Keeping On Keeping On

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, revisions, writing 6 Comments

By Donna L.H. Smith

Isaiah 40:31 says, “They that wait upon the LORD, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not faint.”

Currently, we need to rely on God and persevere in order to improve our craft and our chances of getting published.

We all know that the publishing world has changed dramatically in the last several years. But that doesn’t mean we fold our hands—or wring them—and give up.

There are options for writers out there. We just need to find the best path for our book.

From concept to publication for Meghan’s Choice, it was five and a half years. It took six months to learn more, so I could write the first draft. It came in at over 112,000 words. Good grief! Did I need an editor! And I found one in my CWG apprentice mentor.

And…as God’s fortune would have it, I got in after the deadline to one of the last Craftsman classes. With precious DiAnn Mills. I knew I was going to like her when I read one of her early novels, Awaken My Heart.

After the first draft, I self-edited several times before giving it to my apprentice mentor. She really took a red pen to it and helped me so much to make my lead character likeable and helping me understand scene and sequel.

Then, with DiAnn’s help, story got so much better, with plot twists and learning so much more!

After meeting with various agents and publishers over the next couple of years, my novel seemed like it was never going to be published.

At the end of 2016, I was ready to throw my book in the trash, so to speak. Even though I had an agent by this time, there were no takers in the publishing world.

But God had another plan for my book. It’s a unique path that not many are on. Because my stories are unique. My second book is finished, and in revisions. Although, I like the story. I don’t know if everyone will — but that’s not why I write.

I’m writing my stories, I feel God wants me to tell in the way I’m telling them. I’m always open to criticism, editing, and revision. But I’m finding revisions to my second novel are going much swifter, because I’m applying all the things I learned from my first book.

The current word count for my second novel is about 89,000 words. I’ve learned to be more succinct in my writing and not put in a lot of material that doesn’t move the story along. Hopefully, “Rose’s Redemption” will come out later this year.

Our writing is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to persevere because we never know how God is going to work on our behalf. Your path is unique to you. Mine is for me.

Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin (of unbelief, discouragement and doubt) that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

We don’t give up. We persevere. We run with endurance the writing race God has set before us. #ACFWBlogs @donnalhsmith #writing Click To Tweet

Donna L.H. Smith is a Kansas prairie girl transplanted to Lancaster County, PA, writing on and off for forty years. She writes historical romance and currently serves as the ACFW Mid-Atlantic Zone Director. Her first novel, Meghan’s Choice, was a finalist in the 2018 Selah Awards.


Comments 6

  1. Wonderful post, Donna. You are so correct. We’re in a writing marathon and also a race of faith. Our experiences are all unique. Those who steadily persevere will gain the prize they seek. Thank you for the scripture reminders.

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