Encouragement for the writing journey with guest Jennifer Major
Megan here: Anyone who knows me or has read my blog knows I’m persistent when it comes to meeting my goal/dream of acquiring another publishing contract. I’ve set my goal, and I see no reason to abandon it.
Becoming a published author is not easy. It’s an uphill climb. You have to hone your craft, find an agent who believes in your work, and find an acquisitions editor to champion your book.
The frustrating part is that the entire process is subjective. As they say, you can be the juiciest, most delicious peach in the world, but not everyone likes peaches. That’s the way it is for writers.
And so I populate my blog with encouragement. As I state at the top of my blog: Offering hope and encouragement for life, writing, and living a thoughtful life. My posts are about writing, encouragement to keep writing (or chasing your goal/dream), and living a kind and thoughtful life.
In addition to articles on the craft of writing and dealing with the challenges of life, I’ve also devoted a lot of space on my blog to creatives who are still in the process of striving toward their goals. I’ve suggested tactics to overcome frustration while working toward your goals, advised that you rest rather than quit on your goals, I’ve offered tactics to deal with rejection, thoughts on how long to keep trying to meet your goal, steps to make your dream come true, advice if you want to be a writer, and other similar topics to keep encouraging everyone (and me!) to pursue their goal.
Today for another perspective, I’ve invited Jennifer Major to pop in and share her thoughts on enduring the publishing process.
My path has crossed with Jennifer's over the years, and today we’re both still striving toward a publishing career. Some of the things I admire about Jennifer are her sense of humor and her persistence.
Today she’s agreed to speak to us about keeping the dream alive while enduring the l-o-n-g wait in publishing:
Hello everyone, and thank you, Megan, for inviting me!
I’m happy to share a few things I’ve learned in the last few years on the road to Chapter One.
The first thing I learned is that no matter what I had planned, and all the various scenarios that I had in my head, nothing happened the way that I thought it should. In fact, none of the scenarios I imagined even came close to the glorious Technicolor movies I had in my head.
The amazing and highly connected Big Name Agent who asked for my work this past Fall? Ohh, I was SO excited, so flattered! He had some seriously famous clients.
Sadly, he passed away.
The validation that I sought early on from people who didn’t view me or my work very highly? Yeah no, it never came. And it never will. It’s best to move on from seeking approval from whence it shall never come.
The friends who started their writing journey after me, who are now on their third or fourth book? I must walk away from the envy, or it will wreck me from the heart on out.
The person who asks me “how’s that book going?” and I just want to spill my feelings and I’m churning inside because only 3894 people have already asked that same question? I just tell them the truth, which is that publishing is a waiting game.
What were the things that helped anchor me the most, that held me with titanium cords, woven deep into my purpose? That my story has meaning, value, and purpose. On the rare day that discouragement and frustration tipped me into despair, on even on the days it didn’t, I prayed for a nudge of encouragement to keep me going, and those nudges came like hugs from heaven, rekindling the hope and the drive to press onward.
Lately, things have been easier, because I’ve settled into the promises more deeply. Accepting that I am not the master of the ship, but merely the woman at the helm, has made a big difference. Knowing that God has a plan, and while I am not always privy to His mind, I am fully aware that I still have to write the words that He lays on my heart.
In essence, I pray, and I write.
The promise in Exodus 14:14 is rather interesting. He tells us to stand aside and let Him fight for us. Learning to stand aside when the battle is raging is HARD. But look at His words. He doesn’t tell us to leave the fight, but to stand aside.
We are not called to abandon the battle, or to forget our training, or to lay around and do nothing. We’re to stand aside, and to let Him fight for us. It’s a deep concept, isn’t it? And it’s not a suggestion.
So, lately, that’s what I’m doing. I’m over here, writing the words and doing the things, and He is over there, doing the heavy fighting so the messenger He’s chosen for this particular skirmish can get all the words down, for when there’s a lull, and people are ready to listen.
I’ve learned to be ready in season, and out of season because He keeps His promises.
Megan again: Thanks, Jennifer. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I love your last comment, to be ready. That's a good one!
Write on, friends!