Monday, March 24, 2014

The Not-For-Sale Story

Casey's post on Friday (click here to read it) was pretty timely as I have been contemplating a post on working your way out of such burnout.

In the same vein of honesty as our dear Case, I will admit that it wasn't very long ago when the
on by pakorn
rejections and silence overwhelmed me so much that I pulled away from all my "writerly" habits. I didn't want to write, or catch up on social media, or read one more blog, or try and hone my craft. The often spoken advice "to write every day", stabbed a very sharp guilt dagger in my side and had me wonder if I should really identify myself as a writer at all.

After a lot of reflection, I realized that it wasn't writing that had me burned out, but my perspective. With my eyes focused on progressing forward in the industry, my heart was shrinking back as I had walked away from my love---to write.

Let's face it, writing and publishing are connected, BUT... the writing is not dependent on the publishing. Actually, it's the other way around.

Getting these mixed up had me resent my writing when my pursuit became a bit sluggish. It's like turning against my own heart when I let outward circumstance frustrate me. How can I cast off my love because my journey was not loving me back? Would I turn against God's gift because his creation had not provided the satisfaction I desire?
on by jesadaphorn
So what's my resolution? First, I had to ask myself what do I long for when I am burned out.
Hmmm...lately, it's not necessarily publication. It goes deeper.
I want to rekindle that flame.
There are great suggestions out there, but the one I just recently took up, is to write a story without any expectation to sell it. Write a story in my heart and not worry about hook, grammar, industry do's and don'ts. Create without ulterior motives. Create for my heart's sake and nothing else.
 Time is always a constraint, but after writing five novels, having two in the works, and no contracts yet, I'll make the time.
And the great thing is, the time is not a stressor because there is no impending pitch, proposal, or contest deadline for this story ahead.
But the time is essential, because it gives me room to breathe and remember why I began writing in the first place.

Do you write without publishing in mind? Do you have a story you know might never sell? Are you going to write it anyway?

Remember, don't leave behind your love...and if it's way back there, turn around, rekindle the love, and give yourself time to create again!
Angie Dicken first began writing fiction as a creative outlet during the monotonous, mothering days of diapers and temper tantrums. She is passionate to impress God's love on women regardless of their background or belief. This desire serves as a catalyst for Angie's fiction, which weaves salvation and grace themes across historical cultures and social boundaries. Angie is an ACFW member and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Angie, this is such a great post coming off the heels of Casey's! It's one that I needed, as well.

It's hard to let go of the "industry" part of writing and just write for the love of it. That always makes me think of Mary Connealy who had 10 manuscripts finished before she finally got contracted. She wrote before all the social media was in play...she could just write and not be distracted by all the "buzz" of publishing! It's a good lesson for us all. Thanks, friend!

Angie Dicken said...

Thanks, Sherrinda! I didn't know that about Mary Connealy. I think there is something to be said for social media...but it sure does mess with your mind sometimes when you are in the waiting period.:)

Pepper said...

Great post, Ang!
Write for the LOVE of writing!! Good stuff - and something I needed to hear today too. I'm definitely in a backseat trip on the writing grid right now.
I'm feeling the 'overwhelmed' life feeling and my creativity-cup is mighty low. There are still ideas brewing and begging for release, but my interest in getting them on the page has puttered out a little...okay - if I'm honest it's puttered out a lot.
I'm zonked.
I actually wrote a few hundred words yesterday for the first time in a while.
Loving it right now? Not too sure about that.

Pepper said...

And that's a first for me, btw. It makes me sad :-(

Krista Phillips said...


The writing isn't dependent on the publishing. Instead the publishing is depending on the writing.

OHHHHHHHH Seriously, that is GOOD STUFF my friend!!!

Write now, I'm NOT writing just for the love of writing. I have goals and plans and all that fun stuff. It is the season I'm in, and I'm cool with that. I'm still loving writing it. BUT... I've definitely gone through seasons where I've laid my "goals" and "plans" down and just written. Sometimes it was a story, sometimes, it was just blogs. And other times even just allowing myself a lot of time to brainstorm is needed to, because the STORY is what spurs my mind in many cases.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Great post. I think it's so important every once in a while to step back and write for the love of it and nothing else. It's easy to get burnt out when writing becomes a job and there are rules to follow (not to mention social media and all the stuff that comes with it) but we're writers because we're meant to be, which means we have to get in touch with the real reason we started writing in the first place.

Ashley Clark said...

Ang, I loooooooooved when you said writing shouldn't be for publication, but the other way around. So simple, and yet that concept has such a profound impact on why we often get discouraged.

Jeanne T said...

Angie, I loved this post too. It speaks on a heart level. This road, this journey is H-A-R-D. I've had times when life is so big it drains me of all creativity. I love the saying Beth Vogt has shared with me (and probably others): Real life trumps writing life. I give myself permission during the crazy cycle of life to put writing on the back burner for a time.

I loved what you said about perspective, Angie. When I have an accurate perspective about writing, the process and the gift, writing tends to stay fresh. When things get out of line, then I get burned out.

Okay, that's a lot of words to say, I AGREE! :) Great post, Angie.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Wonderful post, Angie. You had the best advice ever - just write for the joy of it.

I remember when I was getting discouraged about the whole publishing thing and then I asked myself - if I knew I'd never be published, would I still keep writing? And the answer was YES because I love it!

Follow your joy and magic will happen!


Angie Dicken said...

I bet you have an explosion of creative flow once life settles down a bit! Glad you had some time to write. :)

Angie Dicken said...

It's good to know what season of writing you are in, and to not expect it to be more than it is, or something it is not. Glad that you are at peace with where you are at...right where you should be!

Angie Dicken said...

I love what you said about getting in touch with the real reason we became writers in the first place. It always helps me to remember those early days to know that my writing goes deeper than what I expect it to be now. Thanks for stopping by!

Angie Dicken said...

You and Pepper have been amazing at helping me really grasp that concept! ;)

Angie Dicken said...

It's hard to step away from writing life when real life demands our attention...especially when writing can seem so much more fun and sometimes, more productive than real life! But, regardless of all the advice on writing schedules and what this writing should look like, we've got to remember that each writer is unique in what they can and can't do according to their "real" life! Thanks for your words!

Angie Dicken said...

The joy of it is so hard to grasp sometimes, but when you remember it, it makes it all worth it!
Thanks for stopping by!