Monday, May 25, 2009

Reading the Fine Print

My husband and I rarely read a book together --I hate how he places his bookmark--if I accidentally move it, I never hear the end of it. (Why is it I can find my place easily but he needs the last line and paragraph he read practically highlighted?)

But when I saw Put Your Dream to the Test but John Maxwell, I figured I could overcome a little adversity.Maxwell is my husband's favorite author and since I believe that discovering your dream should be a person's top priority in life, I jumped.

My personal dream is to become the best writer I can and hopefully make a difference in other's lives by doing it. On top of that, I'd love to learn to be a speaker where I can share with others how they can accomplish their dreams to write too.

Big order I know.

Something Maxwell wrote struck me:

If you want to achieve your dream, you need to read the find print.

The journey will take longer than you hoped.
The obstacles will be more numerous that you believed.
The disappontments will be greater than you expected.
The lows will be lower than you imagined.
The price will be higher than you anticipated.

Wow.

I've been on this journey for more than four years already. I've experienced my share of rejections and disappointment from publishers and agents. I've been unable to attend some conferences due to cost, and I've had to step out of my box to start a writers group I really needed. The fine print is starting to make sense. But where's the good news?

But then Maxwell goes on to say that if we are to achieve our dreams, we need to be realistic about them.

Did I ever think the first manuscript I sent in to a publisher would be accepted?

A nod. Of course I did. That's part of my dreaming. But then I need to consider reality.

Did I really submit my best? Did I learn about the mechanics of writing? Did I learn about editing techniques? Did I proofread it all again or have someone else critique it for me? Was I open to learning?

Where are you today in your dream? First, have you figured out what it is? And if you have, are you prepared for the steps you might have to take to get thereto take the steps to get there?

Your dream should be bigger than you, but like anything we do in life, it will take hard work. Are you prepared for the fine print?

26 comments:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Such a timely word, Terri! My dreams have changed over the years. Like you, I thought my first manuscript would be swept up by numerous publishers. Boy, was I wrong. Looking back on it now, I can see the work that needs to be done with it. At some point, I will revisit the Bible study, as I view its merits as worthy.

This 3rd work still needs revision; but God is taking me down a new path toward publication with this one. I wouldn't have been ready for it 3 years ago, but after time and lots of heartache, God has reshaped my heart for a new direction, and I'm at peace.

I tell you what ...

I want to be the be the best I can be for today, alone--in isolation and apart from "the rest of my life." I think if we can live in that understanding, we walk a manageable hope. Otherwise, I get bogged down in the battle of wills...mine and God's.

Happy Monday and week to you friend. Keep dreaming and living all the more.

peace~elaine

Ang said...

Thanks for posting this at a time I needed it the most Terri.

Ang

Andrea said...

WOW...I needed to hear this word, too. Like you, I want to be the best writer I can be. I am pursuing my dream, but somedays not to the best of my ability.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts from Maxwell's book.

Continued prayers for you and yours, andrea

Jan Cline said...

OK, you're scaring me....I have been thinking a lot about all that for some time now...we share the dream of writing and speaking and it's funny how parallel our lives are! Remember Habakukk 2:2? Anyway, thank you for sharing that - it's hard to mix dreams with discipline, but they really do go hand in hand. I love dreaming, I just don't like the discipline part - knowing you have to continually work to make your craft better. I'm not a fine print ready by nature - I will work on that.

Cindy said...

Thank you so much for this post. It sounds like a good book you're reading.

I definitely was not prepared for the fine print. I thought when I got published that would be the sparkling new beginning to a long writing career. I truly feel like I am still working toward my dream but I have to work even harder now. I have to market and get my books out there and I am having to do so much of it on my own. It's hard but every day I work toward it I realize how much stronger I've become.

Valerie said...

My first manuscript was rejected although it did contain an encouraging comment. I did better with short stories. I have reached a comfortable stage with my writing and my dream now is always to love what I am doing. Good luck Terri.

Jessica said...

I'm trying to remember the fine print. What a wonderful post Terri!
Some people don't follow their dreams. Some people don't dream at all.
I hope I'll always pursue my dreams and what God wants for me, no matter the cost.
Thank you!

Wendy said...

I loved that book. I did a book review for it and deeply appreciated how Maxwell challenges readers to think about their dreams...to test them. I wrote a lot down while reading that book.
~ Wendy

Lin said...

good ideas, we all want life/career/family, etc. on a silver platter to be presented to us but we are the ones who need to gather the ingredients, make the meal, set the table, etc before serving the meal. In the process we learn and grow.

