Monday, October 01, 2012

Love What You're Doing: the Writing Journey

 Christy Award Winning author Ronie Kendig grew up an Army Brat, learning to roll with the punches, including countless moves and educational disruptions that forced her to make friends fast. At 19 she married the hunk of her dreams, an Army veteran. Together, she and her husband have four children. 
She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers. Rapid-Fire Fiction, her brand, is exemplified through her novels Dead Reckoning, a spy thriller, and the military thriller series, The Discarded Heroes, which includes Nightshade (Retailer’s Choice Award Finalist, IRCA finalist), Digitalis (INSPY Award finalist, Wolfsbane (Christy Award Winner and Carol Award Finalist), and Firethorn (4.5 star review from Romantic Times and releases January 2012), and her new series A Breed Apart. Ronie can be found at, Facebook, and Twitter (@roniekendig)!

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Lately, I've been hearing a challenge from various sources--ya know, one of those times where everyone you turn, someone is basically saying the same thing? So, I've been trying to take the hint to heart to relax, enjoy the writing life, and give myself some room and time to breathe. I realized I'd sort of lost myself in the journey to and through publication, so my mission this fall is to reclaim myself (sounds mildly psychotic, but let's go with it, okay?).

Earlier this week on Facebook, Tyndale editor Karen Watson promoted a blog post by my fellow 7 Hours co-author TRAVIS THRASHER (and seriously--if you haven't read his books, START NOW!). He's been wildly successful with his YA series, SOLITARY TALES.I confess I'd been working on a "Learning to Be" post, but when I read this, I begged Travis to let me share it with you here on NovelRocket! 

I hope it will both inspire and challenge you to keep going, to do what you do best--WRITE!

10 Things I've Learned About Publishing In The Last Five Years 

By Travis Thrasher

I recently celebrated my five-year-anniversary of writing full-time. Here's a talk I gave last night at our local library about ten things that I've learned about publishing in those five years. 

1. Life is not fair and neither is publishing. Some doors open and some stay shut. Keep knocking.
2. Think long term. Nobody else is going to think long term if you don’t. What kind of writer would you like to be? Keep that image in mind even if you don’t tell anybody else.
3. Being published, being paid to write, and especially being read is a privilege. It’s too easy to feel entitled. Don’t act like you deserve to be published.
4. Publishing can either make you cynical and bitter or optimistic and hopeful. I used to be bitter. Now I choose hope.
5. Even if you work twice as hard and twice as fast, publishing still takes A VERY, VERY LONG TIME. Be patient.
6. Writing is like running a marathon. You have to train. And you train by running a lot. But when you’re finally in that race, you might surprise yourself by what you can do. Write and keep writing to build up stamina for whatever’s next.
7. If you’re going to write full-time, make SURE you have about ten fallback plans. Plus about a million dollars in the bank. Think long and hard about writing full-time.  
8. Even if you think you’re well-connected, get out there and build relationships. Not Facebook friends but face-to-face. In 2009, going to a convention landed me a couple of jobs. Personal connections matter. Network in every way possible. 
9. So many things in publishing are out of your control. Do everything you can that’s in your control. For me, that’s thinking of new storylines, talking to possible collaborators, working on future books, marketing. Be urgent when nobody else is.
10. Occasionally remind yourself why you are interested in writing. Re-read that book you love. Re-watch that movie that moves you. The joy comes in creating, not signing a contract or holding your book. Don’t ever forget to love what you’re doing. 
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Ronie's newest release is Trinity: Military War Dog! Order now!!
And former Green Beret. His war dog. Their most dangerous mission yet!  

A year ago in Afghanistan, Green Beret Heath Daniel's career was destroyed.
Along with his faith.
Now he and his military war dog, Trinity train other dogs and their handlers through the A Breed Apart organization. The job works. But his passion is to be back in the field. The medical discharge says it can't happen due to the traumatic brain injury that forced Heath to the sidelines.
Until …
Military intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured and the geological survey team she’s covertly embedded with is slaughtered while secretly tracking the Taliban.  It's clear only one dog can handle the extreme conditions to save her. Trinity. Only one man can handle Trinity.
And time is running out on the greatest—and most dangerous—mission of their lives.


Ane Mulligan said...

I'm proof that the first one can happen if you keep knocking! It took me 10 years. But I enjoyed the journey, even with the rejection angst and watching all my crit buddies get published. And I plan to enjoy every minute to the next phase, remembering, like you said, it's a privilege. and it's one I don't take lightly.

Ronie Kendig said...

Exactly--it's a PRIVILEGE and so often we act like spoiled children, demanding this or that. I'm re-learning some things right now. :-D

Ane Mulligan said...

I have never seen you act like a spoiled child, Ronie. You're an encourager and a good example in my eyes. :)

Nicole said...

Travis Thrasher is underrated, a great writer with his own voice, and even when I don't like one of his stories, I always appreciate his writing. He knows what he's talking about because he goes against the grain most of the time.

Thanks for sharing this from his blog, Ronie. And congratulations to you for all of your good works. It's high time you took a breath just for you.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Great post. We have to be mindful on the journey and avoid pitfalls. Thanks RONIE and TRAVIS!

Katie Ganshert said...

Love this!

Heather Day Gilbert said...

I enjoyed this post so much. I love the "have a sense of urgency, even if no one else does" advice. Though I would think it'd be easy to get mis-labeled "high-maintenance author" when you operate that way. The urgency comes from the desire to keep creating, and to share your characters' stories with others.