Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
“Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the future.”
My first few heady months on the fiction venture promised much.
The last word of my manuscript hit the page less than four months after my first fiction word. Another four months flew by as I started a blog and attended a writer’s conference—garnering one agent’s rejection, one editor’s request for a proposal and manuscript, and a second agent’s offer of representation.
God Himself seemed to prompt the flow of words and throw open doors for this new calling. I surely owed Him my best in return, and wholeheartedly threw myself into pursuit of publication, believing I’d obtained a ticket on the fast track.
Then reality hit. Decades of only legal and ministry writing left some room for developing fiction craft. More than one re-write lay before me. Platform building needed some time.
Other writers offered Helpful Tips:
“The secret to writing is butt in chair—put it there and don’t move it.”
“A sign on the closed door to my office reminds the kids: ‘DON’T KNOCK UNLESS YOU’VE ALREADY CALLED 911.’ ”
“Followers = Platform! Spend hours on blogs, leave oodles of comments, and watch your numbers soar.”
Such measures never quite hooked me. But my perspectives did shift. I kept the fridge stocked and laundry baskets filled with clean clothes, lest ordinary mortal tasks of meal preparation and laundry be utterly neglected. Sleep became a nuisance once my art-driven energy soared. Spare moments were afforded to non-online faces.
Somewhere along the way, I started to forget: Writing about life doesn’t replace living life.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
~ Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)
Thank God for kids who won’t be ignored. However compelling the calling to write, God forbid that I ever see the day’s word count or blog post as more important than my husband or kids being certain of my love, than working through conflict, than spending some time with someone who’s hurting.
I do have a calling to write which is blessed by the Lord and worthy of my dedication. Professionals have affirmed the compelling story I’ve written. My stellar agent and I both have high hopes for my future in publishing.
But I’m content to wait for a novel’s release date, now that I’ve learned:
“Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.”
P.S. to post: I never actually adopted those tips, or employed that sign. But feel free to use it if the Lord leads YOU …