Jody Hedlund said...

The fine print is indeed something we overlook! We want the glamor and the glory without going through the nitty gritty to get there! But it's when we persevere day in and day out that we truly grow. And that whole process of growing is what we need most!

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Terri, Maxwell is one of my brother's favorite authors, too.(My brother is a successful Christian motivational speaker among other things.) Maxwell's books have and are helping him to achieve big things. He's worth listening to in many ways.

As far as the writing journey goes, you have many alongside you on the path. When the discouragement hits, lean on your fellow writers who understand and wish the best for you.

Sassy Granny ... said...

I love it!

As one who loves to run headlong into new endeavors, stopping long enough to count the cost is not always a measure I've taken. Until, that is, I got tired of bruises and blues.

Thank you for sharing such rock-solid wisdom.

Be blessed,
Kathleen

Lynnette Bonner said...

Awesome post! Yes, it does take time for this writing dream to come true. I finished my novel back in 2001 and it is just now coming out. So this journey does involve a lot of patience! :) The important thing to remember is that if God has called you to write, what else can you do?

sarah said...

you really raise some good thoughts that I need to consider. All I tend to see is what I want, not the cost or the downsides of the journey - I love your honesty and openness in sharing. By the way, thank you soo much for the one sheet, and query. It's helped a ton. Sarah

Greg C said...

I think over the years, I let my dreams slip and I came up with new ones. I guess I assumed that I would never reach my initial goals so I better change them to something attainable.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Working for attorneys lotsa years, I can tell you the importance of all fine print. :)

Along with the big dream, it's nice to have smaller attainable ones along the way.

Kristen Painter said...

Interesting thoughts. Many people seem to think writing is easy - especially when so many people self-publish. But if you're shooting for a large publisher, the road is long indeed.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Tiffany:
I have been writing for over twenty-five years, with some success and some disappointments.

My dreams have changed, like most writers, because I've grown up a little.

If I can touch one person and lead them to Jesus, or help them understand the Father better, all the toil and tears are worth it.

But I wouldn't reject a little money along the way, either!

Excellent post; thanks for sharing!
Jen

Yolanda said...

I have so longed to participate with other hungry women in bible study. God brought that to me, then I hungered for an afternoon study to participate in and today....I will be leading one. Can you believe that? What a stretch and what I wanted, He prepped me all this time to bring it about by using me. Not about me, all about HIM!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I think I'm working the fine print daily, but I'm very slow. But that's okay, it's all in God's timing to me. Sometimes, though, I think that I'm disappointing God by taking so long. Another prayer of forgiveness to lift. There are so many!

Warren Baldwin said...

What a powerful list to keep our thougths and motivation in line and not grow discouraged:

The journey will take longer than you hoped.
The obstacles will be more numerous that you believed.
The disappontments will be greater than you expected.
The lows will be lower than you imagined.
The price will be higher than you anticipated.

Before I even read your response I gave the identical one: "Wow!"

Good post, thanks. wb

Lynnette Bonner said...

Popping back in to say:

Check out my blog. I gave you a "Lovely Blog Award" today. Thanks for your wonderful posts!

www.lynnettebonner.com/blog

Melissa Marsh said...

Ah, Terri, a perfect post once again!

I think I am prepared for the fine print - right now, I just want to get my foot in the door. :-)

Chelle Sandell said...

I was fortunate enough to have a pubbed author mentor me before I started writing. I was expecting the fine print but it still hurt when I got my first rejection. My dream is just as vivid today as it was when I first started writing geared toward publication. The true blessing has been my journey...from the love and support of my family to the friends I've made along the way.

Kasie West said...

That blasted fine print. Why is it always there blocking my view? LOL Thanks for the post. Dreaming is hard work. Maybe we should all get easier dreams. Just kidding--dream big!

LisaShaw said...

Terri this was written by you a day or two ago but it's for me today!

Big dreams and hard work go hand in hand my friend but none of it will play out without us also walking in God's peace.

I, like your husband, really enjoy John Maxwell. He is one of my three favorite authors: Joyce Meyer, John Maxwell and Dr. Samuel Chand. I do enjoy others but you'll find many of their books on my shelves especially Joyce.

Bless you dear one as you continue to press in!