One of the One

Unseen Journey to Publication
Curves Ahead

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.

A Shadowy Path
Shadows Crowd the Writing Road

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.

Writing Path with Obstacles
Obstacles Litter the 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.

    Hard to Know Where Your Writing is Going
    The Road to Writing is Often Unclear

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.

Cloudy Writing Days
A Straighter Road Under Cloudy Days

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?

27 Replies to “One of the One”

  1. Anita, like you, it was God’s whisper, okay, prodding, that I was to follow this path. After submitting my dream to Him and saying your will, not mine, He began to show me the way. When I begin to feel discouraged, I remember, God told you to follow this path. Trust His timing, keep forging ahead for Him, resting in the knowledge He’s got you in His hand.

    1. I don’t know how writers do it without God’s guidance, Melissa. If it weren’t for Him, I’d have neither the courage or fortitude. So grateful for His prodding.

  2. Thank you so much for a timely post – I will definitely print this out and keep it as an encouraging reference. I also started properly pursuing my writing dream later in life, and feel that God has called me to do so. I don’t know what the future holds, but keeping Him in the center of it is key. It is a hard road, harder than I’d expected – but worthwhile because I know who called me. Congratulations for persevering with your dream, may God truly bless you for your faithfulness and hard work.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Raewyn. (Beautiful name.) Don’t give up — I know from experience both how bumpy the road can get, but also how amazing it feels when God takes the wheel and says, “Let me navigate through this one.”

  3. It’s funny. I always liked that quote. For me, it says that what will put me in the one percent is to not give up. It’s not just about luck, it’s about persistence. So how do you get persistence. Consulting the same wise One you consulted. When I started writing seriously I couldn’t believe people actually got paid to do something soooo fulfilling. Then I heard that voice in my heart that told me it would be hard, I need to be ready when it is, and to not give up. I would have if that “voice” hadn’t been so insistent. So that’s what keeps me going. Thanks for the reminder to continue on.

    1. I completely understand where you’re coming from, Connie. We were created for something special, but we must partner persistently with God for there to be results. I love what Beth Moore said, “When God sent manna to the children of Israel, He didn’t feed it to them intravenously, they had to go gather it.”

  4. Anita,
    I certainly appreciate your words of wisdom and insight. Especially today! Just yesterday, I had resigned myself to the fact that all the doors were closed for my novel writing. I had accepted it. That I should focus on my blog writing and not as much on my novels. And then I read your blog today. I don’t know what God is telling me, but it simply cannot be coincidence. So today, I will continue work on my second novel for a writing contest. I will continue to ask God’s blessing upon novel #1 and its sales. I will ask God to show me what His will in this venture might be. And I will ask that He continue to place special people in my path who encourage. Thank you for being an encourager today. I appreciate it.
    Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

    1. Donna, your response makes tears come to my eyes. There is no greater joy than to pass on encouragement. There was a particular day I was ready to throw in the towel. I told God I was tired and just going to give up. Literally, less than an hour later I received a phone call from Focus on the Family telling me they were publishing one of my articles. God is good to send messages at the precise moment we need them. Grateful He used me to inspire you to keep on keeping on. Do NOT give up! You CAN be one of the one through Christ who strengthens you.

  5. Anita,
    I am still a spring chicken at 76. When God spoke to me to write a few years ago my response, “You have to be kidding.” Today, although self published, I am writing my fourth book. As a Pastor for years, the Lord has directed me to write all the things I have learned over the last forty-five years. I will be writing until I go home to be with Jesus. Your wonderful pictures tell the story and I thank you for your article.

  6. As God continues to remind me, He’s ALWAYS in control. I’ve seen Him work miracles in the lives of authors who were ready to give up, and then He opened a door or gave a word of encouragement. Thanks for your encouraging words, Anita!

  7. Anita, I love your comment that the best inspiration comes lowest to the ground. How true it is! When we prostrate ourselves (literally and/or figuratively) before God, it is a grace-filled moment that lifts us back on our feet and moves us forward once again. Sometimes, I’m smart enough to do the prostrating myself, and other times, it takes the disappointments of the writing life to force me down to it. But God is faithful and I remind myself that He has called me to my vocation, and He will accomplish it…in His timing, not mine (argggh). God has my whole life span to accomplish His plan for me, and really, what else do I have to do with the rest of my life except wait on the Lord? Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Thank you Anita for this message. I too have to remind myself daily that God will put all the pieces in place when the time is right. Until then, discouraged or not, I will write, or stare at a blank computer screen. God just asks me to show up. My gumption comes from hearing the Small Still Voice that says, “It’s okay, someone needed to hear what you wrote today” even though I may feel discouraged and doubtful. It’s the same Voice that tells me my story, or ideas, though they rest on the desk under dust, or never see the sunlight from the desk drawer, will someday bless someone, somewhere, somehow. I keep at it because I never feel more complete than when I am writing. I know this is what I was meant to do.

    1. Your outlook is amazing, Pamela. I identify wholeheartedly with your statement, “I never feel more complete than when I am writing. I know this is what I was meant to do.”

  9. Great post, Anita! Facing my fears continues to be the theme of my writing journey, as you well know. But I’ve learned that fear always raises its ugly head the direction of God leadership to sidetrack or distract me. In the past, I feared failure and rejection most. Now, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within (me), will continue his work until it is finally finished …” (Phil. 1:6 NLT). So, I’m choosing to keep my eyes on Christ and keep writing!

    1. Karen, your scripture reference is a perfect reminder. Facing fear is a necessary part of allowing God to make us one of the one who succeed. I’m sure most people quit out of fear more than anything else. Glad you continue to write.

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