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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Never Been Happier

Every week, at least when I'm able, I attend a group called Writers for the Journey. It's a local Christian writing group who encourages and supports each other. We celebrate rejections and cheer for acceptances. We're instructed in our craft so we can improve. There are write outs when we all come together and spend the time writing either on paper or our laptops. It's a celebration of the gift God has placed in all of us. And today, Terry Burns, a literary agent here for the Colorado Christian Writer's Conference in Estes Park, was our guest speaker. He shared the tricks of how to be shy yet still pitch to an editor or agent and market our books. Watching the faces of my fellow writers, I could see the 'light bulb' switching on as we all figured out how to use what he was teaching us in our writing career. More importantly, the question was asked, what really is our goal as writers? Is it to write lots of books? Is it to reach just one reader who needs the message contained in the pages of our novel or piece of nonfiction? In the world, success is measured by having a book on the best sellers list and making lots in money. For Christians, it's the one person who is reached with the message God has for them. In many ways, what Terry Burns said today made lots of sense. I write because I love to. I have many stories published for which I am never paid and to me, that doesn't matter. There's a message in them for someone. I also mentor up and coming writers. I have a huge heart to see them succeed. It's one of the reasons I edit anthologies. Would I love to be the next J.K. Rowlings? Won't lie and say that I wouldn't. I'd love to be able to write and not worry about having to work a day job. But the day job adds to my experiences and gives my writing more depth. Bottom line, as a writer I'm successful. Maybe not in the way most popularly think, but I'm following my calling and have never been happier.

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