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by Lillian Duncan

Wow! It’s the first day of a new year and I have the honor of welcoming it in for ACFW’s blog. That is quite the honor and quite the responsibility. Do I pick a solemn topic? Maybe, one to make you smile? Something encouraging? Something to make you think? Something inspirational?

Mmm. What to do? So many choices and yet whatever I do, I know I can’t please everyone. In a way, that is exactly how it is as we write our books, isn’t it? No matter how hard we try, we can’t please everyone.
One of the things I remember most when I first started writing was how vulnerable it made me feel. It didn’t make sense since I was writing fiction. And yet it felt as if I’d stripped off my clothes and was running naked down the street for everyone to see.

I’ve grown more accustomed to the naked feeling the longer I write. I’ve come to understand that we share a part of ourselves with our readers-even in fiction. That sharing makes us vulnerable, but it is also what makes our story able to touch another’s soul in some way.

Some of us are pre-published and are sending out submissions to critique groups, contests, agents, or editors. Others are published, and still sending submissions to critique groups, contests, agents, or editors. Either way, criticisms, critiques and negative reviews are in our past, present and future.

It took me fifteen years before I received a traditional book contract. I often wanted to quit, especially after a rejection letter. And believe me, in fifteen years I received many!

In fact, I did quit many times, but, of course, I always started again. Or I wouldn’t be writing this today.

Those rejections hurt but I learned from them as well. Here are a few things I learned:

• HUMILITY: I wasn’t the next Hemingway or even the next Grisham.

• PATIENCE: I was willing to take the time to improve at my craft.

• PERSEVERANCE: If I quit, my dream wouldn’t happen so I kept writing and writing and….

• TRUST: I learned to trust God’s timing, not mine.

• JOY: I learned to savor the journey and not focus as much on the destination.

• LOVE: I learned NOT to turn to anger in the face of the rejections.

• PEACE: I came to terms with the fact I might not become published and that life would still be wonderful anyway.

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I believe these are characteristics worth developing.

If you want to be a writer, you need to accept the fact that you can’t please everyone so my advice to you is GET OVER IT! Just the way Jesus did. He knew we couldn’t please everyone and He didn’t try. He even told the disciples in Matthew 10: 14 to shake the dust off their feet from the towns that didn’t welcome them.

So at the beginning of this new year, I suggest you take a look back at the past year, learn what you can from it, then shake off the dust, look to the future, and keep writing.

May God bless you in the coming year!

As an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, Lillian Duncan believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
She writes the type of books she loved to read-suspense with a touch of romance. To learn more visit: www.lillianduncan.net. Her most recent releases are PURSUED (White Rose Publishing) and DECEPTION (Harbourlight Books), plus THE CHRISTMAS STALKING.

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