Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Writer Has to Write - by Joyce Hart

I was reading entries on FaceBook tonight and there was an entry by Janalyn Voigt with the title “Called to Write.” This author says she has never been as busy as she has since she has been published. In the Writer’s Digest magazine March/April there is an article “Earn Money Doing What You Love.” What a cool thing to be able to make a living doing what you love to do. I’ve been able to do that. I love selling manuscripts for authors. I love reading books and I love being able to work from my home office. I admit some days it gets discouraging. I think this week I have had a record number of rejections. However, I also got some contract offers, and promises of offers in the next few weeks. I’m really glad; all those rejections were getting depressing.

At a writer’s conference I heard “A Writer Has to Write.” What is there about writing that is so compelling? Authors tell me that they have conversations by their characters running around in their heads. These characters seem so real the authors hate to leave a series, because they will miss them. I am fascinated by the things my clients tell me about writing.

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to make a living doing what you love to do. Is your passion writing? Then you’ll probably get published one of these days. Are you “Called to Write?” Do you have to write? Then find every opportunity you can to write, it doesn’t necessarily have to be writing for payment. Start out writing for free. Get the experience and get your name out on the web or wherever you can.

What about self-publishing? Is it an awful thing? I don’t think so. Many authors got their start by self-publishing and selling their books when they speak or online. I have one client who wrote a Christmas book and sold 2,000 copies right before Christmas, on his own. We took the book to a publisher and the first editor we sent it to bought it. It is a beautiful story; the title is The Paper Bag Christmas. It’s one of those stories than no one can read without crying, not even the men. An editor will seriously consider a book if you’ve sold 2,000 in two months. I have another one that I’m trying to sell now and haven’t found a publisher yet. This author sold 2,500 or more in a few months. So, I’m convinced that someone will catch the vision of this book one of these days.

There are other ways to make money by writing. Write for organizations online. Write for magazines and newspapers. Write wherever you can find to write. Write Advertising, write obituaries. If it’s a writing job do it! Writer’s Digest often runs an article about writing online. For this particular information you have to invest a minimal amount of money. But since it comes from Writer’s Digest, I would trust the program. Network on FaceBook or other social networks. Amazing what you can find out on these networks. The main thing is to keep trying and keep writing. Don’t lose sight of your dream. Trust God to lead you. Sometimes the smallest job can lead to a very big opportunity.

Proverbs 3:4 & 5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” NKJV. Psalm 37 is another of my favorite chapters. When you’re discouraged, read the Word.

Thanks once more for reading our blog. We appreciate each one of you and pray God will bless all that you set your hands to do.

May God bless and keep you,



Jeanette Levellie said...

Thank you, Joyce. What a cheerleader you are!

Blessed weekend,

Shmologna said...

This blog was a blessing. We love to write...but somestimes the stress of publication can get us ALL down. Whether we are agents, publishers, writers, or editors.

I appreciate the encouragement. I needed it today.

Carrie Turansky said...

Thanks for your encouraging words. I know I feel discouraged when I receive a rejection, but I hadn't thought about what it's like for an agent to receive multiple rejections for different clients. Glad you did have some good news this week. : )
I am thinking of you and praying for you this coming week.

A J Hawke said...

What a timely post for where I am in my writing life! Thank you.

Stephen Covey wrote, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” I write because I like to write. That is the main thing about my writing.

Do I want to get published? Of course, because that will be an affirmation of the main thing, my writing. But if I don’t enjoy writing and if the wait for an agent or publisher to respond puts me in misery, then I have forgotten the main thing. I write because I enjoy writing.

Randy Ingermanson wrote that one should only start considering themselves to be a writer after they have written a million words. When I first read that, it seemed too daunting. But now, that I have passed that milestone, it’s not so much. You understand I assumed he didn’t mean that all one million words would be perfect, great, or brilliant. Just that it is written.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that writing is the main thing in my life. We all have various facets to our lives. But within those facets, what is the main thing? What is the main thing in my spiritual life? Love God with all my heart, soul, and spirit, and love my neighbor as myself. What is the main thing in my family? Love them with the love of the Lord, and protect and serve as to the Lord. What is the main thing in my work? To complete my work as unto the Lord. What is the main thing with my writing? To enjoy this gift from the Lord.

So I remind myself to wait on the Lord, not a response from an agent or publisher. Let it be in His timing. Take joy in rejections because they only happen if I have written something. They only happen if I have kept the main thing the main thing as a writer.

May your life be full of the main things.

A J Hawke

Caroline said...

Everytime I read this blog, I'm encouraged. What timely, interesting blogs you agents post. You all are the best!

Thanks, Joyce, for another wonderful article.

Martha Ramirez said...

What a beautiful post! It really touched my heart. Thank you, Joyce! I will be adding this to my encouragement file. And def be posting that scripture on my fridge:)
I think as long as we let God guide us, it's all good. Whatever He decides for us. And you're right, a writer has to write. I come to realize why professional baseball players, football players, etc. never stop reaching for the stars.
It's something we absolutely LOVE and can NEVER stop doing. It can be a bit addicting too lol. Nevertheless, it's a beautiful gift God has given me and I feel VERY blessed.
THANK U for the beautiful post!

Elaine W. Miller said...

I say, "Amen!" to this post. If Christians stop writing, oh dear, how will Christ's message be heard. A trip to the local grocery store check out counter should motivate us all to keep writing truth to fight the trash.

Thanks for your vision, Joyce. Praying for your upcoming surgery. May our Jesus heal.