Friday, March 6, 2015

Patience and a Plan, by Jim Hart

An editor recently told me that “publishing moves at glacial speed”. So in other words, I’ll have to wait a little longer before I hear from the publishing committee. But things are still moving, just very slow. You can probably guess where this is going.
The book of Genesis tells us that Jacob ended up working for his father-in-law a total of 14 years to be able to take Rachel, the one that he loved, as his wife. Scripture tells us that the first seven years seemed like only a few days to Jacob, because he loved Rachel so much. But still…14 years is a chunk of time.

Some say time is relative. I’m sure there are scientific explanations as to why this may be true. But what remains true is the concept of “a watched pot never boils”. Or as the great philosopher Tom Petty sang, “the waiting is the hardest part”.

Many years ago the clock on the back wall of our church sanctuary stopped working. My father, who was the pastor of the church, replaced it with a calendar. And now we had a new way to measure the passage of time during the sermon.

But back to Jacob. He had a goal (to marry Rachel), and he had a plan to get there (work for his father-in-law). And his plan worked.

Amy Blake, a Hartline author, just saw her first novel, Whitewashed, published this February. In her interview for her publisher’s blog Amy shared this:  

            I’ve always loved to read, though for years I never had enough self-confidence to believe    I could become a published author myself. Eventually, I took a couple of writing courses, attended writers’ conferences, and decided to give writing a try. I started with short stories, articles, and devotionals and was encouraged when some were published. Then I   moved on to books. My first novels were pretty bad, but they helped me learn how to write. Now I’m glad I stuck with it through the discouraging seasons.

This is some the best advice that I could offer to a writer with the dream of being a published author. Amy didn’t just wait, she worked. And in addition to her just released novel, Amy will also see her juvenile fantasy book released in November of this year.

Here are some ways to work while you wait to achieve your next dream: 
1)      Stay connected to the Lord in prayer and Scripture.
2)      Work on your on-line platform. Dominate the twitterverse.
3)      Keep writing! Submit articles to your favorite magazines; look for opportunities to guest blog.
4)      Reach out to other authors and publishing industry people for possible endorsements.
5)      Read a book about writing, social media, and/or the publishing business.
6)      Attend a writer’s conference.
7)      Write out your two year, five year, and ten year writing plan.
8)      Research material for your next book.
9)      Memorize the Chicago Manual of Style.

And that’s nine plans (none of which are from outer-space).

What work do you plan to do while you’re waiting?


Ann Cooper McCauley said...

Such a good word, Jim. Not always easy to swallow--still true. This is one I need to keep and read often. Thank you

Daphne Delay said...

Great advise Jim. And I'll add, 15 years into my journey, it's been worth the wait. I wouldn't trade my learning experience for anything :)

Anonymous said...

Okay Jim, fair warning, I'm stealing the clock to calendar story. Max