Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Waiting, Writing, and Why You Must Not Quit by Cynthia Herron

Most writers will tell you the in-between seasons are the hardest. I won’t sugarcoat it. They are.

Waiting (especially a prolonged season of waiting) is like a knife to the weary writer’s heart. As each hope-filled day passes, so does a tiny bit of our resolve.

We struggle to make sense of the “close, but no cigar” or “not quite there” feedback, while realizing, too, traditional publishing is evolving.

Our season of waiting may entail many dynamics. Maybe we need to refine our craft, work on character development, and eliminate POV bugs. Maybe we need to seek honest feedback from critique partners and mentors. Maybe we need to rethink our genre.

Then again—our season in the abyss may not have anything at all to do with our writing. Perhaps, it’s just not our time.

Of course, you’ve heard it before—the writing life isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s the G-Rated version.

And what about those uninformed souls who ask the tough questions and then add a footnote? Like this gem, instance.

“What on earth’s taking you so long? You’ve been at this forever!”

I have to shake my head.

No idea.

They. Really. Have. No. Idea.

It’s not just a matter of taking pen to paper or putting fingers to a keyboard. It’s not about writing the story. (Oh! If only!) It’s not about getting the agent. The publisher. The whatever.

Let’s get real.

It’s about the season. The timing. The God-ordained This is YOUR moment!

Yes, perhaps, there are things we, as writers, can do to hasten our moment.
  • Read books on the writing craft 
  • Join writing groups and attend conferences 
  • Enlist mentors 
  • Enlist critique partners (vastly different from beta readers) 
  • Hire an editor 
  • Write as much as we possibly can 
Those things make sense.

BUT when we’ve done all that and more, and God’s answer is still “Not yet,” we have no other alternative but to wait…and trust.

Trust that our writing ministry isn’t about us.

Trust that our story will still wait.

Trust that God sees the bigger picture.

Trust that He will bring our season to fruition.

Trust that we can’t quit now.

Why trust? Well, I’m so glad you asked!
  • God can change circumstances in a heartbeat. 
  • He can orchestrate happenstance into the here and now. 
  • He can alter detours into divine appointments. 
  • He can and does demonstrate deliberate turn-of-events in our favor. 

If you quit now, you’ll always wonder.

If you quit now, your stories may die, but the words won’t.

If you quit now, your human flesh might be appeased, but your soul will still ache.


Because your writer’s heart will still beat.

For that deeply intrinsic thing God’s gifted you with.

Your craft.

Write, dear writer, write!

Have you ever experienced a waiting season? If you’re in a season of waiting—be it writing related or something else—how are you staying proactive?

*This post originally appeared on Cynthia’s blog


Is the sure thing worth risking for the possibility of maybe?

Charla Winthrop, a savvy business woman seeking a permanent lifestyle change in small-town Ruby, learns that things aren’t always what they appear when she takes up residence in a house steeped in charm and a hint of mystery.

Rumor has it that Sam Packard the town carpenter is her go-to guy for home remodeling, but can Charla convince him to help her—with no strings attached, of course? Alone far too long, Sam’s prayed that God would send him a wife and a mother for his daughters. However, the new Ruby resident is hardly what he imagined. A new place to call “home,” the possibility of what might be, and the answer to someone’s prayers unite this unlikely pair with the help of the town’s residents.

Nestled in the Ozarks’ hills and hollows is Ruby, Missouri, a quaint, cozy town where “neighbor” is merely another word for “friend.” Ruby will charm and delight as will her quirky, lovable characters who will steal your heart, but hand it right back—with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Savor your new friends’ sorrows and successes in the community where offbeat is perfect and mishaps and mayhem never tasted so good!

Cynthia writes Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Her Hope Discovered, her début novel and the first in a three-book series, released December 2018 with Mountain Brook Ink. She is a 2017 ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2016 ACFW Genesis (Double) Finalist, and a 2015 ACFW First Impressions winner. Her work is represented by WordServe Literary.

Cindy loves to connect with friends at her online home. She also hangs out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. For love, fun, and encouragement ~ Sign up for Cindy’s monthly e-NEWSLETTERS.

Purchase Her Hope Discovered from your favorite retailer: Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million


  1. Being stuck in a season isn't easy, but it is often necessary to prepare us for the end of the journey. Great post, Cynthia!

  2. Good morning, Cynthia! I sometimes feel I'm in a perpetual season of waiting. Yet, I know there are things I still need to do to improve and hone my craft. So in my case I might be causing my own problems.

    But I love your statement about them having no clue! So true.

    You, my friend, are an inspiration. I'm thrilled this is your God ordained season!

    1. Terri, you know me - not going to sugarcoat it. Tough seasons are just that - tough! While we always continue working on craft, sometimes (many times), it's all about timing. Thank you for your kind words!

  3. So true, Gail! I don't know any writer who hasn't experienced a stagnant season at some point.

  4. Awesome post, Cynthia! Thanks so much for your inspiring words.

  5. Hi, Cynthia! I’m so with Terri.....I feel I’m in a perpetual waiting season! During this season, I’ve recognized the need to improve my writing using some of your suggestions. It’s inspiring to watch you bloom during this exciting debut time. What a place to be! And I’m thankful for friends traveling this path who understand how LOOOONG it takes to PUBLISH a book! 😩 Blessings to you as you celebrate this season!

  6. Waiting can be hard. God has a plan for us and our writing. I pray that I will be patient and trust in His plan. :-) I read Her Hope Discovered and the story is wonderful.

    1. Melissa, I grin from ear to ear when I see your name! You have bolstered me on many a day, my friend! Waiting is so, so hard. I think I could be the ultimate poster child for it...but when the timing's right, God does move.

  7. Ahh, Sherida...I was in a waiting season for oh so long, my friend. Yearrrrs, in fact. I won't overwhelm you with details, but it was quite the journey. Keep plowing through!

  8. Great post, Cynthia, and so true. The waiting. And waiting. And trusting in God's perfect timing. But I have to remind myself that He does indeed, know what's best for me (and for ALL of us!) - - even when those seasons of waiting seem to go on forever.
    Congratulations (again!) on your debut novel - - such an exciting time for you!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  9. Great post, Cynthia! Thank you so much for the encouragement and inspiration! (LOL,this sentence sums up my feelings at times: "They. Really. Have. No. Idea." So true.) Congratulations on the publication of Her Hope Discovered!! So happy for you!


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