Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy

I owned a Christian bookstore for almost five years. During that time, I must have heard hundreds of people tell me how much they always wanted to own one. I still hear that comment.

They have no clue what really goes on behind closed bookstore doors. Inventorying, budgeting, ordering, decorating, worrying and praying. Keeping a ministry afloat on a shoestring budget is not a walk on the yellow brick road—or maybe it was because I was totally amazed how it did survive. (Thank you, God.)

Since becoming a writer, I’ve heard similar comments. “Oh, I’d love to sit on my porch all day and write.” “It must be so wonderful to know you will have a book on a shelf in a matter of months.”

This is where all the dedicated, committed writers groan together.

Writing is much more than journaling in a notebook in front of a picturesque lake. If a person thinks that’s all it is, then they’re in the wrong profession. Whether I write inspirational or secular—the process will be the same. I will need to write, edit, promote, then market and finally sell. Not necessarily in that order but the bigger picture says it takes a whole lot of hard work (along with prayer) just like any other profession.

I know there are writers who make it right away—but not many and not every day and I would still have to bet (if I did) they worked hard to get that manuscript edited, prepared and in the hands of a publisher.

There will be the writer who goes the distance and then there will be the writer who gives up because it’s too hard or not rewarding enough. If writing is your gift--persevere. Take care of yourself; but don’t let the dream die.

We may not be in Kansas anymore but we’re entering a whole new state.


Joanne said...

Sometimes it feels like the writing journey is the same as going off to see the Wizard. But as long as we have our "blogging" Scarecrows and Tin Men and Lions along with us, it's an interesting journey!

Janna Qualman said...

I have a friend who, when she suggested a novel premise but I told her I already had book 2 figured out, shrugged and said, "Oh, well then I'll just have to write it myself."

Some of my frustrations may be because of this particular friend, but it's really disheartening to hear non-writers to speak so flippantly about the process and concept.


I love the tie-in, especially including Joanne's comment, because my kindergartner's class is studying fall - and today I sent her to school dressed like a scarecrow! :)

It's funny how The Wizard of Oz can be likened to so much... I wrote a motherhood piece with the same kind of tie-in.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Thems who says writing is a picnic by the lake is the same ones who says parenting is the easiest job on the planet. ;)

Here's to our journey toward Emerald City!

Blessed One said...

I must admit, I am just beginning to step out onto my own writing "yellow brick road". I joined FaithWriters and that led me to start my blog. What I love and appreciate so much, is having such wonderful and established writers to glean wisdom and tips from. Thank you from a newbie!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I just had a conversation with our local indie bookseller and she was talking about the "behind the scenes" of the bookstore - it's hard work! Then I told her how someone introduced me and said, "Kathryn writes and edits as a hobby" -- I just stared at her - HOBBY?! oh dear....and yes, I get that same thing "must be nice....etc" - Yes, I'd rather be doing this than what I had to do for years and years in offices, etc., but writing and editing takes discipline, and in fact, I rarely take a day off; when you work from home, you tend to work 7 days a week...

Watcher said...

I was noticing, dear editor, that you left a comment on elizabeth lewis's site and misused the word 'you're.' :) I'm watching you.

Lyzbeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyzbeth said...

Thanks! It's easy for me to say that God has everything planned out, it's another thing to try and actually realize it.

I'm getting ready to finish business school with a focus in entrepreneurship and I'll be the first to say I would be completely lost were I to try and manage a business like that. I give credit to those who do! I also thought at one point that I would turn a few ideas I had into a book... Writers definitely don't get enough credit. I wouldn't even know where to start =)

Gina C said...

I'd love to repost this at WI. Can you send me an attachment?