Friday, April 06, 2012

On the Road to Publication Be Sure to Pack A Lot of Patience!

When I received my first contract last year, it came almost seventeen years after I began my journey toward publication. Was it easy to wait all those years? I wish I could say yes, but it wasn’t. It’s never easy to be told your story isn’t ready yet, or to comethisclose to a contract and have the publisher’s line shut down. Those are just a few of the roadblocks I ran into along the way. It’s enough to lose your patience.

Over the years, as I had to exercise patience in the long wait, I learned that like a muscle becomes stronger when exercised, the ability to be patient becomes strengthened in the waiting.

Using the word patience, below are listed the things that helped me to endure until the wonderful day I got THE call.

P is for persevering.

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going is an old cliché with a lot of truth. From the outset, we have to determine to be in it for the long haul. I’ve met authors who after pursuing publication for a couple years gave up and self published or stopped writing altogether. If writing for publication is your calling, determine you will do what it takes for however long it takes.

A is for abidingness.

I don’t know what I would do without sensing God’s calling to write, and His daily presence to assure me that I’m within the scope of His will. He tells us to abide in Him and He will abide in us, and He gives us all we need for life, the life He’s called us to live. If He’s called you to write, then He will provide all you need for the writing life in His due time.

T is for teachability.

Even many of the most published authors take writing workshops at conferences. When I look at the stories I wrote seventeen, ten, or even four years ago, I see how I’ve grown the craft. We can’t move up the scale to being a publishable writer if we don’t take those writing courses, read craft books, and practice our writing until our fingers bleed all over the keys.

I is for insistence.

Don’t ever settle for mediocre. Insist on doing better next time in a writing contest, or wowing an editor who rejected your idea last year at a conference, or taking a rejected manuscript and making it better.

E is for endurance.

A form of the word patience in the Greek translates to patient endurance. The King James calls it long suffering. I think that’s an apropos description to describe years of waiting for publication. There were times when I asked God if I misunderstood His intent on my life, and every time He would allow something positive to happen, like a request for a full manuscript. So I kept on pursuing.

N is for nuts and bolts.

We need to know more than how to write, we need to learn the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry: What editors are currently looking for, or what they are not so interested in at the moment. What are the market trends? How is digital publishing affecting the industry landscape and how might I adjust to that? We can never know too much about this ever-changing industry.

C is for courage.

We need courage to make ourselves known in the industry, and to develop our platform even before we publish. Where are our spheres of influence and how can we grow them? A budding author must become a known entity on the social media platforms. Make his or her name recognizable. For the more outgoing this isn’t so difficult, but for the shy it can require a lot of courage to do this.

E is for energy.

Hanging in there can take a lot out of us. For those with family responsibilities and a job outside the home, there is often little time for writing unless it is done in the wee hours. Learn what you personally need in the way of sleep and downtime and allow yourself to avail yourself of those times so you will have the needed energy to write. Pacing is important.

Even though I’ve landed some book contracts now, I still need to put these into play each day as I work toward a deadline or acceptance of a new book proposal. And I find that when I begin each day on my knees, God is always there ready to give me everything I need for the life of a writer.

Thanks for guest blogging at Novel Rocket, Pam! Here’s a blurb for her upcoming release THYME FOR LOVE…

April Love has always dreamed of being a chef.

But she didn’t expect her former fiancé

or murder to be part of the recipe for her new job.

When April Love signs on to be an in-house chef at an old lakeshore mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she comes face to face with her long-lost love, the drop-dead gorgeous Marc Thorne. It doesn’t take long for their old magnetism to recharge, but how can she trust the guy who left her nearly at the altar eight years earlier? Her gut tells her something happened to Marc in between—something he’s reluctant to reveal.

When April’s boss is murdered, Marc is accused of the crime. Unless April can find out who really killed Ramón Galvez, her chances for love will end up at the county jail. But someone else is just as determined she not solve the mystery…and will go to any length to stop her.


A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Pamela S. Meyers currently lives in Arlington Heights, Ill. She served on the Operating Board for ACFW 2005-2009, and is president of her local ACFW chapter. Her debut novel, Thyme for Love, released in 2011, and her historical that is set in her hometown, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, will release in June 2012. She has published articles in Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Computing, Victory in Grace, and Ancestry. She is also a contributor in the compilation book, His Forever.


Kathryn J. Bain said...

