Friday, September 24, 2010

Not a Step Wasted by Trish Perry

This Fortifying Friday we welcome author Trish Perry as she shares her journey to publication. Enjoy her story and encouraging words!

Not a Step Wasted

Every once in awhile, I read about someone like author Christopher Paolini, who wrote his bestselling debut novel Eragon at the age of 15. I have to deliberately steel myself against negatively comparing my publication journey to his. To have achieved what he has in his young writing life is phenomenal. So my self-talk could go something like this: “The boy has more than three decades of success on you, chickadee. What have you been doing all this time?”

Do you ever do that? Oh, maybe you don’t compare your writing journey to that of someone younger, but perhaps you watch someone else’s writing journey and wonder, why is she publishing and I’m not? Or maybe you’ve published but aren’t experiencing the sales success someone else is. Or the glowing reviews.

May I just say cut that out? May I? Because the good Lord most certainly is not putting those thoughts in your head. And after you’ve finished thinking them, you’re still older, or less published, successful, or celebrated than the person to whom you’ve compared yourself. So what do those thoughts get you, other than frustrated?

Okay, so here’s my journey to publication in a nutshell: skipped college, got some training, married, had a couple of kids, divorced, got more training, worked at numerous jobs, went to college, discovered love of writing, submitted for years, got an agent, submitted some more, got a contract at 50. Young Mr. Paolini published his first bestseller at 18, before I even started schlepping around with the above list of wanderings. Does that mean he followed God’s path and I didn’t? No. We were both exactly where God expected us to be.

As are you. Whatever stage you’re in with your writing journey, God placed you there. He has your steps in mind for today. And tomorrow. Ask Him about that.

I didn’t start seriously writing and submitting until I had been an adult for a long time. But my life experiences enable me to write the way I do. That’s not to brag about my writing. That’s simply to say my writing is the way it is—the way God intended it to be—because of what took place before I started. And because of what has taken place since then. No one else writes as I do. That’s the way God planned it.

So it is with you. Every day you’re blessed with something—some experience or struggle or gem of information—that will play a part in something you write in the future. And your journey doesn’t end when you publish your first novel. That experience is just another step. Your journey might include early publication or financial success or critical raves. Or not. Your writing might thrill thousands of readers or “only” touch one reader so deeply she realizes Christ loves her. Whatever your journey, revel in the knowledge that today you’re where He wants you to be. Appreciate what He’s doing, specifically through you.

Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written The Perfect Blend (2010), Sunset Beach (2009), Beach Dreams (2008), Too Good to Be True (2007), and The Guy I’m Not Dating (2006), all for Harvest House Publishers. She will release several new books in 2011. Her monthly column, “Real Life is Stranger,” appeared in Christian Fiction Online Magazine during its inaugural year. She was editor of Ink and the Spirit, the newsletter of Washington D.C.’s Capital Christian Writers organization (CCW), for seven years. Perry holds a B.A. in Psychology, was a 1980s stockbroker, and held positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission and in several Washington law firms. She serves on the Board of Directors of CCW and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She invites you to visit her at


1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Trish, for this insightful post. "We're exactly where God expected us to be." Love that. Helps us kick those other thoughts out! Now, to practice it. ;D

    Looking forward to reading The Perfect Blend!


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