Tag s | Encouragement

Writers Expect Good News

Writers expect good news … any day now. Is it the curse of eternal optimism? There is this hope within each writer that it will be their manuscript that is chosen for publication. And the money will rain on them like a spring shower.

Despite the odds.

Despite the competition.

Despite the cynical, horrible, no-good, very-bad agents who review them.

Expectations

Are these expectations realistic? Of course they are. It is the essence of hope. For without hope there is no reason to continue the pursuit of the craft. You have to believe that you have what it takes.

Are these expectations practical? Of course not. Who said the writing profession was practical? I had one client calculate her per-hour earnings and discovered her wage was less than half of the current minimum wage. It is like nearly every aspect of the arts (music, dance, design, painting, theater and writing); monetary compensation can be elusive.

Anticipation

I prefer the word anticipation instead of expectation. The difference is that if we anticipate good news, we are happy to receive it. But if we expect good news and don’t get it, then the disappointment can be terrible. It is a subtle difference; but one of the keys to surviving the soul-crushing writing profession is to manage your expectations and instead focus on the joy of anticipation.

Encouragement

My encouragement to you is to keep working hard. This industry can be tough, but if you learn to wait (click here) and  prepare properly (click here), you will have earned the right to allow for the anticipation of good news coming your way.

 

[An earlier version of this post ran in December 2011.]

Leave a Comment

Søren Kierkegaard on Writing

Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and writer in the mid-1800s. His works have been highly influential for the past 170 years. He is not without his critics but a couple years ago Christianity Today ran an article titled, “Why We Still Need Kierkegaard.” My own journey has included wrestling …

Read More

Books Change Lives

I have to let you read this story. An author recently wrote this to me: I’d like to share something with you that I’m not sure a lot of authors get to share. Two months ago, I noticed my novels on my youngest daughter’s nightstand and found her reading them …

Read More

Write Like You Brush Your Teeth

I listen regularly to a half-dozen podcasts. One of them recently talked about how valuable “systems” are in making life run more smoothly. The podcast host said that making something a habit is the simplest but also one of the most effective “systems” a person can install in his or …

Read More

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 …

Read More

The Writer’s Responsibility

When you decide to pursue writing as a career or even an avocation, you probably are unaware of the responsibility bestowed upon you by the decision. There is no official ceremony involved, but there should be. This responsibility will change the way you interact with friends and relatives. It could …

Read More

The Damaged Author

Anyone can easily identify a person who has been damaged by life and in need of help. The same is true with damaged authors. If you are in this category, writing about your experiences and the lessons learned can be both cathartic and spiritually fruitful, but taking a damaged-life perspective …

Read More

The Isolated Writer

In general, writers do not do their best work in a group. The very nature of creative writing is a solitary pursuit, but without taking great care, can morph into a feeling of isolation. And this can occur whether an author lives in a quiet rural town or in midtown …

Read More

The Writer’s STEP

As some of you know, I have asthma. As does one of my very best friends. And you know what these two…ahem…”seasoned” asthmatics love to do? Hike! Yup. We plod along, coughing and wheezing and laughing (or, to be more accurate, gasping) about how they’ll find our poor deceased selves …

Read More

Writing from Weakness

I believe some of the most powerful books ever written by Christians will be published in the coming years. Why? Despite our best efforts, Christians failed to transform culture through the ballot box, boycotts, ministry/church programs and use of the media. Worldwide, Christians are not a moral majority but an …

Read More