What’s Your Excuse?

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, tips Leave a Comment

By Martha Rogers

We make so many excuses for not submitting our writing. I don’t have enough time to finish a manuscript. I’m too young. I’m too old. I’ve got too many rejections. I don’t have an agent, or I’m not good enough. Any sound familiar?

Time: We all have the same amount. We can find even fifteen minutes in a day to write something. Obligations can steal our time, and sometimes those obligations come because we can’t say no to requests to be a volunteer or be on a committee. Prioritize and choose activities wisely.

Rejections: Of course, rejections come with the territory, and when one realizes that even the most famous of authors also received rejections, those letters become less frustrating. Rejections can be the stepping stones or building blocks to better writing.

Agents: Attending a conference with agents available is one of the best ways to make contact and find if you are a fit with him or her.

Age: If I had used the excuse of age, I would never have been published. Age doesn’t matter when the story is one an editor wants.

Lack of confidence: We all face doubts about our writing. Even multi-published writers can sometimes harbor doubts about their next book or series. When God calls us to a task, He will equip us to do it. This is where critique partners, conferences, books on writing and workshops play a major role in building confidence.

God expects us to finish what we start and be obedient to His call. When we’re obedient to that call, He will give us what we need to complete it no matter what our excuse may be because He who began the work in us will carry us through until it’s completed. Galatians 6:9 tells us not to grow weary when we’re doing God’s work because we’ll reap a harvest when God sets the time.

Do whatever it takes to write. God will help you find the time. At other times He may tell you to wait a season and take care of other things first. Listen to His voice and calling. Write as much as you can when you can. Be patient, and pray for His guidance in all that you do.

Jeremiah tells you to call on Him, and He will answer and tell you great things you do not know. Jeremiah also tells you that God has great plans for you, plans to give you hope and a future. So press on to what God has called you to do whether it is to wait for a season to begin or to work hard now, for pressing on will lead you where you need to go.

So what excuses have you used to keep from submitting?

Martha Rogers Informal 1Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. A former English and Home Economics teacher, Martha loves to cook and experimenting with recipes and loves scrapbooking when she has time. She has written two series, Winds Across the Prairie and Seasons of the Heart as well as several other novels and novellas. Love Stays True, the first book in her new series, The Homeward Journey, released in May, 2013 and book 2, Love Finds Faith, in February 2014, and book 3, Love Never Fails released November 2014.

Comments 0

  1. I’m in the process of writing my first work of fiction, and I’ve come to realization that I don’t need to deal with notices of rejection, or even deal with finding an agent. I’ve come to realize that I can just put my work out there for the world to read.

    The web gives us that opportunity, doesn’t it? Is it possible to gain a following without first finding a publisher, and jumping through their hoops of what they think the market wants, what will sell, and what openings they have in their publishing schedules? I think so.

    How do you monetize something like that? I’m not sure, but I see it as another puzzle to solve. There are many who live from their blogs, and sites. It’s possible.

    I good article, Ms. Rogers, but I’m not sure the publishing world matters as much as it once did. Ultimately, writers write so they can be read. By sidestepping the middle man, now every writer can potentially be read as more are reading from screens over paper. (Which I lament openly, but hey… I’m a realist!)

    Write for God’s glory, yes. But write to be read, and if that means flying on your own steam, then fly!

    (And remember, there hardest part of any flight is takeoff!)


  2. You’re right, Steve, in that we can get our writing out there without agents and editors. The problem is that I’m reading too many manuscripts that are not that good. Too many writers are publishing without having a good editing job by an experienced editor, and some of the stories just aren’t that good. For every great book, I’ve found two to three that were not. I have a Kindle and a Nook and most of the books I’ve downloaded in the past 6 months have been indie published.

    My hope is that the few bad ones don’t bring down the respect for Christian writing. or any writing for that matter, in the eyes of our readers.

  3. I absolutely agree! 1,000%!

    But unfortunately, that the future. The web has completely changed the world of the visual arts – I’m an illustrator by profession- the musical arts, and most definitely the written arts. The doors have swung open, and everyone is rushing through.

    But great craft is great craft, and those that are serious will seek out good editors. But, there’s no doubt it’s a whole new ball game.

    Be well! God bless!

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