Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Writing Journey is an Ironman Triathlon Not a Jog in the Park

This writing journey isn't for the fainthearted. It's not for the lily-livered. Or the casual adherent. It's for those with resilience, the ability to bounce back and even sing after setback.

I used to think that once I had a book published, it meant endless nirvana. Booksignings aplenty with folks lined up down the street. Royalty checks that could buy cars, pools, a lifetime supply of dark chocolate. Fan letters extolling my genius.

Oops, I lied. Actually, I didn't think that.


Because I'd taken my first major morning track at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference taught by Chip MacGregor, an agent who, within a few weeks, would become my agent. One of the sessions he taught expounded the realities of the publishing world. He didn't sugarcoat the statistics. I remember looking around the room, still strangely encouraged, while others stared at him wide-eyed.

He said something like, "If this doesn't discourage you, then you're ready for the writing journey."

Boy howdy.

I thought I was ready. I possessed a bit of that wide-eyed naivety. But I pressed on. Wrote some books. Penned some more. Got some published. Experienced rejection. Kept going. Wrote more. Perfected my blogging platform. Revitalized my website many different times. Spoke. Taught. Learned. Learned platform and branding and marketing and PR. Met people in every sphere of the publishing arena. Read critical (in a bad way) reviews of my work and cringed. When Chip moved on, got a new agent. When she moved on, found my current one. Kept writing. Watched some books do well, others not. Got nominated for awards. Got on TV and radio. Secured advances. Tweeted. Facebooked an author page.

I did a lot of stuff.

Even so, there have been times I've not embraced resiliency. I've fought to remember the calling on my life. Thankfully, as I've contemplated becoming a Wal Mart greeter, there have been amazing people in this industry offer me encouragement and a hand up. Including several of you here on Novel Journey.

Remember, this writing journey is an ironman triathlon, not a jog in the park. It will require guts, grit, and tenacity in exponential amounts.

Please don't give up. Embrace the resilience of Jesus. Persevere. Press on. Keep writing.

I'm reminded of this post I wrote for Novel Journey where Chuck Colson penned these words in his own handwriting over a decade ago: Keep writing. God will honor your faithfulness.

{proof that I have done a triathlon . . . but mine wasn't an ironman!}


Stacy S. Jensen said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

You = cool.

This is a great post, Mary. Thank you for writing it!
~ Wendy

Nicole said...

Mary, you've done it all. And you've done it well. Who knows what God has yet planned for you?

Sarah Forgrave said...

Thanks for sharing these words. Very inspiring!

Marcia said...

Great post, Mary. Thanks. I needed this. :)Marcia

Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks Marcia.

Anonymous said...

Yes! We lean forward and keep moving!!

Amy Hunt said...

"Honoring God" and writing for Him...that's how we should live in all ways. I hope to be an influential parent, but it isn't possible in my own strength or mission. I will try very hard to remember these truths as I continue in my writing journey! Thanks for your truth-telling and encouragement.

Kathleen Lewis said...

Mary, your posts always speak to my heart. Thanks for being out there. I thank the Lord for you.

Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks Amy. Although we write fiction, we tell the truth.

Kathleen, I'm so glad to hear that.