In all honesty, I've been struggling a bit more than usual with the whole waiting-game, so my imaginary friends and I have had to give myself a sound pep-talk.
There are many amazing things about the writing journey.
- the camaraderie one creates with fellow writers
- the amazing stories born from your creative mind
- the act of learning through refinement of your skill
- the opportunity to get work done while sitting in your pjs and drinking tea (;-)
So many pros.
But within those pros, there are some struggles, and 'waiting' is one of them.
Lots of waiting.
Waiting for the contest results, waiting for inspiration, waiting for your crit partner's reaction to your work, waiting for an editor's response, waiting...waiting....waiting.
What brought this topic to mind for me today?
I've been writing stories for a long time. I have my first 'illustrated and typed' story from when I was ten (seen with my daughter in the picture to the right) and I completed my first 90K novel when I was 18 years old.
This weekend, while doing some cleaning, I found my very first contest entry form....from 2004 - 10 years ago. Ten years ago I began the journey toward publication.
The awareness of that, hit me directly in the insecurity.
10 years and over 10 novels (7 of which will probably never see the light of an editor's desk :-)
Yet, here I am - still unpublished and still singing with the longing of a Disney Princess, Someday My Prints Will Come....
So what's the point of my sad sob story? :-)
I want to give you two secret super powers to help you play the waiting game with positivity: perspective and joy.
Focusing on what 'hasn't' happened is like seeing the 'witch' in this picture to your left. I only notice the bad things and my 'focus' gets stuck on the negative.
However, that's not the ONLY view I can take. If I change my 'perspective', I'll see the beauty in the picture.
A positive view.
Something that helps make sense of the journey in a way my negativity never could.
Perspective changes things - it leads us to realize at the bottom of all the waiting is an abiding joy in the journey
In the process of creating
In the adventure of that process
And in the purpose the process refines within us
When you are called to be a writer, you find joy in the journey. (even if you have to dig a little deeper sometimes to do it)
Is there frustration, rejection, anger, and sadness? Sure.
Have I wanted to quit before? Definitely
But here's the thing - deep down within us, stories keep forming. Characters keep developing, words dance, writhe, sing, and search through our thoughts waiting to be set free on the page.
Deep within our hearts, in a place where God kindles his gifts within us, there is a need to express this gift despite the frustrations, disappointments, and long waiting. To explode with creativity.
Because there is so much joy, wonder, amazement...almost a miracle, in the creative process.
If we jump way back to the beginning...and I mean the VERY beginning, God found joy in his creation. Lights, planets, animals, people... They were 'good'.
God's creative process flowed out of him in WORDS.
He didn't use a wand, a magical spell, or a potion.
He used words.
Like us. Writers!
I think at the heart of a writer, there is a particular calling to bring words to life. It burns so deeply within us, that even when we feel the ultimate discouragement, most painful rejection, or longest wait...the light of our inborn creativity still blinks into the darkness of our waiting.
It provides an element of hope to make the waiting bearable :-)
I may have to remind myself every day of the joy. Talk myself off the 'proverbial' ledge of quitting, or even find a good friend to remind me why I love what I do - but down deep, I know...it's a part of me. A pulsing life of imagination formed within me (and you) by a loving Creator.
Find the positive view by renewing your mind with the truth of the gift God's given you!
How do you manage the waiting? Where do find the hope to turn your disappointments into opportunities of creativity?