Inspiration

A Writer’s Hope Springs Eternal

Writers can be quietly optimistic amidst their seasons of doubt. It is that hope of success that helps make the daily slog a little easier.

I reflected on hope by finding a few inspirational quotes:

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
― Desmond Tutu

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…
― Alfred Tennyson

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.
― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

“Where there’s life, there’s hope.”
― Theocritus (c.270 BC)

Despite the beauty of these words and sentiment, in my mind, they pale by comparison with these words:

For you:
The Lord is all you have, and so in him you put your hope. There is nothing that God cannot do. You will live secure and full of hope; God will protect you and give you rest. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. His power at work in you can do far more than you dare ask or imagine.

God says:
Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go. I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.

Adapted from Lamentations 3:24; Luke 1:37; Job 11:18; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 3:20; Joshua 1:9; Jeremiah 29:11

Therefore, hope. But hope not in your own success. Place hope in the belief that your obedience to God’s calling will bring him glory and honor in all that you do.

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The Curse of the Writer

Speaking from an agent’s perspective…
I have more conversations with clients about their feelings of anxiety, apprehension or insecurity than almost any other topic. Almost every writer I have ever worked with as an editor or an agent severely doubts themselves at some point in the process.

Doubts occur in the midst of creation.
Doubts occur when the disappointing royalty statement arrives.
Doubts occur … just because…

It is the curse of the writer. Writing is an introspective process done in a cave…alone. It is natural to have the demons of insecurity whisper their lies. And, in a cave, the whispers echo and build into a cacophony of irrepressible noise.

Once I had an author with dozens of titles in print and over three million books sold turn to me and say with a somber voice, “Do I have anything left to say? Does anyone care?” I didn’t quite know how to reply so tentatively said, “Well, I like it!” The author responded with a grump, “But you are paid to like it.” After we laughed, we agreed that this lack of confidence would pass and ultimately was very normal.

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Fail Better

Writing is hard. Writing for publication is even harder. And writing to be read and re-read is a Sisyphean task (go ahead, look it up; I’ll wait). So it is no wonder that Samuel Beckett’s line from his novel, Worstward Ho, has been adopted not only by athletes (they are …

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Write Like Jazz

Years ago, I was helping a friend brainstorm and outline a book, and at some point in the course of our conversation about writing, I said, “Writing is like jazz.” Both of us were jazz aficionados, so the phrase was apt, and it stuck. He has reminded me of it …

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Oh, What a Time I’ve Had

There are so many things about being an agent that I love. Finding new writers whose work resonated with, and moved, me. Building relationships with my amazing clients. The joy of working with them on their projects. Playing “matchmaker” and finding just the right publisher for them. Seeing publishers treat …

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Write Every Day

A young writer penned these words: “I haven’t written for a few days, because I wanted first of all to think about my diary. It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to …

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Is Your Glass Half Empty?

Over the decades it has been interesting to listen to and read the various pundits regarding the publishing industry. Typically those who spell out doom and gloom get the attention (fortifying the idea that “if it bleeds, it leads”). At the same time there is the optimist position which is …

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Orville Rogers – A Memorial Day Tribute

Today in the U.S. we honor the veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice and died for our country in the military. It is an important day of remembrance. Earlier this month, at the Global Media Summit, I had the honor of shaking the hand of Orville Rogers who is 99 years young. …

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The Infiltration of Anger

Yesterday, anger almost took my husband from me. Don was coming out of the grocery store when he realized two young men were screaming at each other just to the side of the doors. One, let’s call him Jim, whose pregnant wife was sitting in their car, yelled at the …

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Writing the Deeper Story

I realize this will probably date me, but I sincerely enjoyed a popular radio feature by Paul Harvey called, “The Rest of the Story.” I assume some reading this post today also remember it. For generations, the venerable radio commentator, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 90, …

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