One of my close critique partners challenged me a little while ago to write a blog to encourage writers.
At the time, I needed someone to encourage me to keep writing. I didn’t see how I could encourage others when I was ready to quit.
But here I am still writing some months later. And still needing to be encouraged.
I’ve actually stepped up my writing and publishing efforts.
Why am I still at it? I don’t know that I can give a coherent answer. But I’ll try.
At the beginning of this year, God gave me a verse for 2018 from Isaiah 43:19. It reads, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
As I’ve meditated and prayed over this scripture, things began to happen internally.
After a year or more of hunkering in my writing cave, I recently started submitting to on line magazines and entering contests.
My critique partners challenged me to keep writing and to step out more, to more actively pursue representation, to seek new places to publish, to try new areas like short stories in different genres.
I used Manuscript Academy to set up a ten-minute interview with an agent. The interview went much better than I expected and she requested the full manuscript. Followed shortly thereafter with a rejection. But the rejection provided indight and encouragement about my story and my craft. So I am preparing to pitch a different book to her in a few weeks.
I’ve also signed up for conferences and researched the agents and editors who seem to best fit what I write. And I’ve secured appointments with all of my first choices.
Early this year I entered my fantasy novel in contest to win a scholarship to another conference. I didn’t win, but I was among the finalists.
And I recently entered two short fiction contests.
As I look back over the last five months, I see I sure have not been acting discouraged. In writing this blog, the dots became more visible and the line connecting them more vivid.
So, what changed?
I believe it was the Scripture from Isaiah. God is doing something new. In me, in my writing, and in my life. And I can see a glimmer of the pathways.
His calling remains the same, but the pathways are new. He is encouraging me—through Scripture and prayer time and through the counsel and support of friends like my critique partners. This encouragement is spurring me on.
I pray this blog encourages you as well.