Friday, September 10, 2010

The Success "Secret"



Sometimes newer writers feel like no matter what they do, success (ie., publication) remains out of their reach. Successful authors, they think, must know a secret or two that they are simply unaware of. Why else aren't they published by now?

If you are feeling like that, beware.

While success is sometimes a matter of being in the right place at the right time, or a result of who you know, more often it is a result of something completely within your grasp: Perseverance and work.

Perseverance can get you in the right place at the right time, and hard work will help you meet the people you need to know.

Colin Powell said, "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

Before you start to feel that life is unfair or that all of your time spent writing and editing your work is fruitless, ask yourself if you have prepared sufficiently, done the work that is necessary, and learned from your failures.

If you aren't published in book length fiction and that is your goal, then it stands to reason that your work is not done. (Even when you get published, your work is not done!)
Before getting that first contract, however, it is doubly important that you prepare--and keep preparing.
You must work hard--and keep working hard.
And you need to learn from every failure, which is, every rejection, every critique. (Some criticism will not be accurate, but learning to find the grain of truth in it can be very, very helpful.)

Only the Lord knows the right time, the right publisher, or the right agent for you.
And every time you get a rejection, you can accept that it was not the right place, time, or person for you or for your work.
The key is to find the right one, and that takes time, and patience.

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson

It's hard to keep believing that success will happen when it hasn't happened, yet. It's difficult to persevere in the face of rejections. But this is precisely what you must do. This is the time to lean on your God, and remember that HE is the one who has called you to do this thing called writing. Your publishing success will come in His time and in His way.

In the meantime, remember that you write not because you may be published, not to impress an agent or editor, not to show your family or friends that you can, but to serve GOD. To steward the resources of creativity and imagination that He has entrusted to your care. When you remember that it is GOD you serve,you are always a success, so long as you are faithful.

His yoke is easy and His burden is light!

For more of Linore's instruction on writing, sign up for the Greater Harvest Newsletter. You'll receive announcements of upcoming Greater Harvest Workshops for writers and speakers, which you can attend for more in-depth help in your writing career.

3 comments:

Linore said...

The link to the Greater Harvest Workshops site is:
http://greaterharvestworkshops.com

Teresa Slack said...

Nicely written, Linore. I think we all wonder if we'll ever "arrive" or find "success" as the world measures success. It's tough to keep it in perspective when we get another rejection or an editor tells us the project doesn't meet their needs at this time.

We wonder if we should keep banging our heads against this brick wall. May we trust that God knows better than us and He sees the big picture. Thanks for the reminder as I prepare for conference next week.

Linore said...

Yes, and how many published books do you have? Six at least, I know! So, just goes to show that getting published isn't the end all and be-all.
Thanks, Teresa. Looking forward to seeing you next week!