Friday, October 19, 2012

Writing Road Trip - Destination Publication

All of us are on a journey of some sort. To glorify God, to have children, to get a job. For most here, it's a writing journey and our destination is publication. Whether we're looking to publish our first or fifteenth book, making our way there is like a road trip, with twists and turns and roadblocks and sights to see the whole way there.

Photo by Moyan_Brenn_BE_BACK_on_10th_OCT
My message today is that the journey is just as important as the destination. Want to see how? Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Ready, Set, Drive!

You're packed up and excited to get behind the wheel. This is when you tell yourself you have a story to write and you're going to write it!

Why is this important?
This is the foundation of your trip. The excitement to go. The passion for your journey. And even God's whisper to you that you have a mission.

First stop, Grand Canyon!

This is the first planned stop of your trip, after following the directions and exiting in the right spot. You've made it, and it's beautiful. This is where you've finished your first draft, and it's beautiful! Kind of a momentous occasion.

Why is this important?
Well, you HAVE to finish a novel as a writer, of course. But this is still huge. You've committed to something and you did it!

Bathroom Break!

Okay, maybe you didn't plan this stop. But you had too much bottled iced tea and you have to stop. No big deal, you're still on track to the next location. This is where you have to edit your first draft, or get feedback from someone who's read it. It's okay, you knew you were going to have to revise a little! No big deal, even if you had to take out a part that was kind of awesome.

Why is this important?
Because you're not going to know every moment of your journey and it's smart to know ahead of time that sometimes you're just going to have to go with the flow.

Next Stop, Las Vegas!

Look at all the lights! It's kind of exciting, and you made it here just in time to find a Starbucks and giant club sandwich (or whatever you like to eat). This is where you are ready to break into the publishing world. You've entered a contest, you're querying agents, hey--you're even going to conference. You're the king of the world!

Why is this important?
Because putting yourself out there is the first "real" step of the publishing journey. No matter what the result, this is a step you have to take.

Oh no! Flat tire!

No, you weren't planning on stopping here. You weren't planning on standing out in the rain. You weren't planning on having to spend a couple hundred dollars to get towed and buy a new tire. Ugh. Yeah, this is where your contest entry was met with less than stellar feedback. Or maybe you got your first - or 10th - rejection.

Why is this important?
You can learn from it. Learn how to become a better writer. Learn how to have a thick skin in this industry. Learn or remember that God is still on your side, and He wants the best for you - aka, no flat tires! (Or at least, as smooth a resolution to those flat tires as possible.)

You're in California!

Yippee! There's an ocean on the other side of this state - your GPS is sure of it! This is where you see your destination in sight. You got encouraging feedback from an editor or you won an important contest. You got an agent! You actually might. get. published.

Why is this important?
Because there are always encouraging moments in your journey. You have to go through the downs to get to the ups. Speaking of downs...

Detour!

Oh yeah, you thought you were almost there! Sorry, road's closed. Take another route. This is where an editor says your book isn't the right fit for us. But, but, but!

Why is this important?
Because it's going to happen. More than once. There are going to be detours in your writing journey. And you know what? God knows about them. Even better, He's on this journey with you. Taking a detour might seem off the path to you, but it's directly on His path. Let HIM be your GPS.   

Hey, I like that. Let God Be Your GPS! 

You've arrived at your destination! The ocean? Publication?

Whatever it is, you've made it. It might have taken longer than you thought, but the whole trip was important. Those fun things you saw along the way, the encouragements, the disappointments. Every moment of the journey is important because every moment and how you deal with it, the way it affects you and other people, the way you push forward - all of that makes you who you are as a writer.

Writing is a journey, not a destination. You're always going to be working for something and there are always going to be good times and bad times. So if you can, enjoy each moment and learn something from it. Appreciate where it takes you and who you become because of it. It will show in your writing, and that's a great thing!

Have any of you ever wanted to skip the journey and head straight to publishing? Even if it's been hard, what has helped you grow the most s a writer?

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Cindy is a Colorado native, living near the mountains with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She writes contemporary Christian romance, seeking to enrich lives with her stories of faith, love, and a touch of humor.

To learn more about Cindy, visit her at her personal blog, www.cindyrwilson.com

10 comments:

Debra E. Marvin said...

I've actually taken this road trip from Tucson to Grand Canyon to Las Vegas to DisneyLand and the beautiful La Jolla... thanks for the reminder.

I've noticed that every time I determine to do a mandatory number of chapters or words on one book, something happens with another project. I signed up for NaNo and just remember I'm also taking an online class in November (and oh yes, I was asked to babysit my granddaughter for a few days and... you know how it goes)

I think it's a good lesson in learning how to Keep Calm and Carry On!

And, even when you get to the ocean - publication- you have to turn around and start heading for the other coast!

have a great weekend, ladies! I read the posts via email and don't always comment but you do such a great job here!

Jeanne T said...

Debra, I was thinking the same thing, our writing journeys could be coast-to-coast endeavors. Over and over again. :)

Cindy, I loved this post today. Your truths are spot on. I think what has helped me grow the most as a writer is having other writers encouraging me, sharing reality with me and guiding me/critiquing and teaching me. I just want to soak it all in. Too bad I can't change my writing through osmosis. It only comes through hard work. :) But that's a good thing too.

I'm rambling. I'll sign off for now. :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Thank you so much, Debra! And you're so right about reaching our destination. It just starts another journey to the other coast. Have a super weekend, and thanks for visiting!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Hi Jeanne. I completely agree about the benefits of having other writers in your life. They are so valuable and really help us on this journey!

Keli Gwyn said...

Early in my writing journey I asked God to help me enjoy each step. I didn't want to miss out on the fun en route to the goal. And I'm happy to say I haven't. I've made many wonderful friends and had lots of great experiences.

As a Californian, I had to smile that our great state was the destination in your analogy. =)

Loree Huebner said...

I just loved this post. I cracked up at - Oh No! Flat tire! So much truth here.

Looking forward to the ocean view! Great post!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Glad to make you smile, Keli. And that's great advice. To pray about the journey, and take what you can from every little bit - especially the friends we make :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Loree, yeah, flat tires are no fun! But at least there's usually something we can learn from them - at least in writing. Real flat tires...well, I'm not sure I learn much from those :)

Rinoplasti said...

Thanks for writing in such an encouraging post. I had a glimpse of it and couldn’t stop reading till I finished. I have already bookmarked you.
Rinoplasti

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Thanks, Rino! I'm glad the post was encouraging. Have a super weekend!