Hey there, Weary Writer.
My name is Jennifer A. Davids. I’m a published author and though I haven’t been in this business as long as some, I’ve been around long enough to know how it feels from where you’re sitting right now. I hope what I have to say will encourage you to keep moving forward.
Have you ever noticed that when we talk about our writing – or life for that matter – we often refer to it as a journey?
“My writing journey began…”
“Our journey together as man and wife…”
“This is where my journey in life has taken me…”
That all sounds so lyrical and patient and put-together. But do we really act that way? Do we talk the talk but not walk the walk, so to speak?
“I have to get an agent right. now.”
“I have to go straight to college after I graduate.”
“I’m 22! Why aren’t I married yet?”
My son is mildly autistic. He’s graduated high school and while he’s taken a semester of college he hasn’t gone back. He’s just not ready. When people ask about him I tell them he’s doing Adulting 101. He has a job, his own budget, and pays us money for his car insurance. He’s learning. Yes, his peers are ahead of him. And that worries some people. But it doesn’t worry me. He’ll get there. I trust God to tell me when it’s time to give him that push.
He’s on a journey, not in a race.
Writing is no different.
I got my first contract with Heartsong Presents in 2010. After three books with them I didn’t get another publishing contract (different house this time) until 2017. Yes, that is a huge gap. What was I doing all that time?
I knew little to nothing about the writing life back then. I didn’t even know about ACFW until after I had gotten my first contract. I didn’t even know there were organizations like ACFW. Yeah. Real newbie. I knew next to no one in the business. Not an editor (save the one who signed me) or an agent or a fellow author. And God knew that. He knew what I needed to learn and exactly how fast I needed to learn it. And that took seven years.
Because I’m on a journey. Not in a race.
And so are you.
I know it stinks to feel stuck. To feel tired and weary. To sit down at your keyboard and wonder, ‘Why on earth am I still doing this???’ But the thing is this: You’re on a journey, not in a race. The best journeys take time. Sit back. Look out the window. Enjoy the view. Learn from where ever you are right now. What is God trying to teach you right now?
I know what you’re thinking.
Yeah it worked out for you but what about me? What if it doesn’t work out for me?
No matter what God has in store for you it will be wonderful. He promises good things for His children and He will bring you to what is best.
I used to think I wanted to get published by this big publishing house. They had the best covers and they published the best authors and I wanted to sign with them so much I could taste it. But because God knows me better than I know me, He saw I needed something different. So He had me wait until I was ready to let go of that dream and take hold of another. And I am thrilled to be with the publisher I’m with now. It’s not the most traditional route but I’m not a very ‘traditional’ sort of person. Something else I came to realize during that long stretch of time.
Wait on the Lord, learn from Him.
Life is a journey. Not a race.
Jennifer A. Davids is a self-professed book nerd. The shelves of her office are overflowing with books and there are stacks of them by her bedside. When she’s not reading, she’s dreaming up a new story to tell her readers. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in English Education. Her next book, A Perfect Weakness, releases in July through Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas as a part of their Smitten Historical Romance line. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband, two children, and two cats.