Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BIrthday Celebration

In honor of my 75th birthday, I invite you to my "party". Today, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday I will be posting about some aspect of writing. There will be 2 winners for each post and those will go into the final drawing for a gift box filled with goodies. So stay tuned and keep coming back for more chances to get your name in the final drawing. Just answer one of the questions at the end of this post to be entered for tonight and tomorrow.

Have You Got What It Takes to be a Writer?

Prayer, patience and perseverence are three main traits and habits a writer must have. Along with those go the stamina for hard work, thick skin for critiques and rejections, and an "I can do." attitude. However, the most important is the desire and call from God that this is what He wants you to do. When the Lord calls, He will equip. Along with that He expects you to be the best you can be. To make sure you are doing all you can to be that, you need to attend conferences whenever possible, meet other writers through a local writing group, join a national group like ACFW, and be willing to learn, change and grow as you study the craft of writing.
Learning to write stories that editors want takes hard work in studying, reading, writing, rewriting, and research. Never stop learning. Here I am seventy-five years of age, and I'm still learning how to be a better writer. It's taken great patience and perseverence laced with plenty of prayer to get where I am today. God has bless me beyond measure in my Golden Years. I hope it doesn't take some of you that long to have your first book published.

If you want to be a writer...write. Whether it's for one hour a day or day at a time, put words to paper. When you are faithful to the task He gives you, He will bring success, and it may not always be in the way you may think. Be open, be ready, and listen for God's voice to instruct.

So, my question is two fold for different journeys.
One: What obstacles have you overcome to persevere in your writing whether you are published or not.

Two: What is keeping you from that writing journey? Can you overcome it?


Julie Lessman said...

MARTHA!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! WOW ... 75 years is AMAZING!! I wish you the happiest of birthdays, my friend.

The biggest obstacle I overcame to become published was persisting in the face of 45 rejections on my first book, A Passion Most Pure. Every time I saw a #10 self-addressed envelope in the mailbox, I would be heartsick, but I learned a long time ago to praise God in the face of every adversity. So that's what I did. Every time I'd suffer a setback, I would praise God and ask Him to make good from it. And you know what? He did! :)

Looking forward to seeing you at ACFW.


Tammie Edington Shaw said...

Happy Birthday! Martha you have always been an inspiration to me. I have changed jobs and now can't write in the mornings, my prime time, so I am learning to write during my not-so-prime times.
Happy Birthday! Tammie

Vickie McDonough said...

Happy Early Birthday, Martha!

I'm so thrilled at how God has thrown open the publishing doors for you.

The hardest thing I've encountered in writing is deadlines too close together. It's a great blessing to have lots of contracts, but somethings all I worry I won't make the next deadline. But I know God doesn't give us more than we can handle, so I trust Him to see me through. And He does.


fictionfan1 [at] me [dot] com

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Happy, happy birthday to you, to you, from me.

You've been an inspiration to me and a good friend. Thank you.

I had many hurdles to overcome to become an overnight success that took two decades. And I'm glad I persevered. God's blessings on my writing amaze me every day.

Ann Lee Miller said...

Happy Birthday! I just read and enjoyed Summer Dream!

Though I have a degree in creative writing, I had no classes in novel writing. The things I didn't know were legion, particularly regarding plotting.

I wrote my first novel 15 years ago, but didn't sense God's call until 2006. I needed permission from God to devote hours a day to a hobby. I've been writing steadily since then,turned out three more novels, amassed a thick folder of rejections, and landed an agent.

The only remaining obstacle is connecting with the right publisher and waiting on God's timing. I'm usually a good waiter because I'm so grateful for God's providing me the time, financial and family support to write. But I turned a book in to my agent June 1, and I'm pacing!


marilynturkwriter said...

Happy 75th, Martha! In the short time I've known you, you have been a tremendous help to me. Thank you for your encouragement!
My biggest obstacle is distractions. Just when I think I have a writing schedule down, something comes along to interfere - family, etc. I admire those who can write anytime, anywhere.
Setting SMART goals is helping me to be more focused.

Linore Rose Burkard, Novelist said...

What an inspiration you are. Not only to be writing on the verge of becoming 75, but to be so technically savvy online! I applaud you and wish you an early wonderful and Happy Birthday. : )
As for overcoming obstacles, I find the biggest difficulty is persevering through difficult plot points or other problems in a long novel when there is no contract, yet. When I do workshops, I often say "there's no inspiration like a deadline." Before I got published, I worked without one, but I have to say I find them helpful to get me going when the going gets tough.

Bonnie Leon said...

Thank you for this blog, Martha and for your wisdom.