Mine was only a ten year journey and while I hated some of the stalls along the way, I learned a lot. It was also worth the wait because I didn't put out junk. I look back at some of my earlier writings and laugh. I can't believe how much my writing has improved. Somewhat makes the long trip worth it.

Pamela S. Meyers said...

I enjoyed visiting here and sharing what I've learned in the journey to my debut novel. Thanks, Michelle, for inviting me!

Johnnie Alexander Donley said...

Pam, thanks for sharing your story and for this encouragement to not give up. Congrats on your novel!

Henry McLaughlin said...

My journey was nine years from when I got serious and decided to pursue this writing thing as part of God's plan for my life. Patience is developed, perseverance is practiced, prayer is constant, and learning the craft never stops. Thanks for reminding us that there is no magic wand, no over-night successes, and that writing is work, sometimes very hard work.

Janet Sketchley said...

Pam, thanks for this encouragement to persevere... I'm 18 years on the journey and I sure agree with Kathryn Bain about being glad not to have had my novels-in-progress published earlier when they were still pretty junky. Congratulations on your novels!

Lori Ann Freeland said...

Loved the article. I am from DeForest, Wisconsin. Spent my honeymoon 21 years ago in Lake Geneva! Small world :)

Ane Mulligan said...

Excellent article, Pam. THe key, to me, is abiding. If we'll called storytellers, we don't quit. We can't quit. The love of telling stories is in us. Letting go and letting God decide the where and when has a rightness to it. I can't wait to see which publisher is the chosen one for me. ;)

Rita Gerlach said...

A wonderful article. I can relate, and I have to put these keys into practice every day.

sally apokedak said...

Thanks! Very encouraging stuff. And the novel sounds wonderful!

Pamela S. Meyers said...

Yikes, one thing I haven't learned well I guess is proof your stuff. I thought I'd sent a corrected version of my bio to Michele. Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin has had its release date changed to April 2013. So don't go looking for it this June! Sheesh. That's a way to keep an author humble. God does that to me all the time!

Thanks for all your kind words. It's fun reading about other's lengthy journeys. For those of you still on that road, hang in there!!!

Pamela S. Meyers said...

Lori, that's awesome. Lake Geneva is a wonderful place to honeymoon and fall in love. Which transcends into my story for Love Finds You in Lake Geneva. Love finds my couple in 1933 when the Rivera Building that sits next to the beach and is the launch point for the excursion boats is built. It's the Great Depression and the new building, funded by WPA funds, becomes the center of attention for the town. The second floor is a ballroom where all the Big Bands played for many years. The book comes out in April 2013, not June of this year like my bio states.

Michelle Griep said...

Thanks for rocketing over to the site, Pam!

Peggy said...

Excellent post, Pam! Love the PATIENCE list. :) My journey has been much like yours, only probably doubled. I eventually self-published through Create Space, a step I don't regret. Working on Book 2 now.

Diane Stephenson said...

I love your acronym. Thanks for sharing some very encouraging words. I'm big on creating acronyms and one of my books is written based on close to 3 dozen acronyms. I did self-publish some children's books back in the late 80s, but I'm still on the journey, patiently waiting for the Lord to say, "Now!" It will come, and in the meantime I keep improving (I hope!)with edit after edit.

Elaine Stock said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Pam.

Dan Walsh said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Pam. I'm sure it will encourage so many writers still plodding along, waiting for that big moment to come. You are a shining example of someone willing to be "the wind beneath the wings" of so many others, as you continued to persevere all those years.

Compared to you, I feel like something of a spoiled brat. God opened a wide door for me without requiring any patience or perseverance on my part. For my debut novel, I sent out the first 3 agent proposals; 2 asked to read the whole book, and the agent I picked had a deal with Revell in a couple of months. I have no idea why this happened, and I've struggled with guilt at times why I wasn't asked to "pay my dues."

Clearly, God's ways are not our ways. But your story of P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E. brings Him great honor and brings others the kind of encouragement not to give up (and how to make the most of the time while they work and wait). Great job!

Pamela S. Meyers said...

Dan, to each of us we are given our own personal road to travel. I can look back and see God's hand in each turn in my road and see that I had some overcoming to do before I would reap my reward. Don't fell guilty. Feel blessed!

Pamela S. Meyers said...

I meant don't feel guilty. Not don't fell guilty. Sheesh. I R a riter.

Dan Walsh said...

Hate it when that happins :)