I’m blessed to have the support of family and friends as I travel on my writer’s journey. My wife is a source of great strength to me and my writing, even though she doesn’t read a word of it. LOL! Seriously! I write suspense and my dear wife doesn’t like to get scared to death. But she goes out of her way to cheer for me and let me know that she supports me as a writer. She, and the kids, share the ups and downs with me. They sacrifice time and money for me to be a writer.
But there are some writers who trudge through the ups and downs of writing without the strength and support from those closest to them. And that breaks my heart.
The solitude and monotony of writing can be hard enough without a writer feeling that their work is not respected and their passion is not shared by the people they love. The lows are lower alone.
This simple post is my attempt to get you to do two things:
- Make a list of the people who support & encourage you as a writer. And, starting today, take a few moments and send a note of thanks to one person a day until you have written them all.
- Be an encouragement to other writers, especially those who have confided to you that they feel alone and discouraged. Listen to what other writers say, because sooner or later a broken heart will reveal itself. Pray for them. Help them. Become their cheering section, even if it means you’re the only one sitting there at the moment.
If you are one of those who feels alone, please remember that God loves you and will never forsake you. And if I can do anything to help you, please let me know.
Yes, I read the dedication page in every novel I read. And, yes, I think about what I’ll put on the dedication page of my debut novel (when that day comes). There’s a special kind of emotional energy spelled out in that small section of thanks and appreciation. And I’m willing to bet that many writers put a ton of thought and effort into the words they use there–at least on their first few books.
So I was thinking…since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I wanted to share an idea with you. If I had the great privilege of turning in a dedication page for my first novel, and it needed to submitted today, it would read like this:
Loving. Supportive. Sacrificial. Honest. Patient. My Beloved. All these words describe the person to whom I dedicate this book: my wife, Kristal. Your understanding and encouragement has made this writer’s journey possible. My dear, I count my life blessed because you are in it. And I look forward to the new chapters that God has yet to write in our life together.
If you were preparing a dedication page today, what would it say?
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody.
Many of the blessings that have come my way as a writer can be directly credited to other people. In fact the last year and a half have been full of growing experiences because of my association with American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the resources they provide.
- The local chapter (South-Central Kansas chapter meeting in Wichita, KS) has provided monthly fellowship opportunities with other writers. These dear people have become friends, sharing a common bond with me.
- The national ACFW conference which provided friendships that have blessed me over the last year. This year’s conference is only a few weeks away, and if I get any more excited I’ll be bouncing off the walls. Being with other writers who sacrifice time to teach me how to be a better wordsmith is priceless. There truly is a spirit of servanthood among the members of ACFW. They celebrate each other’s successes, and offer a listening ear when someone is struggling. The craft is highly respected, but people are too. It was at last year’s conference that I made friendships that have been so important to me. I can’t wait to see these people again this year!
- THE JOURNAL, ACFW’s new print magazine is another great resource that offers advice and information about the craft and business of writing Christian fiction. I was honored to have written an article for the premier issue.
- THE LOOP of emails that goes out every day of the year provides an opportunity to engage in conversations, ask questions, seek advice, or just “listen in” as others do all of those things.
The above resources mean a great deal to me. However, as wonderful as they are, they take a back seat to the real heroes that provide my most important support system: my wife and kids. They deserve the credit for anything good I write, because they sacrifice so much so I can write. Since I’m a full-time minister (which I love–thanks Gracepoint!), that means I don’t write full-time. I have to carve out time to write in the mornings and evenings. My family sacrifices time with me, allowing me to hunker in my bunker and bang away at the keyboard…or just stare at the screen and mumble whatever yiddish words come to mind (& I’m not even Jewish!). My family takes money from our family budget so I can go to conference & chapter meetings (we live an hour away from Wichita), buy books, get a laptop, etc…, all of which means that they give up something so I can write. They believe in me when I doubt myself. They deserve better than I give them.
Who are the people who have made your writing journey possible? Have you thanked them yet?