Monday, October 5, 2015

What Are You Waiting For?

By Andrea Merrell

In life, it seems we’re always waiting for something. It might be a paycheck, a doctor’s report, or the birth of a long-awaited child. We wait in the dentist’s office. We wait in line at the grocery store. Sometimes we rush, rush, rush and then … nothing. That’s what I call hurry up and wait.

As a writer, what are you waiting for? Have you sent out dozens of queries? Have you submitted your work to a contest, agent, or publisher? Maybe you’ve sent your manuscript to an online critique group, and you are anxiously awaiting a response.

We all know writing is a process, not an event. When you feel called to put words on paper and share them with the world, you do whatever it takes to follow your passion and fulfill your destiny. But sometimes we drag our feet instead of doing what we know we should. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned author, there are steps we need to take in order to see our goals and dreams come to fruition. Let’s look at a few.

Starting is the Hard Part
You love words. You have great ideas. You have stories rolling around in your head. You talk about writing. But have you actually written anything? I’ve talked to people who admit they have a desire to write, but they’re afraid—afraid they don’t have what it takes. Afraid their words will have no merit. My advice to them is: just do it. Pour your heart out on paper, and then go back and see what you have to work with. You’ll never get anywhere with a blank page.

Then Comes the Rewriting
Once you get your words on paper, then comes the rewriting. This might seem like a never-ending process, but it comes with the territory. One thing is certain: the more you write, the better writer you will become.

Now What?
Now you have something to work with and it’s time to get feedback. There are a number of ways to do this. Writing buddies, critique groups, and professional editors. The Bible says there is “safety in a multitude of counselors” and “two are better than one.” It’s amazing how much you can learn, grow, and polish your words when you get positive, constructive suggestions from others.

Next Steps
It’s time to try and find the right home for your work. It might be a blog, magazine, or a traditional publisher. Maybe you feel the need to find an agent. Whatever you decide to do will take time, effort, and commitment.

Keep It Going
Maybe there are other things you’ve been planning to do but haven’t found the time or the willpower to follow through. Perhaps you need to do one or more of the following:
  • Start a blog.
  • Give your blog/website a makeover.
  • Make a commitment to do regular blog posts.
  • Be more active on social media.
  • Join a local or online critique group.
  • Attend a certain writers’ conference.
  • Read books that will help you polish your skills.
  • Mentor someone who is just getting started.

Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB) says, If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done … Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow—perhaps it all will. 

Whatever you have in your heart … whatever the Lord is nudging you to do … what are you waiting for? Don’t procrastinate. Begin today to follow your dream.

Is there something special you have been waiting to do? We would love to hear from you.


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