Writing Taken Seriously

It’s almost time to plant pansies here in Texas. I can’t wait.

A friend sends me daily devotionals and the following story is just part of it. The story’s been repeated many times, with some variations, but it always makes me smile.

Do our part, buy a ticket

“There is an old story of a man who prayed to God to win a monthly lottery. He prayed, “Our Father in Heaven, I have never asked for anything for myself. I have been a good and faithful servant, and I pray for you to let me win the lottery.” He prayed this for several months, but he did not win the lottery. He is praying and asking God why he has denied this prayer and a voice comes down from heaven. “Give me a break. Buy a ticket!” How many times do we ask for blessings and then do not do our part?”

We can apply the message of “buy a ticket” to many things in our lives, including writing and publishing success. How you might ask? If we don’t continue to write new material and then let that material go out to find readers, we get nowhere.

But, but… I can hear the objections already. Mainly because I’ve used them myself more than once. 🙂

I don’t have time to write – A page a day for a year can produce an entire book. As for how long it takes to write a page, prices may vary, but maybe not more than fifteen or twenty minutes, especially if we just free-write and don’t worry about self editing. That can come next year.

My college professor said I’d never make it as a writer – Guess what? That was my experience in school. Even professors can be wrong sometimes. Not that I’ve “made it” to the level of some big-name writers, but I’ve had my share of successes, and so have a lot of others who were told to find some other outlet for their creativity. Basket weaving was suggested to me by that thoughtless professor.

Another rejection after twenty tries with this one. Time to quit – Hold your horses there, partner. Maybe the next one is the right one. Zane Gray was turned down by every publishing house in New York, before he finally sold his first book. (See how I got the mood of the western in there?) The difference between some successful writers and those who never see even a glimmer of success can often be the difference between those who quit and those who stayed the course.

I’ll only be considered legit if I publish with a big house in New York – Ah, contraire my little self-doubt gremlin. There are some folks who only buy books from the big five – or is it four now? I can’t keep up. But there are a whole lot of other readers out there who merely want a good book that’s been carefully written, and rewritten as need be; edited, and formatted to fit the reading device they use. Nice covers help, too.

And the publishing world has expanded greatly with the introduction of self-publishing, small publishers, and hybrid publishers.

A few years ago I shared some thoughts from Kristen Lamb about self-publishing, with her list of myths she busted all to hades and back – Is Self Publishing for You. The post is well worth the read if you are on the fence about going Indie.

I’m not a professional until I’ve sold something – Well, that might be true in the strictest sense of the word, but I think those of us who write every day, no matter our sales standings, are professionals. The fact that we engage or brains and our creativity and our fingers with the intent of sharing a story, make us more than an aspiring author or wannabe writer. We are writers. Pure and simple. What we are doing is not a hobby. Quilting is a hobby, so is coloring. Writing is serious business, even if we only write for fifteen minutes a day.

Have you done your fifteen yet?

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