Friday, February 24, 2017

3 Ways Writing Is a Lot like Flying

by Lori Hatcher 

Somewhere between Lexington, South Carolina and Rota, Spain, I realized that writing is a lot like flying. Luggage, boarding passes, and four-ounce. TSA approved bottles of essential liquids aside, I’d like to share three similarities.

Writing is a Lot Like Flying 
1. Sometimes you go west to go east.
My destination was the sunny shore of southern Spain. Say that five times fast. Google maps tells me Spain is east of the United States, but for reasons unfathomable to me, the first leg of my travel  sent me west to Chicago. Common sense says the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but not much common sense goes into making flight arrangements. Logic notwithstanding, if I want to go east to Spain, I must first fly west to Chicago.

Writing is often like flying in that the most direct route isn’t always the best way to get there. Common sense says sit down, write a book, send it to a publisher, and get it published.

The writing life says gain life experience, examine those experiences through the lens of Scripture, then write about it. Share your message with others as you build a platform, prayerfully seek an agent, who will send it to fourteen publishing houses, and maybe, just maybe, one will offer you a contract—a year later.

2. Expect delays.
Flying is a hurry up and wait process. You arrive at the airport three hours early only to wait in line at the TSA checkpoint. Once you make it through screening, you wait at the gate, on the tarmac, and on the runway. In the air, you wait for your .5 oz. bag of pretzels, your half can of ginger ale, and your turn in the bathroom. The only thing that moves quickly during air travel is the aircraft. It’s hard to beat 500 mph.

The publishing world has almost as many delays as a cross-country flight. We wait for blog subscribers, query responses, and acceptance letters. Editorial delays, cover designs, and launch dates seem interminable, and the wait for our first royalty check? Millennia.  

3. Excess baggage will cost you.
I’m old enough to remember when airlines allowed travelers to check two large suitcases free on all domestic flights. Today they limit most travelers to a carryon the size of a lunch box. You want to bring clothes on your trip? That’ll be an extra $100—each way.

Excess baggage in the writing world will also cost you dearly. Are you hauling around a suitcase full of insecurity? That’ll cost you a vault full of missed opportunities. Pulling a carryon full of comparison? That’ll cost you a cache of contentment. Dragging a duffle full of doubt? That’ll cost you a lockbox full of initiative.

Flying is a most amazing way to travel, even though we sometimes have to go west to go east, face unexpected delays, and pay extra for additional baggage. Writing is also an amazing adventure. To successfully arrive at our destination, it’s important to realize that the route will take us in unexpected directions and God’s timing is often very different from our own. Intentionally dealing with excess baggage will enable us to make the most of opportunities and help us be content. And while the writing life, like travel, can be exhausting, it’s also one of the most exciting ways to live out God’s call on our lives.

Godspeed on your writing journey.

3 Ways #writing is a lot like flying - @LoriHatcher2 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)