Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Value to a Writer of Learning Difficult Lessons

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

You’ve heard it—bloody knees. Some use the phrase in regards to prayer while others share it as hard life experiences. In the world of writing, it’s a tool for guidance and growth.

I’ve often told conferees, there’s something to be said about bloody knees. And there is. It’s a pathway to success. Every stepping stone may not be perfectly level, so and we trip and stumble. Either way, it’s a learning experience.

The question becomes, why? Why do we really need bloody knees? Here are four important reasons bloody knees are important.

Difficult Lessons
Bloody knees force us to learn the craft: Another term might be rejection. Rejection is not always the bad thing it is deemed. Instead, it’s a steady progression of learning. Our first rejections may be a little harsher. Needs more workNot ready. As we practice and learn the skills needed to crank out a good manuscript, our rejections become more encouraging. Great work, we just don’t have an open spot.The more we practice and learn the craft of writing, bloody knees heal and contracts happen. Without incentive (rejections, i.e. bloody knees), we might never take the necessary steps to improve. Who wants to be good when excellent is better?

Bloody knees teach us to wait: We live in a world of instant gratification. Modern day tools provide a variety of ways to publish without the demands of the traditional publisher. When you are a seasoned writer these options may seem better, but for a new writer who has not learned the business or the craft, it can be a disaster. There is something to be said for the adage, “Good things come to those who wait.” Learning that wait means the need for improvement, helps you strive to raise the bar on your writing. It brings the writer to a more crisp and presentable work.

Bloody knees serve as a trend calendar: In other words, what you write today may not be what is trending in the marketplace. Certain genres are hot one day and cold the next. It hurts when you’re told now is not the time, but it’s important to pay attention.  Publishing is like a giant wheel of fortune. It slowly spins. What is on top today will be on the bottom tomorrow. In this industry, timing is everything. Some folks write toward the trends, others remain slow and steady—patient, as the wheel spins back in their favor. 

Bloody knees allow a writer to mature: When we attend our first conference we’re carrying our newly completed work like a badge of honor. We’ve worked hard. Our friends and family give us the stamp of approval, but the attitude we carry is somewhat na├»ve. We haven’t learned the expectations of the industry or the ins and outs of protocol. We don’t know the advantages of self-editing. It can be a real jaw-dropper when an agent or publisher gives you the dreaded news . . . it’s not ready. The more conferences we attend, the more we learn the ropes, the easier and more familiar things become. 

Bloody knees aren’t such a bad thing. They’re a necessary part of your writing career. The slips and falls grow us into better writers. When you’re willing to take the slower path, boo boos will happen. You’re gain a few scares, but boy, will you learn valuable lessons that will move your writing career ahead. Don’t cut corners, skip steps, or rush to the finish line. Take your time—become a solid writer and when the contracts come, they will taste so much sweeter.

The value to a writer of learning difficult lessons - @CindyDevoted on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

The slips & falls we take on the writing path are a necessary part of our journey - @CindyDevoted on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Cindy Sproles is an award-winning author and popular speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions ministries and managing editor of Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy is the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us and 
www.inspireafire.comShe teaches at writers conferences nationwide and directs The Asheville Christian Writers Conference - Writers Boot Camp. 

She is the author of two devotionals, He Said, She Said - Learning to Live a Life of Passion and New Sheets - Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. Cindy's debut novel, Mercy's Rain, is available at major retailers. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com and book her for your next conference or ladies retreat. Also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I have to chuckle when I think of my WIP. I finished it (I thought) and sent off a query letter to an editor. I am so amazed as I look back, I actually received an answer, whether from her or an underling, it was an answer. They no longer accepted unsolicited mss., but I could submit it to a Christian service they used... That was my first encounter over ten years ago. I think I've had my share of bloody knees, black eyes, and maybe even other types of wounds. LOL But I have learned quite a lot along the way and the encouragement is welcome. Donevy