Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gracious To Give And Receive

Welcome to Writers’ Corner. Do you believe March is almost over? Are you on track to accomplish the writing goals you set for the year?

In the past few weeks, we’ve discussed many technical aspects of writing. Today, I just want to take a few minutes to encourage you in your writing journey.

Taking the first step toward becoming a published writer can be scary and exciting at the same time. In His wisdom, God doesn’t unpack the entire process ahead of time because, like so many things in life, if we could see the whole process up front, we might not even start. However, this journey is necessary for our growth.

Recently, I spent time with an author who has twenty books published with more under contract. She asked me how long I’d been writing “seriously” toward publication and then shared it took her eight years to get her first book contract, after her first three manuscripts were rejected. The eight years were not a static time of writing. She attended conferences, received feedback from veteran writers, and learned everything she could to hone her craft.

We’ve discussed in previous weeks the necessity of receiving feedback to be successful. Believe me, this takes an incredible amount of gracious receiving. But, the biggest mistake a writer can make is working in a vacuum, expecting to get published, and unwilling to take constructive feedback. Yet some try it.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17.

Embrace the concept that we are all on the same team working toward fulfilling God’s plan for the Christian literary world. You remember the algebraic term: a + b = c. Let’s apply that to our writing careers.

Gracious giving + gracious receiving = success. Isn’t this what we’re all striving for?

The other half of the equation is willingness to help others. Let’s face it. Most veteran writers have way more work than they have hours in the day. Yet, most writers I’ve encountered are incredibly gracious with their time. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Gracious giving does not mean unlimited access or advice. Depending on the writer’s schedule, it may mean anything from simple encouragement to giving a critique of your work. If you’re fortunate enough to receive the latter, be gracious in receiving the feedback! While you’re under no obligation to agree with or take their advice, weigh it carefully before you decide to reject it.

The network created between the various levels of writers is an invaluable support group. No matter what stage you’re in, you need positive reinforcement. A few encouraging words can sustain a writer for days, sometimes weeks!

In closing, I’ll share one story of many about those supporting my work. Author and editor Gail Purath is one of the most gracious people I’ve encountered in my writing journey. She has published my work on her website, WOW-Writing On the Word, with more planned for the future. She could’ve easily stopped at sending the acceptance letter. Instead, she has generously supported my other writing efforts. This week, she listed my blog alongside a few big guns in the writing industry on her other website, Bible Love Notes. Check out this informative post for links to other helpful writing information. Thanks, again, Gail!

The bottom line is writers are blessed by God so they can bless others. Think about how you can bless another writer today. Never stop believing in yourself or the talent God blessed you with. If you haven't been published yet--that day will come.

Feel free to share how you’ve been blessed or blessed another in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have, as well.

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  1. thank you for this post. i enjoyed learning!! i am blessed you are my blogging friend! thank you for your thoughts today. i appreciate you!!
    happy Friday and happy writing!!!

  2. You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and found it informative. I'm thrilled your results were good. Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me!

  3. I could learn a lot from your blog, from your posts. Thanks so much for sharing... and thanks for the visit to my blog. God bless you always...

    1. Thanks for the kind comment. I hope in sharing encouragement and writing tips, we'll all grow together as writers. God bless you, too.

  4. Laura,
    What a great word! Gail is such a blessing. I've learned so much from her edits to my devotions. And she is so encouraging, too...just like you!
    Janey Goude

    1. Thanks, Janey. God has blessed all of us with good writing friends and encouragement. I've enjoyed getting to know Gail and you!

  5. Hi Laura. I wandered over from Shanda's place--nice to meet you! I agree, this whole online community is such a beautiful way for us to sharpen one another. Looking forward to wandering back again and learning more from you. Blessings.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. I look forward to learning more about your blog and writing, as well. God bless you.