My biggest challenge has been my health. Some days it's really tough to sit and keep working, and to think through a fog of medications. But I am spurred on by a love of writing and knowing it is what God has asked me to do.

Even on my worst days, maybe especially on my worst days, writing makes me feel better.

I persevere to fulfill the calling of the Lord and remember that I can do all things through God who strengthens me.

Grace and peace to you.

Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Happy Birthday, Martha! YOU are an inspiration to me and so many. I think my first obstacle I had to overcome was when I finished half of my first book and discovered not only were medievals not selling but that you didn't just call up a publisher and they'd publish your book. LOL! Wow! What a shock when I found out they were very choosey and not only that you had to have an agent to get published! So, for me it was the road to learning, which included 32 rejections for my first story. That story is now shelved and I consider it part of my learning curve.

Martha W. Rogers said...

Oh, my. What a treat to wake up this morning and find so many wonderful greetings. After reading the comments I'm glad Julie, and Lena kept writing because I love what you two ladies write. Ann, I'm praying your book will find a home. Those deadlines can be a killer or an incentive. Bonnie, I'm glad you keep writing through your health problems, your books are worth it. FYI: My first book will never see the light of day. It has so many mistakes, it's pitiful. :) Thanks again for stopping by.

Pencildancers said...

Happy Birthday Martha!!!!

Obstacles? what obstacles I thought those all those errands, chores, meals to make and laundry were requirements.

Until I stopped doing them by myself and asked for help. It's much easier now to get to the computer to write.

Pencildancers said...

of course I FORGOT to leave my email address!

Sherry Kyle said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Martha!!! What a celebration. I'm so glad to join the party!

To answer your questions . . .

The biggest obstacles I've overcome to persevere in my writing is not feeling guilty for the lack of paycheck to help my teacher husband support our four kids! I LOVE to write and feel God has called me to it. God provides when we are faithful to Him. Like most writers, I also struggle with self confidence. Now that Delivered with Love, my debut novel, has hit store shelves, it's difficult to read negative reviews. But God knows when I also need a boost! I've received wonderful e-mails from readers and it keeps me going.

I can overcome my fears! (Including being on the radio--which I will on in a few hours!)



Sherry Kyle said...

Me too, Diana!



Jodie Wolfe said...

Happy Birthday!! Wow! What an achievement. I was blessed by reading about writing, and your journey.

As for obstacles I've overcome...I think it was finally admitting to myself and realizing the call God has placed on my life to write. I finished my WIP in February and hoped to start edits soon after. So what's kept me from returning to it? I had shoulder surgery in April, followed by a severe case of sciatica, which has made it difficult to be at the computer for very long. I think I've finally mended enough that I'll be able to start the editing process next week. I can hardly wait!

Blessings and birthday greetings,
Jodie Wolfe

Shining God's Light Through History

Rachel Christine said...

Happy Birthday, Martha.
You have inspired me to keep writing when I've been very discouraged. I'm only a little younger than you.
So,the greatest obstacle to getting my writing to a higher level is - me! Low self-esteem, fear of failure - all those things Satan flings at me to make me quit. Thanks for your example.
Rachel Kulp

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, Martha!

I turn 70 next month, and I think the biggest hurdle I've had to overcome has been self-doubt when the rejections just kept coming and coming. I couldn't stop writing -- it is such a part of me -- but I wondered what good it was doing for my stuff just to languish in my computer.

I asked the Lord more than once, "Do you remember how old I am? I don't have much time left here!" He assured me that He does know how old I am :)

Have a great celebration! Blessings!

Tom Blubaugh - Night of the Cossack said...

Happy birthday, Martha. . .

My biggest obstacle was going from nonfiction to fiction. It took a lot of research and creative thinking. It was still very enjoyable. Now that it's published, my biggest obstacle is getting it to the readers.

Ann Lee Miller said...

Thanks so much, Martha!


Martha W. Rogers said...

Congratulations to Tammie, Vickie and Sherry. You are the three picked to go into the final drawing for my Birthday Suprise Box.

Teresa Slack said...

Happy happy birthday, Martha. Thanks for everything you do. My greatest obstacles is like Linore's. Without a contract I don't feel a sense of urgency to finish anything. I mean, why kill myself if it might not sell anyway.

But like anything, writing is a discipline. I have determined to write 10 pgs a day just like I work-out six days a week. I don't always want to, but if I want to succeed--and fit into my cute clothes--I must write even when it looks like no one's buying, just like I work out even though I might never be a size whatever again.

Carla Gade said...

Happy Birthday Blessings, Martha! What excellent advice and wisdom you shared in this post. The obstacle that was hardest for me to overcome was lack of confidence. When I truly surrendered to God, I began focusing on the ability He was giving me, God-confidence, it made all the difference!