Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Mistakes Learned & Lessons Learned by Emily Wickham

When I embarked on my writing journey 13+ years ago, I didn’t realize where God would guide my steps. I’ve attempted to walk this road with excellence, yet I’ve made mistakes along the way. However, God has grown me through those experiences, and I pray He uses the lessons I’ve learned to help you.

MISTAKE #1: Seeing the Publication Path as a Sprint Rather than a Marathon

Writing is hard work. Building a platform can be even harder work. Then there’s the art of marketing before and after your book is published—a requirement if you desire to sell books. Did I mention that God’s call to write involves hard work? It often requires years, too.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9, KJV).

LESSON #1: Success as a writer includes patience and diligence.

MISTAKE #2: Being Unprepared

I once followed some well-meaning but incorrect advice when I met with a conference faculty member. Instead of taking a book proposal with me, I simply presented a one sheet. It looked fabulous. It got the agent’s attention. But then he wanted to read a writing sample, which I didn’t have. The agent peered at me over the top of his reading glasses while I fumbled for words, quickly concluding our time was complete since I couldn’t produce anything for him to read. And that was that. I’ve never forgotten.

“Go to the ant ... Observe her ways and be wise, which... prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8, NASB).

LESSON #2: Always be prepared.

MISTAKE #3: Lagging Behind on Conference Requests

About two years ago, a VP and associate publisher expressed interest in two of my manuscripts. She requested proposals for both, and I was thrilled.

I returned home from the conference fully intending to submit my proposals. However, I didn’t sense any urgency because professionals prefer quality submissions over hastily sent material. After revising one proposal, I e-mailed it almost five months later.

Perhaps it would have turned out great except the industry professional I’d met no longer worked for the publisher. I contacted the company directly and explained the situation, but they never replied once they discovered I lack agent representation.

I’ll never know what might have been.

“Be careful how you walk ... making the most of your time” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

LESSON #3: Submit requested materials in a timely manner.

God always helps us when we ask because He cares about our needs. Let’s learn from the past and move forward with the Lord. His timing is perfect, He equips those He calls, and He entrusts us with writing opportunities.

Learn from one writer’s mistakes and the lessons she’s learned. #WritersLife #WritingCommunity via @emilywickhamPH @MaryAFelkins

Note: This article is adapted from a longer version first posted at www.proclaiminghimtowomen.com

EMILY WICKHAM seeks to stir hearts toward Jesus. She writes for Journey Magazine, a LifeWay publication, speaks at ladies’ events, and shares “Devotions for Women” videos on social media. Emily encourages Christian women plus equips Christian writers on her blog, www.proclaiminghimtowomen.com. She is the author of one Bible study, which was translated into Spanish in 2016. Emily, a resident of North Carolina, is Mark’s wife of 29+ years. They are the blessed parents of four children and one daughter-in-love. God’s faithfulness and love inspire Emily on her journey through life as she purposes to exalt Christ through written and spoken words.

Connect with Emily:
Website: www.proclaiminghimtowomen.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/emilywickham.author
Twitter: www.twitter.com/emilywickhamPH
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/estherstudy
Instagram: www.instagram.com/emilywickham.author

Book Blurb:
Whether you’re a Spanish-speaking sister who longs to grow closer to Christ, or you’re looking for a Spanish Bible study to use for outreach in your community, please consider using Alcanzando la Justicia. It guides women through the book of Esther, challenging them to grow in righteous behavior—to make God-honoring choices each day. Daily prayers, Scripture readings, observation sections, author reflections, and application questions are included. This workbook is designed for individual or group use and contains instructions for following a one month, ten week, or thirty-one week schedule.

See Emily’s website for special offers or purchase her book on Amazon.

8 comments:

  1. Oh, Emily, I felt like you were writing about my writing journey. Thank you for helping me to realize I'm alone in this journey.

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    1. Dear Terri, It's great to walk this road with other writers like you. We're not alone! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

      In Christ's Love,
      Emily

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  2. Great mistakes because of the rich lessons born from them, Emily. The part about sending material on time gets me. I'm two years behind on a manuscript I'd pitched that was requested once it was finished. It's just now getting to "finished" and ready to submit. Yes, there are unavoidable life circumstances which interfere, but then there's procrastination. God grieves at the latter. Grateful for your holy prompting here.

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    1. Dear Mary, You are such a blessing to me - as a friend and as a writer. Good for you for finishing that manuscript! I'm excited to see what God has planned for it.

      In Christ's Love,
      Emily

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  3. Great post, Emily! Oh, if only we could go back and have some "do-overs," right? I've been there too! But, the important thing is to learn from our blunders. Thanks for sharing what you've learned with our readers.

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    1. Dear Dawn,

      Yes indeed! And I agree - learning is key. God is so good to grow us through it all. I'm honored to share here on Seriously Write, too. Thank you for the opportunity.

      In Christ's Love,
      Emily

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  4. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, Emily. :) I'm learning that our "races" all look different, and that's okay. Trusting God's pace makes every race a win. We missed you at Blue Ridge this year!

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  5. Dear Cathy,

    You're welcome! And I agree - staying in step with the Lord is what's most important when it comes to writing as well as all of life. As for BR, I hope I'll be able to see you at next year's conference.

    In Christ's Love,
    Emily

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