"Do not neglect your gift, which was given you . . ." 1 Timothy 4:14

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feelings Follow Action

I’ve always liked September. The start of a new school year, new clothes, and best of all, a new notebook. I usually chose a blue fabric-covered one. By the end of the year, faded and frayed, it resembled a well-worn pair of jeans.

Now it’s a new blog, not a notebook. But I’m still a student and always will be. I study the craft of writing by reading books, going to conferences, and attending monthly meetings of my ACFW Chapter, WIN. I study the Bible, meeting on Wednesday nights for Disciple Bible Study II—Into the Word, Into the World.

Unlike in my youth, however, I don’t have the luxury of being a full-time student. My day job takes the best hours of the day, and often the best of me, leaving little energy or desire for hitting the keyboard and books. But I know a secret. Feelings follow action. If I wait until I feel like writing to write, it may never happen. However, if I jump in and write even though I don’t want to, I begin to enjoy it, and feel like writing more.

So, I make appointments with myself. A time to write. A time to read. A time to prepare for Disciple. I enter them in my PlannerPad—in ink. Makes me feel like it’s the first day of school and I have a new class schedule in my hand. A blueprint to success.

How do you make time for what’s important to you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

From Promise to Practice

It's not enough to dream.

Dreams require action to turn them into reality. This day I commit again, I promise myself, to succeed at writing.

With God's help, and in His timing, I will take my dream from promise to practice through discipline and work, and become the published novelist I've wanted to be since childhood.

I don't expect it to be easy. I've been on this journey long enough to have taken a few wrong turns. I've spent a few years on dead-end streets. One place you won't find me is on the super-highway of life. I'm happy to travel slow enough to enjoy the trip, and savor the many stops along the way.

I'm currently preparing for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, to be held later this month. With 600 Christian novelists in one place, it's half writers-conference, half spiritual-retreat, and 100% a blessing to my soul. This is a place where I've learned there is value in meeting agents and editors, even if they don't sign me or want to look at my work. I'm out there, getting to know people in the industry, and learning.

In God's timing, I'll click with the right agent or editor.

For I know without a doubt -- God has a plan for me and my writing, but I have to do my part and put myself out there.

Made any promises to yourself? What's your plan to put them in practice? Leave a comment.