by Lynn Blackburn
At the risk of sending you diving into that stash of dark chocolate you hid on January first, let me ask a question.
How did your plans for 2011 pan out?
Did you finish your novel? Land an agent? Sign a three-book deal?
If the answer is, “YES!” then allow me to offer my congratulations!
But for many the answer is, “Well, you see, there was this thing, and then that thing, and everybody knows how tough publishing is . . .”
Indeed. It's enough to make a writer wonder if it's time to try basket weaving for fun and profit. Or maybe to start thinking, “I coulda been a contender . . . ”
Are you done wallowing? No? You've got three more seconds.
Okay. You're done.
My dad had a friend who put it this way, “I'd rather shoot for the stars and hit a stump than shoot for a stump and blow my big toe off.”
It's time to shoot for the stars! I know the economy is lousy, publishing is uncertain, and there are 1,738 things that have to happen for your dream to come true.
But the alternative is unacceptable. I'll grant you that big toes aren't required for writing, but why risk it? Aim high!
Do you long to write a book or devotional? Learn how to do it. Go to a conference. Put yourself in a position for amazing things to happen.
Do you have parts of several novels on your hard drive? Finish one! It may stink, but you'll learn a lot and join the ranks of writers who didn't get their first, second, or third book published. But they didn't quit. They kept shooting for the stars. Sure, they annihilated a few stumps along the way, but they can still wear open-toed shoes!
For 2012, I'm choosing to rest in God's sovereign will for my writing career and I'm praying, “Lord, this is what I desire. Please do it or something better.”
His “better” may look like a stump to me, and that's okay. He’s God and last time I checked, He’s in charge of stars and stumps. He also has a habit of turning what looks like an earthly stump into a star-studded galaxy to brighten His kingdom.
So I’m putting it out there and saying, “Lord, I'd like to have a novel published in the next five years. In 2012, I want to finish a novella, another novel, and attend a conference. Please do it or something better.”
So let's hear it. What’s your big dream and your specific prayer for 2012?
Don't be shy. Shoot for the stars and don’t forget to join the conversation!”
(BTW – My prayer came from a Bible study called One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. An excellent study and one I found particularly applicable as I walk the twisty road to publication.)
Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writers. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.