I’m so excited about my publishing contract with Anaiah Press. Since signing the contract a few days ago, I’ve been thinking about the years that led up to this happy event.
I started writing in the year 2000.
But I didn’t write seriously until 2007. That was the year of my first big writer’s conference.
It’s where I learned that writing a novel is different from writing a good non-fiction article, or biography, or whatever.
It’s different, my professional critiquers at the conference told me. Instructors helped me understand what I needed to do to become a novelist.
I joined writer’s groups, critique groups, went to writing seminars, studied books on writing, practiced, got more small items published. (If you’re curious, see my “books” page.)
In 2009 I attended my first American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. That year it was in Denver, a town only fifty miles away from my Estes Park home.
I didn’t know more than a handful of people at the conference, so I determined to make the most of meal times in the packed hall by sitting at different tables. I brought along a small note pad and, over coffee and dessert, asked each of the writers at the table about their publishing journey and what advice they could offer me.
The most valuable piece of advice came from an older woman who had recently published three novels. She said:
“The only reason I’m published and the rest of my critique members are not is that I didn’t give up.”
I didn’t give up. That phrase has since become my mantra. I’m sure every novelist can relate.
We conceive and gestate and birth our “babies,” while sequestered in spaces carved out for the creation process, trying to ignore the urgent calls of our lazy nature to “write tomorrow.” We research, type and delete, edit and re-edit, get critiqued, talk to agents and editors.
We finally hit “send.” Then we wait and wait and wait.
Most of the time, we hear nothing. Our hearts die a little with each rejection. But if we remember, “I didn’t give up,” we square our jaws and jump back into the quest for a publisher.
I’m Going To Give Up
This was absolutely, positively going to be the last year of my writing career, I told the Lord. There are so many other good things I could be doing with my time. “Dear Jesus, please guide me. Let me know whether I should continue, or give up writing.”
And then Anaiah Press invited me to sign a contract for one of my novels.
Praise the Lord! Thank You, Jesus!
Thank You, Jesus, that You let me have that little God-appointment with the writer at the ACFW conference.
“I didn’t give up,” she said.
I’ve got four other novels, ready, waiting in the wings, and more “babies” to birth later this year.
I won’t give up on them, either.