Monthly Archives: September 2012

Believe!

I love books. I love reading them and writing them. I love to read books about writing. And I really love it when my wife buys me books as gifts, because she’ll write a note in the cover saying something like, “We believe in you”…or…”We’re your biggest fans”…or…”Don’t give up”…or some such note of encouragement.

My dear wife and kids are my strong support system. They each sign the books, and my wife always adds the Bible reference, Mark 9:23

“And Jesus said to him, ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.'”

Every writer understands that there are those moments where we have to believe that we can do this thing called writing. And that belief keeps us going when many other “voices” challenge our confidence. I think it was agent Terry Burns who said that successful writers are those who simply refuse to quit. I agree.

I’m not suggesting that belief is a substitute for talent or hard work. But belief is needed as you learn and grow, because it’s hard work. And the task of crafting a novel is not for the weak of heart. Belief keeps my eye on the goal of seeing a book get published. Belief allows me to submit my work for criticism or enter contests or look forward to the red ink that shows me how to make a manuscript better.

The fact is that I know I must believe that I CAN DO IT! And I’ve got to be stubborn. I can’t waste time blaming my problems on agents or editors or reviewers. I, and I alone, am responsible for my own self-determination and for my inner drive.

I want to urge you to keep working hard as a writer. If you’re not sold that you’re a writer…who ever will be?

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Editor: Coach, Mentor, Friend

I just sent my manuscript to the freelance editor. It’s a game of ping-pong we play where she marks several chapters, emails them to me, and then I make or reject the suggestions. Once I’m done with the section under scrutiny, I email it back to her, and off we go.

I’ve always found the process of creating a story to be an exciting thrill-ride, but the editing experience is just as exhilarating for me. Maybe I’m weird–don’t respond to that–but seeing the story I love become sharper and stronger is amazing. Sometimes I see the things that the editor has marked and want to bang my head on the table and cry out, “why didn’t I see that?”

Okay…a tad dramatic, but you get the point. When I submit my story to “fresh eyes”, I’m doing the story a favor. The fact is, I’m too close to my story to see all the weaknesses. I’ve had people read the story and very often they spot something that I missed.

I have to decide whether I’m after an ego boost or a story boost. Can I take the red ink professionally or will I only take it personally? Is this about me or story? Do I trust the editor?

When I open God’s Word, or feel the conviction of His Spirit in my life, I’m faced with a similar choice. Will I see the Christian life as about me or for Him? Will I trust that His corrections in my life are for the best, according to His purposes?

What is God working on in your life?

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