Thursday, May 7, 2015

Stay in the Writing Game

Edie here. Today's post is important for every single one of you who have the dream of holding your published book in your hand. 

It's also a celebration of Lynn's first book. 

I've watched her through the years, never giving up, never giving in and a couple of weeks ago, she handed me a copy of her first book, Covert Justice. It's a GREAT book and I encourage you to get your own copy. It's available everywhere June 2. But you can preorder it on Amazon. Now back to our regularly scheduled post...

Stay in the Writing Game
by Lynn H Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I’d like to tell you a little story . . . I promise it is relevant . . .

Over the past few months, my family has had an unprecedented amount of illness and minor injuries. So much so that I’ve missed an insane amount of time in the gym. Where I had been consistent, I found myself struggling to make it even once a week, and often missed a couple of weeks in a row.

Then last Thursday happened.

I was cleared to go back to the gym, but when I looked at the workout I cringed.

A 1-mile row followed by a 1-mile run followed by 4 minutes of weighted plank.


I went anyway. My plan was to row slow and to walk if I needed to.

I didn’t need to.

Don’t get me wrong, my running would be more accurately described as a slow slog, but I ran that mile. Every step of it.

When I got home, I realized how remarkable it was. Not because I’m fast or because that workout was a super challenging one. (In fact, it was what we call an “active recovery” day).

But …

When I started CrossFit eighteen months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to finish that workout. I realized that during the past few months, if I had quit completely and just said, “I’ll get back to the gym when I know I can be there consistently,” I wouldn’t have been able to do that workout on Thursday, either.

But I didn’t quit.

No, I didn’t get there as often as I wanted to.

No, I’m not as strong as I would be if I’d been able to be consistent all winter.

No, I’m not where I want to be.

But I’m still in the game.

You may be wondering what this has to do with writing.

Stay with me.

I wrote my first novel in 2009. Attended my first writing conference (the wonderful Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriting Conference!) in 2010.

I read books on the craft, I attended writing groups, I started blogging, I wrote more fiction.

Then I had another baby.

And for the next three years, well, all I can say is this…I didn’t quit.

No, I didn’t write as often as I wanted to.

No, I’m not as prolific as maybe I could have been.

No, I’m not as far along in the publishing journey as I’d hoped to be.

But I stayed in the game.

I blogged when I could. I worked on a new novel (very sporadically). I met with a critique group. I kept learning. I tried not to beat myself up when I couldn’t do anything for months at a time—and there were a LOT of times when I couldn’t.

Then last year, I entered another contest.

This time things were different. My kids were a little bit older (I entered the contest the month after my youngest turned three). I was actually sleeping through the night (never underestimate the creative power of a full night of sleep). And I found that even though I hadn’t been as consistent as I’d imagined I would be back in 2009, I was a much stronger writer.

I finished the book.

I sold the book.

Because I didn’t quit.

I don’t know where you are in your writing journey, but I know many writers start out strong and then life happens. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but either way we find our writing aspirations put on hold. I want to encourage you to hang in there.

You may need to set aside your dreams for publication for a season. That’s ok.

You may not write a word for months or years (moms and dads of littles—I’m looking at you!), but you can keep learning, keep reading, stay connected with writing friends. Do what you can, when you can. Stay engaged.

Don’t neglect your family, don’t neglect your work, don’t neglect whatever it is that God has given you to do right now, but if He’s also given you the dream of writing words that people will read…don’t quit.

And if you do, or if you have…know this.

It’s never too late to start again.

So what about you? Have you quit? Come close? Let’s talk about it.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Lynn Huggins Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at


  1. Well said, Lynn. A timely reminder for us all. Congratulations!

  2. Very encouraging post, Lynn. And congratulations on the release of your novel.

  3. Lynn, I am so proud of you! I remember the first time you read an excerpt for critique years ago from a manuscript you were working on at the time. Wow--we were all impressed, even then!

    But even more impressive has been your determination to keep at it, when you could. Your tenacity paid off, and you deserve it! You did what it took to hang in there when many of us would have quit. You're an example for all of us. Thank you!

    1. Vonda - I'm still hoping Todd & Olivia's story will be told someday :-) Thank you for all your support and encouragement!!

  4. Needed to hear this. The last eighteen months have been...let's just say I'm in with that pack of turtles. :)

    1. I just keep reminding myself that even the turtles are making progress!!

  5. Congratulations on your new book! This is a wonderful, encouraging word. I'm always telling others not to quit, and I'm usually saying it to remind myself not to quit.

    1. How we talk to ourselves is SO important! I need the reminder, too!! Frequently!

  6. Congratulations on you book. Persistence is the key.

    I just opened the file of a novel that has has several incarnations, a hiatus, and complete unsuccessful rewrite. The earliest date for the chapter documents are mid 2008. I have to finish the novel or quit writing.

    Time flies folks, work while there is daylight.

    1. Hi Susan! Maybe this will encourage you...Covert Justice is NOT my first novel. In fact, I could say exactly what you just said about MY first novel. It was a tough call to put it aside and start fresh, but it wound up being the best decision I could have made. You don't have to finish that novel or quit...but it might be time to quit working on that one and start fresh. Just a few thoughts from someone who has been there!

  7. Lynn,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a great testimony to the power of persistence even when we're weak or dealing with life.

    Congratulations on the book and best wishes,


  8. First, congratulations! As I read the part about you holding the novel in your hands and weeping, I teared up—and I don’t even know you! Powerful story. Thank you so much for sharing. Secondly, this piece of encouragement came at a great time for me.

  9. Congratulations, Lynn! And this is such a great post. Slow and steady. Eventually we'll all make that goal line and cross it, so long as we keep heading toward it and ... don't quit! :) Thank you for sharing!

  10. Thanks so much for this post. As I began working on the last chapter of my book a couple weeks ago, all kinds of things cropped up . . . my husband had gall bladder surgery and isn't bouncing back well, a daughter has her own medical issues, etc. Thanks for the encouragement....Pressing on....