going. After all, I'm not honestly doing this for myself, but trying to follow God's call - as it seems most everyone here is trying to do too.

What a blessing to be surrounded by so many who write with a Christian worldview. Gives me hope in these dark times!

Thanks for a great post. SO enjoyed seeing the ACFW photos and hearing some of the stories... :)

Much continued success to you, Jan. The BICHOK shows! Good work!

Jeanette Hill said...

Thank you for such an encouraging post-especially today when my negative persona is telling me, "It's not worth it. Be a great reader." Now back to BICHOK! Thanks!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jan So sorry I missed you yesterday. Looks like you had a wonderful and fruitful time. Thanks so much for posting with us in Seekerville. I loved your post. So inspiring and true. Blessings.

John Turney said...

Great article for all writers no matter wher we are in the journey,

Missy Tippens said...

Jan, I'm so sorry I missed your excellent, inspirational post yesterday!

Tina Radcliffe said...

John, thanks for stopping by Seekerville.