This Is Your Life
When I first began this writing journey I had a lot to learn about crafting good content, networking and marketing. In fact, ten years ago I’m not sure I even understood the terminology I just mentioned. I still have much to learn and sometimes feel like I’ll never arrive at that final writing destination. After all, there is always another proposal to write, always another book to sell. Once you decide you’re going to write a novel and you actually do the deed, then you must convince an editor to buy it. After you sell it, then you must do it all over again. Even after you’re finally published, it’s the circle of the writing life and it never ends.
During those first few years of accepting the idea that I could actually write a novel, and that I might get published one day—I was thrilled to pursue this dream. Unfortunately, I became obsessed. The dream was all I thought about. I couldn’t seem to shut my mind off or tune out all the story ideas clamoring for my attention. I couldn’t turn off the writing thoughts even during praise and worship at church. Then I spent countless hours working on my novel, hours that I didn’t spend with my family, with my children. Before my article begins to sound a little depressing, let me just say that I have five books releasing this year—and finally, I’ve discovered a way to balance my life with writing. I no longer obsess over it.
There is nothing more important than family, than you children, than others in your life. Lisa Samson delivered a wonderful keynote address at the Christy Awards and she discussed this very topic. You have to take time to be involved in the lives of others, to be Jesus to others. If you don’t, as a writer, you’ll lose the ability to add depth to your fiction, you’ll lose yourself in a story life that isn’t real, and you’ll lose time with your precious ones. The next time you look up from your computer, your daughter will be grown up.
Through my writing journey, I’ve learned to trust God with the writing. Things will happen in his timing. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work as hard as you can, pushing your writing to the next level. By all means, attend conferences; join critique groups, network and market. Work hard and get proposals sent. But in all of the busyness, don’t forget there is a life outside of writing.
Elizabeth Goddard is a 7th generation Texan who lives in East Texas with her husband and four children. She and her family recently spent five years in Oregon, which serves as the setting for several of her novels, but in 2010 they returned to Texas to live near family again. Elizabeth is the author of seven novels and novellas, including Praying for Rayne and The Camera Never Lies, releasing December 2010.
To learn more:
visit Elizabeth’s Web site and blog at