by DiAnn Mills
Are you in pursuit of a writer’s holy grail? A holy grail can be defined as a sought-after prize of great significance that brings happiness and accolades and can even provide special powers. It’s often termed elusive—just beyond reach but dangling, teasing, urging the person to keep moving forward.
A writer’s holy grail is different for each of us, and the vague definition makes it difficult for us to comprehend. The concept is personal. Sometimes we aren’t sure what the individual achievement is or how to attain it. Or if we’re supposed to pursue it.
Our quest begins by describing what the writer’s holy grail means to each of us. Examine the whole picture: professional, personal, physical, spiritual, and mental. Be honest with ourselves. A well-grounded writer understands that challenges promote change and growth in every aspect of our lives.
Do one or more of these seven items reflect our list of goals?
1. Publication by one of the Big Five publishers
2. NYT bestseller status
3. Receiving a distinguished award
4. Winning an incredible international contest
5. Movie contract with a large studio
6. Interviews on all the big TV networks
7. A six-figure advance
Are we doing all we can to make our holy grail a reality? Do we search for methods and study tips guaranteed to help us climb the rungs to a bestseller? Are we actively involved in establishing relationships through social media, not to sell books but to offer our experience and expertise? Are we participating in a writers’ group and helping other serious writers learn the craft? Do we attend workshops and conferences? All of these are solid practices. Are we raising the bar on our craft and growing as respected writers whose work can be trusted?
What if we’re doing all the things the experts claim will bring our desires on a golden platter, and nothing’s happening except discouragement? What could be a few reasons our quest hasn’t been realized?
• Writer expectations are too high
• Novel or book project is not a high concept
• Market is saturated by the same genre or topic
• No one knows about the book
• The quest is all about us
• We forgot to pray and give all the glory to Him
Perhaps the last point should be our first. . . .
Where does God fit into our plans?
Has he purposed our holy grail of writing? Has our crusade taken the place of God, who gave us our gift? Are we ignoring the guidance of respected professionals in the industry? These are tough questions to ask ourselves, and the answers require prayerful reflection. Read this paragraph first, then review the entire post top to bottom. Does the rest of the information make more sense when we establish God as our priority?
What does the holy grail of writing mean to you?
(Comment below for your chance to win a copy of DiAnn's latest release, Fatal Strike, courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers.)
As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.