By Laurel Blount
A long, long time ago when I was in my twenties—back in the dark ages when there was no internet, no cell phones, and no social media—I submitted a book proposal to a well-known publisher.
I was overjoyed when I received a request for the full manuscript, but ultimately, I got a kind rejection letter. Deeply disappointed, I stuck my writing on the backburner and turned my focus to other interests.
Flash forward three decades. On impulse, I entered a contest sponsored by Love Inspired, progressed through each round, and ultimately sold my debut novel A Family for the Farmer. Since then I’ve published two additional books with Love Inspired, and my fourth, A Rancher to Trust, is scheduled for release on December 17th.
I’ve joyfully celebrated the release of each book, and I feel immensely privileged to have what my irrepressible novelist friend Lenora Worth calls “the bestest job in the whole world!” But deep down beneath all the gratitude and happiness, I battled some regret.
What if I hadn’t given up so easily back in my twenties? How many books would I have birthed by now? How much further along would I be in my career?
Then I realized something that I want to share with you.
Actually, two things.
First of all, if you are a young, aspiring writer, don’t do what I did. The world needs your God-given talent and your voice now more than ever. Set your face like flint against those rejections, put on a bulletproof vest if you have to, but keep on writing.
But, if you, like me, are a bit more…ahem…mature and find yourself wishing that you had more years to hone your craft, more time to tell all the stories knocking about in your mind and heart, if you’re mourning over the years you’ve “wasted,” then my second point is just for you.
Listen up, buttercup. Nothing in God’s economy is ever wasted.
All those busy years when we either weren’t writing, or when our writing wasn’t taking off like we’d hoped, weren’t wasted at all.
They were invested.
Take me, for instance. During the three decades I spent away from my keyboard, I gave birth to two children, adopted two more, traveled to several countries, suffered my fair share of griefs and betrayals, and logged thirty-plus years in a solid marriage. I battled anxiety and experienced the normal stresses of building a home and mothering young children. I explored a wide range of hobbies and interests. I read extensively, made many fascinating friends, experienced abounding joy and devastating sorrow, sweet fellowship and hollow loneliness. I witnessed jaw-dropping global events and saw the world shift and change with the meteoric rise of technology. Most importantly, I developed a deep relationship with my Lord and learned to lean hard on Him in both good times and bad.
Now when I sit down to write, I sift the memories of all those experiences into my books. My writing is much richer because of the “wasted” years I spent simply living life. The experts say, ‘write what you know.’ Well, I don’t know everything, that’s for sure! I do, however, know a lot more now than I did when I was younger.
I’m positive that the same applies to you. What do we say when we hear of people who’ve lived richly and deeply? We say, “Boy, I bet they have some stories to tell!”
Well, yes, they do.
So do you.
I do, too.
And now it’s time to tell them.Listen up, buttercup! Some encouragement for older writers. @laurelannwrites #ACFWBlogs #writing #writetips Click To Tweet
Inspirational romance author Laurel Blount has been awarded the Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie award and has been a finalist for the Carol award, the Holt Medallion and the New England Reader’s Choice Award. Stay in touch by subscribing to her monthly newsletter, full of news, down-home recipes and fun giveaways!