Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ready, Set—Wait: Three Questions for Writing Success by Gayla Hiss

When I first began writing, it was as a hobby that I enjoyed on the weekends. Then I decided I needed to be published in order to be successful. However, by the time my first book was released, many years later, my idea of what it means to be a successful writer had changed altogether. Here are three questions to consider if your goal is to become a successful writer:

1. Are you ready to put in the effort and make the required sacrifices?

It’s one thing to write at your leisure or when you’re feeling inspired and it’s convenient, but it takes more commitment to write when you’re sick, in a bad mood, or when words don’t come easily. It sometimes requires performing well under pressure, and saying no to other things so you can finish your work on time. Often, it involves allowing others to read and critique your work, and being willing to revise it based on their feedback. If you’re not ready to do that, then this is a good time to re-examine your writing objectives and think about which aspects of writing you are comfortable with. Question 2 addresses this process.

2. Are you willing to adjust and re-set your writing goals as needed?

I first began writing as a way to relieve stress from a demanding job. However, I enjoyed writing so much that I started to dream of becoming published. As I pursued this goal, I had a few setbacks. Then more setbacks. Years went by with nothing to show for my hard work but a stack of rejection letters from publishers and agents. Eventually, I realized that if I wanted to enjoy writing, I needed to change my goal to something more attainable than becoming published. So I focused on writing the best book I could. That decision liberated me from the stress of striving to be published, and I rediscovered the joy of writing again, which leads me to the last question.

3. Are you in it for the long-haul?

Facing the possibility that I might never be published, I became frustrated and discouraged. After a lot of soul-searching, I finally decided to turn it over to God. After all, if this wasn’t His plan for me, then He must have something better in mind. Like a composer penning a hymn, my writing became an exercise of gratitude and worship. It was at this time in my life when God opened the door to publication for me—suddenly and without any striving on my part. Yet, it was after I had my head and heart in the right place to receive His blessing in accordance with His plan.

If God is calling you to be published, it will happen at the right time, even if it’s years away. Meanwhile, embrace this season of waiting as a gift so you can grow in your craft and focus on the simple joy of expressing yourself through words as a spiritual act of worship. When you’ve mastered that, then you truly are a successful writer, regardless of whether you’re published or not.

How are you "embracing the season of waiting"?


Gayla’s writing journey began with her hobby painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense and mystery. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s excited to announce the release of Dangerous Ground, book 2 in her Peril in the Park series, which can be purchased on Amazon at: Visit to learn more, and connect with her on Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads.

Dangerous Ground

It started with an anonymous note, but will it end in disaster?

Uncle Owen had died mysteriously, and Deputy Marshal Kate Phillips wants to know why. After arriving at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in search of answers, Kate finds herself at the center of an ancient family feud and a land dispute. It turns out a surprising number of people have an interest in her uncle’s estate. Even David Jennings, Kate’s handsome Good Samaritan who rescued her when she arrived, thinks he has a claim on Owen’s property—which some say is cursed.
Amid the mounting secrets and rumors circulating in the seemingly peaceful community, Kate has a secret of her own—one that could threaten her life and any future she might have with David. It soon becomes clear someone is targeting her. Could Kate’s troubled past have come back to haunt her, or have the clues she’s uncovered about her uncle’s suspicious death put her life in danger? To solve the mystery, Kate needs David’s help. But can they pull together before time runs out? Or will they become the next victims when it all explodes?