Monday, January 21, 2019

Writing is a Process, Not an Event

By Andrea Merrell

When I attended my first writers’ conference over ten years ago, I was certain my book was ready for publication. It was great. That’s what my family said, along with folks at church. Boy, were they wrong. And so was I. There was much to learn.

Thus, began my journey.

It took a year before my first devotion was published on, then several more years before my first nonfiction book was published, with two more to follow. In the meantime, I attended conferences and became a faithful member of a local critique group. I studied, took classes, read books on the craft, and built relationships with other writers and professionals in the industry.

There were pitfalls along the way—too many to mention—but I kept plugging along. My journey reminds me of a lively game of Candyland with my six-year-old granddaughter. She was almost to the finish line when she chose a card that sent her back to the beginning. “But I don’t wanna go back,” she whined.

That’s how I felt when I had to go back and make serious revisions to my novel. But no matter how many times I said “I don’t wanna,” it was necessary. It was part of the learning and growing process.

Sometimes the writing life feels like two steps forward, then three back. But when you have the heart of a writer—and you know that’s what God has called you to do—you keep on going no matter what. 

We must always keep our eye on the goal, but the key to true success and fulfillment is to learn to enjoy the journey. That means not allowing ourselves to stay stressed out and uptight when things don’t go exactly as we planned or in the time we expected. One writer says that “many of us look like we’re walking a tightrope  instead of a pathway of peace.”

That being said, if you’re called to be a writer, enjoy every moment of where you are on the way to where you’re going. This is important in God’s kingdom, because the destination He has in mind may be very different from the one we envision. We can waste precious now moments trying to rush into the future, ignoring or overlooking the blessings and opportunities that are given to us today.

Here are some wise words for 2019 from Chris Tiegreen: "No matter how stuck you feel at any given moment in life, God has opportunities planned for your future. That’s his nature. Approach this year as a year of open doors. You have complete freedom in God’s kingdom to do that, not because he follows the calendar but because he is always the God of open doors. (He does shut doors sometimes, but always in order to open another one sooner or later to put us in the right direction.) Live with expectancy that wherever you are now and whatever you’ve been through, this will be a year of experiencing his unfolding plans. He loves that kind of faith; it recognizes his goodness and honors his ways."

Remember, winning that contest or getting a contract is not the ultimate goal. It’s only a part of our development.

Whether you’re a newbie or have been writing for years, writing is a process, not an event. We all have much to learn, especially with an ever-changing industry.  But never get discouraged over how far you have to go. Look at each step forward and celebrate every success.

How do you navigate your writing journey? We would love to hear from you.

(Photos courtesy of, Stuart Miles, and Master Isolated Images.)



  1. Well said, Andrea. A good reminder at the start of this new writing year.

    1. Thanks, Lori. It's so easy for writers to get discouraged when things don't happen quickly. Blessings! :)

  2. Thanks Andrea.I needed that encourage ment. I am about to begin a new writing project and your post resonates.

    1. So glad it was what you needed. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Blessings! :)