Wednesday, November 8, 2017

In the Waiting

"I just love waiting an unforeseen amount of time for things I hold really dear to my heart," said no one ever.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm a do-er. When I first started this novel-writing journey--what was it? Seven, eight years ago?-- I thought if I just worked hard enough, I could make it happen. I was valedictorian, a university adjunct by age 24, and a girl with an amazing shoe collection. If I didn't achieve something, I just needed to work harder.

Looking back now, I realize I was such a child, you guys!

Because here's the thing.

Publication never was and never will be benchmark for "making it" or becoming a happy writer.

There is no benchmark for "making it" or becoming a happy writer.

There is only living within God's purpose or not.

There is only a life fulfilled or a life lived with perception of lack.

Now, don't get me wrong. I want to be published. I really want to be published. I want to hit the bestseller lists and my new personal goal is to be interviewed on the Hallmark Home and Family show. ;)

But I've realized something along this journey. That--all of that-- is not what writing is all about.

Writing is about the healing that comes from page to page. The messages the Lord gives you late at night. The friendships and mentorships that make you wiser, happier, and braver.

And that my friends, is why I believe so many published writers are still searching for an "it" factor... a contest win or a winning review or a certain number of sales... to finally give them that feeling of success.

Don't fall into the trap.

Don't tell yourself tomorrow will be different because tomorrow won't be different unless you are different tomorrow.

I hope this song encourages your heart if you're growing weary in the waiting. God has brought it to my Pandora station at some pretty apt times lately, and I know I can't be the only one who needs this message today. :) Because He's not just on the other side of the waiting. He's in it. With you.


Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses at her local university. She's an active member of ACFW and runs their newcomer's loop. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns. You can find Ashley on her personal blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She is represented by Karen Solem.


Voni said...

Yes! I have been realizing this year that it's first "write a novel," then "win a contest," then "get an agent," then "get published," then "get multipublished," then "win an award," then "get best-selling status" ... always something ELSE as a writer. Win an award, there's another that needs to be won. Get an agent, I need a better one ... I've written 5, I need to publish 10 ... I sold so many, I need to sell so many more. It's overwhelming for us unpubbed. Until we realize multi-published, award-winning authors feel it, too, that feeling of some other benchmark that's gotta be met. Indie published, too. There will always be that feeling of something ELSE that can eat us up. I'm focusing on just writing. Yes, doing all the professional things like contests and submitting for publication. But I pray I will always be able to "just keep writing, writing, writing" ("Finding Nemo" reference, there, lol) and keep enjoying the moments, with God.

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

"Tomorrow won't be different unless you are different tomorrow."


This is so powerful. Waiting right along with you, friend!

Ashley Clark said...

HA! Voni, I love that Nemo line! :D

Thank you, Karen! <3

kaybee said...

This is good, Ashley, and something I need to constantly remind myself. The world's measure of success is not ours. It just isn't. And like marriage, parenting or Christianity itself, you can't check off the boxes that mean "success."
What a journey we are on! In my last two WIPs, I turned over a lot of rocks to learn about my heroines and heroes, and learned even more about myself.
Thanks for a great post, I will be thinking about this.
Kathy Bailey

Bryan J. Fagan said...

One thing I try to keep in mind is to concentrate on things I can control. My editor and I are finishing up my first novel. I wrote it the only way I knew how and the best I could do. My editor did a great job and soon we will try to sell it. The next step is out of my control. I can only do so much and I'm at peace with that. So I guess that's it: Give it everything you've got and try not to worry about the rest.