It was not an encouraging statistic.
On a cool fall day, the speaker stood at the front of the seminar class and eroded my confidence with his authoritative words, “About one percent of writers succeed in getting published. Because most give up and drop out of the race.”
I’d waited until my forties to do anything with a secret desire to become a writer, so his gloomy prophecy almost made me run from the room. Thankfully, I didn’t let his statistical shadows deter me.
Instead, I silently inquired of God, whom I believed had brought me to this place, and asked what He thought about the publisher’s statement. The answer came as a whisper, “With Me, all things are possible.”
At that starting line in my writing career, I vowed, “I will allow God to make me one of the one percent who succeed.” Little did I know how I’d need my early resolve to navigate past future bumps in the writing road.
Practical applications were required to pave the way.
- I devoured books on the craft of writing, the business of publication, the magic of marketing, and the art of building a loyal readership. (I’m still studying these necessary parts of the process.)
- I turned off my television, powered up my computer, and started practicing what I learned.
- I created a Writer’s Cave and pursued my passion.
- I faced my Fears and wrote in spite of them.
- I followed God’s lead when I wasn’t sure where to invest my talents.
I determined to follow and not race ahead of God.
- When impatience threatened to devour my energy and time with tangled emotions, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that God controls my dream.
- I sought God’s kingdom first, before the allure of writing success. Each day, I committed to read my Bible before I wrote anything.
- I submitted my desires and said, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
- I trusted God, as the Creator of Time, instead of sweating it when I couldn’t accomplish as much as I believed I should.
- I wrote down encouragements, so when hardships threatened to swallow me, I had factual reminders that God created me to write. I kept the list close and read His positive reinforcements as needed.
Over time, the hours of study, priority-driven choices and submission to God smoothed the course. But I endured many personal trials along the way.
One shocking revelation brought the news that my dad isn’t my biological father. My youngest sister faced life-threatening illness. My grandson was hurt. Every day, circumstances fought to distract, but in between the upsets, I tenaciously wrote one word at a time. While I traveled tough terrain, I held onto my God-given mantra — I will be one of the one.
Eventually, the road to becoming one of the one straightened. My portfolio of articles grew, my speaking platform rose, and my writing improved. As I obeyed His voice, God cleared the way.
I’m steering toward my goal of being in the one percent of writers who succeed at their craft. My first book releases in 2013. Growth will span my lifetime, but I refuse to give up. If God says I can be one of the one, then who am I to argue? After all, He put me on the road to writing.
What gives you the gumption to speed ahead in pursuit of your dreams?