Saturday, January 3, 2009

Keep your Eyes on the Prize

I spent a large chunk of my afternoon formatting articles into a single document for my book. I barely accomplished a tenth of this process.
Writing for fun and writing for publication are as different as playing in the sprinkler in your front yard and training for the Olympic swim team. What I love to do is write. But that’s only about 25% of the process of getting published. The other 75% is revising, sending query letters to prospective publishers and agents, researching markets that will buy your writing, creating a book proposal, and reading about how to do those things. A lot of tedious stuff, but necessary. It can frustrate you if you forget your focus.
It’s kind of like making a recipe. What you love to do is the actual cooking or baking of the food. Your goal is to create something that will nourish but also entertain the taste buds. You relish the process of putting together ingredients and savoring the smell and taste of your culinary creation.
What you find is that you must spend a wagon load of time writing out the recipe, filing it in the proper spot in your recipe file, making a shopping list, purchasing the ingredients, then cleaning up the mess after the final satisfied hiccup. The creation is only a smidgen of the process. You do all the other tasks, however, because you are addicted—in a healthy way—called, if you like, to the art of cooking. And you are rewarded by the pleasure of those you cook for. So, although you may greatly dislike the tedium of the ‘other’ parts of cooking, you force yourself to do them, because the gratification of expressing your creativity and ministering to others is worth the trouble.
In my case, when I sell an article or a greeting card verse, or when someone tells me that one of my columns helped them, it makes all the monotony worth it. My goal is to change lives, to draw people closer to the Master, to hear someone say, “your writing revolutionized my walk with God.” So if I have to suffer along the way in order to get my writing out there, it’s a small price to pay. Especially if someone who didn’t believe, becomes a Believer from reading something I wrote.
I just need to keep reminding myself of the goal…
--- Jen


  1. Hmmm, I just made cookies tonight. Yum :-)
    I'm not sure how I found you. Sometimes I'll just click on people's names at different blogs. I see on your sidebar that you follow Rachelle Gardner. There's a good chance I found you through there.
    You're right. Queries are difficult and they take time. Even after you've figured out the meat of the query, it still takes time to research agents and formulate the query to make it more personal.
    I'm not sure how many I've sent. Probably twenty or so. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of the e-mail ones haven't gotten answered yet. I'm beginning to think my address isn't so great. But all the snail mail ones came back great.
    Good luck with your queries! You're right; you never know whose life may be changed by your articles. :-)

  2. Hi Jeanette,
    I answered your question here but just wanted to make sure you got it. I don't want you to think I ignored you. :-)