Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Once You Get Published, Your Life Will Be Complete

by James L. Rubart

Do you believe the headline of this post? 

I did.

Getting published was my dream for so long, I figured when/if it ever happened the birds would burst into song, my lawn would instantly be free of dandelions and I'd grow a new head of hair. 

I know the vast majority of my traditionally published friends thought the same. (Not necessarily the hair part, but ... uh ... you know what I mean.)

As I started down the publishing path, I was told getting published wouldn't be the pinnacle I believed it would be; I nodded my head in agreement, but down deep I still thought it would validate me. Nope.

Getting Published Doesn't Make Things Easier, It Makes Things Harder

I was at a friend's house a few years back who is a multiple New York Times best selling author and I asked him if after writing 30+ books if it got easier. He told me each novel gets exponentially harder. 

I'm a relative newbie, only eight novels in at this point, but I agree. Each time I wonder if I can do it again. I wonder if I've left it all (my creativity, my ideas, mildly interesting dialogue, my twists and turns) in the last novel. I worry the well has gone dry. 

What's Your Point, James?

I have three:

  • Decide if you're a writer for the sake of writing once and for all. All of us know the axiom, "Don't write unless you can't not write" and it's worth revisiting. If you were told everything you ever write from here on out will never be seen by anyone, would you keep writing? 
  • Getting published won't validate you. Embrace this truth. Neither will awards, fame, friends, your spouse, your income, your home ... those things might placate the ache inside for a while, but the only true validation comes from Jesus.
  • Wherever you are in the journey, enjoy the moment. There is only now. The past is gone. The future is only an idea. Stay here. Hold tight what God has for you in this slice of time. Whatever will happen in the days, weeks, years to come, your Amazing Father has been there already, and has prepared that moment in a way that will resonate for eternity.

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man's body. He thinks he's still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they'll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He's the best-selling, Christy, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of seven novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at www.jameslrubart.com


Richard Mabry said...

Jim, ask every published writer about this, and the vast majority of them will agree with what you've said. (The others may lie about it). If you write for fame, fortune, awards, recognition, all the things we think (at first) that come with getting our work published, we're going to be sorely disappointed. Thanks for reinforcing the concept, and for the example you set for all of us.

Michael Ehret said...

I was counting on the hair thing ... what reason do I have now to continue? Thanks for killing the dream.