By Davalynn Spencer
My writing desk sits in the middle of a tiny spare bedroom facing a window. The wall space next to the window is covered with framed prints of my book covers, a few awards, and two decorative, inspirational plaques.
One of the plaques was a gift from my daughter that reads:
I want to
take a minute,
not to ask
for all I have.
The white block print on a black background serves as a clear and present reminder of priority.
The other plaque says:
stirs our hearts
to do what
says cannot be done.
Twelve years ago, I met with a well-known author who donated valuable one-on-one time to aspiring novelists attending a popular writers conference. I was green as a spring aspen tree, in spite of my many years as a successful nonfiction writer. The over-worked, overly tired veteran recognized my leafy eagerness. But the counsel given to me boiled down to this: “It’s too late. You should have started years ago. Don’t waste your time.”
To this day, I remember a sense of resolve stiffening inside me. A concise verbiage one might hear through the inner thoughts of a bull-headed character: Watch me.
Arrogance? Pride? Or determination not to quit. A fine line threads its way between the three perspectives.
Many writing conferences followed that initial meeting. Many workshops on craft and story line, many revisions and complete do-overs. Reason said my fiction-writing goal was unreachable; passion said, “don’t quit.” And thankfulness rooted me in the necessary foundation to take a chance on the words within me begging for release.
Each time I lean back in my desk chair and take a look at that wall, I see the two black-and-white plaques—opposite in their visual presentations, almost opposite in their messages. Around the plaques hang sixteen brightly colored book covers of work all published after I was told I was too late to the author table.
There’s something to be said for passion.
As a hybrid author today, I have eight titles traditionally published and eight independently published, which gives me a fairly balanced footing in our quickly changing, see-saw industry.
For anyone reading this blog post who is just beginning the author’s journey, I have two questions. 1. Do you have the confidence of His calling in your life? 2. Do you have the evidence of skills to do the work? If so, then I have two words for you.
Don’t quit.Arrogance? Pride? Or determination not to quit. @davalynnspencer #ACFWBlogs #writetips #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Bestselling author and winner of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction, Davalynn Spencer is the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters and can’t stop #lovingthecowboy. When she’s not writing Western romance, she teaches writing workshops and wrangles Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley. Connect with her at www.davalynnspencer.com.