Milestones

ACFW Advice, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW Leave a Comment

By Martha Rogers

This past week marked two important milestones in my life. Eighty years ago, on June 22, 1936 I was born to John and Dorothy Whiteman in Dallas, Texas.

The second one came on the same day as my seventy-third birthday in 2009. My agent called and said Strang Communications wanted to offer me a contract and would send the letter that day. Later that day, I did receive the letter and signed it. After years of struggling and waiting and writing and waiting some more, my full length novel had been accepted for publication.

Signing that first contract began a whole new world for me. I entered a world of contracts, advances, royalties, deadlines, and promotion. I am so thankful for my agent working through these things with me.

In my eighty years, I have learned to depend on four things with the Lord. Those are plans, prayers, perseverance, and patience. When God decides the time is right, He’ll open the doors of opportunity for you. Sometimes the waiting is hard, and like me, you may ask the Lord if He realizes how old you are, or how time is slipping away. Of course He knows. He knows every part of us and has plans for each of us.

Since the first contract with Strang, now Charisma Media, they have published thirteen of my novels with number fourteen to be released in October. I also have a novella with Barbour and one with B&H. Charisma is cutting back on their fiction line, so this will most likely be my last book with them.

Now I’m entering the world of independent publishing with Winged Publications. It’s an entirely different concept that I don’t have the time or space to go into at this point.

In these seven years since publication, I’ve come up with some tips I give my writing friends in our writing group. Some of the most important are following:

1. Write whenever you can whether it’s for fifteen minutes or several hours. Never pass up the opportunity to write something.

2. Have a place to write whether it’s in an office, in the den in the recliner, or on the patio or deck. The place should inspire you to write.

3. Surround yourself with great resources including a thesaurus or something similar and good writing books. We have many great ones written by our own ACFW members.

4. Give yourself time away from the computer to interact with others or to just be moving about.

5. Stay healthy as possible. Eating healthy and exercising are important for good health. Some chronic problems can be debilitating, so learn what is best for you in coping with these recurring health issues.

6. Self-doubt can be a killer. Be confident and willing to accept criticism.

7. Set deadlines for yourself and keep them.

8. Read, read, read. Fiction, non-fiction, newspapers or magazines. They can spark the imagination.

9. Pay attention to your hands, wrists, neck, and your eyes. Listen to what they tell you.

10. Attend conferences. If you can’t afford the large ones, find smaller ones that crop up all over the country and make an effort to attend.

11. Find a critique group with friends who live nearby or here on ACFW.

These tips will not guarantee a writing career, but they will set you in the right direction. Most, if not all, published writers are aware of the milestones in their writing careers. Seeing your name on a book cover for the first time and holding it in your hands is an experience you will never forget and becomes a milestone in your life as a writer.

martha-rogersMartha Rogers is a free-lance writer and frequent speaker for writing workshops and is a member of the Woodlands Chapter of ACFW. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Comments 0

  1. I have followed your work for the last six years, and you have been an inspiration for me. I just turned seventy, so finding that you got your first contract at 73 was encouraging. You have remained close to the Lord and eager to serve. Thank you for these suggestions.

  2. Well said my dear cousin. I am so proud of what talent God gave you and how you used it. Keep writing, smile, continue to follow God’s lead and remember I am one of many that look up to you for inspiration. Proud to say you are my cousin. Much love to you. Keep doing what you are doing. It’s working.

    Love
    Marilynn

  3. Martha, you have inspired me greatly with this blog. I’ll soon celebrate my 75th birthday, and sometimes lately, I’ve questioned why I write. It’s hard work. It’s time consuming. Who reads my books anyway? We recently lost a dear grandson, and that has been the hardest of all to write through. But God gave me a talent I love, so I’ll keep on, one day at a time, as long as He sees fit. Thank you for the encouragement today.

  4. You don’t know what a blessing your words are to me. You remind me of Moses or Caleb, who got so much done long after most people are too tired to think about reaching new heights. I pray that God does the same for me.

    I feel time slipping away, and I’m only thirty-five! I feel like I still don’t have much to say, but I’m finally seeing how little time I may have to say the little I do have to pass on to the next generation.

    You have encouraged me like you couldn’t know, because God led you to write exactly what He’s been telling me lately. In His time, everything will fall into place. I must just rest in that and prepare for it joyfully!

    God bless you and your whole family. 🙂

  5. Thank you for your comments. They encourage me to keep on with my writing as an example to others. As long as we don’t give up and keep following God’s plan for our lives, Satan can’t come in to disrupt and tear us away.

    Blessings to all of you.

  6. Martha your words are such an encouragement to me! I needed this reminder: “In my eighty years, I have learned to depend on four things with the Lord. Those are plans, prayers, perseverance, and patience. When God decides the time is right, He’ll open the doors of opportunity for you. Sometimes the waiting is hard, and like me, you may ask the Lord if He realizes how old you are, or how time is slipping away. Of course He knows. He knows every part of us and has plans for each of us.”

    Yes, He does! Waiting on God is a hard thing, and it seems like every area of my life needs intervention from Him right now, but He is faithful, and I know He will work what’s best in His time. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *