I love reading Jerry Jenkins blogs. I always take something away from what he has to say. I don’t know that he offers anything different or new, it’s just the way he says it. I read what he’s written, and a light bulb goes off.
He offered some profound information in the last email I received, and I wanted to share it with you. First, he said we all make time to do what we really want to do. Then he followed that up with a comparison of make and find. You won’t ever find the time to write. We all have the same 168 hours per week. The only way to add hours to your calendar is to sacrifice hours from it.
In order to make the time, you must carve something else out of your schedule. It all starts with your priorities. How desperately do you want to write, finish a book, become a novelist?
Only you can determine your priorities. What are you willing to give up to pursue your dream?
Jerry Jenkins worked full time and helped his wife raise their three young sons. He wasn’t about to sacrifice his family for writing time, so he scheduled his writing from 9:00pm-12:00am.
What did he sacrifice? TV time, social gatherings with friends, and a couple hours of sleep.
What are you willing to sacrifice?
I love this quote. It applies to all aspects of life. I am an aspiring author, and remind myself often that the key to success is to not give up.
Since my adventure began over five years ago, I have read numerous stories from well known authors about their journey to becoming published. I put so much time and effort into my craft, I couldn’t help but feel discouraged and wonder what I was doing wrong. It encouraged me to know that I was not alone but in great company.
The one common theme in all of their stories was perseverance. The agent that worked with me on my book, always ended her critiques with don’t give up.
If you have a high quality, marketable piece of work, persevere, and you will eventually find an agent and get published.
Kathryn Stockett wrote The Help over a five year period of time, then had three and a half years worth of rejections. 60 in all. It was agent 61 who took her on. The book spent 100 weeks on the best seller list. Not sure if you are familiar with her novel, but you probably have heard of the movie based on this book. Now I would call that perseverance.
Other notable Authors who suffered rejection but persevered:
- Richard Adam’s Watership Down- 17 rejections
- Frank Herbert’s Dune – 20+ rejections
- JK Rowlings’ Harry Potter – 12+ rejections
- Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook- 24 rejections.
I hope you are getting the picture. You can’t give up on your dreams. Revise, edit, do what you have to do to make your story great, but don’t give up.
Hope this offered a little encouragement. I know how disheartening it can be to send your baby out and have it rejected. Don’t take it personal and don’t quit.
Do you ever want to just stop writing for a while? I’m at that point right now. I’m not working on my book, as I just finished what I consider to be a really good first draft, and I’ve stepped away from it until the beginning of the year.
What I am doing is my blog. It only requires me to write a couple pages twice a week, which isn’t that much writing, but I’m still struggling.
Maybe it’s the season and all of the distractions that are going on around me. Maybe it was a mistake to pull away so drastically from my writing regime. It seems like the longer I put off writing, the harder it’s becoming. Truth be known I wrote almost daily over the last year and did countless critiques of other peoples work. Once I finished my draft, I almost completely shut down that part of my life to take a breath.
Maybe all those tips about writing everyday and setting quotas was right. Not to say that you can’t take time off to enjoy a special evening or life, but you have to stay motivated or you will lose the desire, momentum, will to write.
So I find myself going through articles on how to motivate yourself to write. Not sure why, I already know most of the tips by heart. Hoping to find something new, a magic pill maybe. Well If there is one, I haven’t found it. So I guess I just have to fall back on the tried and true.
- Make a date with yourself to show up and write on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be great-you just need to write.
- Choose the time of day that works best for you. In the morning after that first cup of coffee works best for me.
- Share your goals and dreams with family and friends. They will ask how it’s going and keep you in line.
- Cut off all electronics. This one is a given and to be honest, I have allowed myself to get sucked back into Facebook and other social media outlets over the last month. They are mind numbing and can take precious time away from what is important. If you use them to communicate with family in other states, like myself, you need to schedule in time and watch the clock.
- Set a daily quota. To be honest I’ve never done that one. I do set a weekly quota. It allows me time for life to happen and is more realistic. Point is you need a goal, something to work towards to keep you moving.
- Record and keep up with your word count. It will serve as a timesheet and a reward system to praise yourself.
- Allow yourself to write badly. At least for early drafts be gentle on yourself. If you stop to judge, edit, delete and rewrite, you will be spending all your time playing reader or critic, not writer.
Have a great weekend and don’t stop writing 🙂