Today’s guest blogger is Karin Beery. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the American Christian Writers Association and Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network. She is represented by Steve Hutson of Word Wise Media.
Patience is a virtue, it’s just not mine.
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said that, I could retire tomorrow on my own private island. It was fun to say – people laughed at my cleverness, but it also gave me a way to jokingly explain my impatience. For years it worked. Then I started writing.
I started my career with a novel. When I realized how little I knew about publishing, I started to explore other forms of writing while I revised my manuscript. I knew it needed a little work, but I had high hopes and expectations – a tweak here, an edit there, then I’d be ready to sign a contract. But life happens.
You end up taking a fulltime job, so your part-time writing job fills up your spare time, and the novel gets pushed aside. You quit your job to stay home and care for your aunt, but then your health declines, and for two years you can barely function. When you can function, your novel doesn’t even make the top half of your to-do list. One thing after another lands on your calendar, filling your days and novel-writing hours.
It doesn’t take long for depression to join you. You see your friends’ names appear on books and watch them win awards while you struggle to finish a chapter. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like you’ll finish anything.
But you keep writing.
And what you don’t notice is that while you’ve been struggling, you’ve been learning. And growing. And strengthening. And when you’re manuscript is finally cleaned up, you suddenly have an agent who enjoys working with you. And that’s when you realize it – you’ve become a writer.
Writing isn’t for the faint-hearted. You can’t be sensitive or emotionally attached. You need to see your work for what it really is – a product that you created. It’s not you, and how people respond to it isn’t a reflection of you. There are rules, guidelines, and techniques that need to be understood, mastered, and sometimes broken, but understanding that doesn’t come with writing one manuscript; it comes from years of hard work, studying, practicing, and writing.
When I started writing, I thought all I needed to do was write a good story. Yes, you do need a good story, but you need to become a writer too. You need to become someone who can take the criticism, put in the effort, and dedicate yourself to the cause of not just writing a story, but creating the best manuscript possible. For some, that happens quickly. For others, it takes time. For the dedicated, however, it doesn’t matter – keep learning, keep going, and keep writing.
JIM: Now’s the time to throw in your two-cents worth. Add your thoughts on the writing journey. Just click on the “Replies” button cleverly hidden below. Thanks.
You can also follow Karin on FaceBook at http://bit.ly/1ZetNlm
Find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karinbeery
Her website is www.karinbeery.com