Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ask the Authors: Wednesday

Welcome back to “ask the authors week.” This week we will pose five questions to our contributors, and you’ll find their varied answers to a single question each day.

If you have questions you’d like us to ask during a future “Ask the Authors” week, send it to As always, thanks for joining us!

Where do you look for encouragement when you get discouraged? (IF you get discouraged!)

I get discouraged when a book doesn't sell well. I get discouraged by harsh criticism. I get discouraged when the writing just won't seem to flow. Encouragement comes from my closest Christian friends who are also writers, and it comes from the members of my prayer team. It comes from reading the Word. And sometimes all I need is a lift from watching a good and/or funny movie so that I'm not living only in the world of my current project. -- Robin Lee Hatcher

Humans. Friends. Family. The best encouragement comes when I take my little pity party to God. He has true power to change me (and often, rather than my circumstances) Jesus reminds me to focus on his greater, higher purposes. –Patricia Hickman

I do get discouraged sometimes. It used to be “will I ever get published?” Then it was “what if people hate my book?” And now it’s “why aren’t my books selling as well as so-and-so’s?” But those are all signs that I haven’t truly given my writing wholeheartedly to the Lord and left it in His hands. I’m amazed how often I have to do that all over again. But it’s still the answer. I also find that he’s given me amazing encouragement in my writer friends—the ones who know my struggles because they struggle with the same things themselves. There’s something wonderful about knowing you’re not alone in your struggles. - Deborah Raney

I have a computer file with encouraging notes from friends and readers. When I get discouraged, I read those. Or the Psalms--they're very encouraging. –Angela Hunt

Music. A great soul-restorer. I also have some favorite books on writing by the great writers, and by now I know just where to look for what I need. And above everything else--prayer. BJ Hoff

IF I get discouraged? IF??? Snort! Choke! Chortle! Haaawww! Ahem, I mean, right. When I'm discouraged. Like every five minutes or so, right? I do a couple of things. Go play with my dogs. Garden. Read Scripture. Read letters from my readers. Things that help me focus on what really matters: the One who called me. –Karen Ball

I always get encouragement from my husband, Mel, who is part of this writing team. I also get encouragement from writing friends online. When I'm discouraged, it takes very little time to whine about it before I have a husband and several fellow writers giving me words of encouragement. God has blessed me with a wonderful support group. Hannah Alexander

If? Disappointment and discouragement (plus elation and joy) is part of the writing life! Writing through discouragement is tough, and I haven’t found a way to completely overcome the malady. I suspect the cure comes when you have a story so strong it won’t allow you to wallow in self-pity. You write because it brings you pleasure and your work during that period reaches one person God intended, you’ve written you most worthwhile book. --Lori Copeland

I read poetry (Mary Oliver, Barbara Crocker), inspirational writings from scripture and in my "inspirational file" including Goethe; I find new devotionals (right now White China by Molly Wolf) or Buechner. I pray that I'm on the right path and then remind myself to trust that I'm not alone in this process. --Jane Kirkpatrick

Scripture never fails to lift my spirits and to remind me of my calling. Reading a few pages of a novel I love inspires me to keep at it and to not lose heart. Asking a close friend for prayer helps me confess my discouragement and move past it, even as her prayers are sent heavenward. Highs and lows are part of the writing process as God refines us and shapes us on our journey. --Liz Curtis Higgs

I like to read the rejection letters and reviews famous authors have received. Check out "Rotten Rejections" and "Rotten Reviews" by Bill Henderson. One rejection came to Tony Hillerman, when he submitted one of his first Navajo detective novels: "If you insist on rewriting this, cut out all the Indian stuff." All writers have been through discouraging times. All. You're not alone. -- James Scott Bell

I turn away from the story I’m writing and back to “real life”--my own life--and there I recognize the goodness and beauty of this great gift called living. Writing can be hard and discouraging, but I’m not here primarily to write. I was created first and foremost to love the Lord Jesus--and that’s easy! And sweet. And refreshing. And always encouraging. –Ann Tatlock

When I'm depressed I go for walks and pray along the path. I also talk to my wife and my brother. But I don't usually get discouraged about writing. I've had pretty good critical response to all my novels so far, but the sales have not been wonderful. There's always something good and something bad about everything. Why not focus on the good? Especially if the bad is due to circumstances I can't do much to control. Besides, writing is my second career so far, which means there could always be a third if this one fades away. Not that I'm planning a change--I can't imagine not writing--but it would be fun to build boats. --Athol Dickson

I pray. God helps me through those times. I also talk to my writer friends, who have been there done that, and can often give me good advice. –Rene Gutteridge


At 8:18 PM, Blogger batgirl said...

Lots of great ideas. I think I'll print this one out and save for those discouraging times. Thanks.


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