Thursday, August 22, 2019

Enjoying the Journey by Sally Shupe

As you start on a journey, enjoy the trip, take in the passing scenery. Who knows what you might find. One year, we got lost coming back from vacation. We passed a paved lot with a bunch of parked airplanes. I thought it was so cool. If we hadn’t gotten lost, I would have never seen it. Another time, our family went on vacation with friends of ours. We got lost. My friend and I (Hi, Sandy!) thought it was funny. When we finally crossed over into another state, we got out of the car and ran around the sign. As you can see, it is not vacation unless we get lost at least once. I think the record is getting lost three times trying to get somewhere for vacation. GPS is not my friend!

When I started running, I had a hard time. Come to find out, you need muscles that I didn’t have at the time in order to run. Needless to say, I was slow. But as I continued running, I noticed flowers, bushes, the breeze, the way the sun lit up spider webs in the grass. Even though I was having a hard time running, I could still enjoy the things around me.

How does getting lost on vacation and struggling with running have to do with writing? I’ll tell you. Enjoy the journey! Are you struggling with getting words on a page? Struggling with finishing your first book, or tenth? Struggling with getting published? Enjoy the journey! There are so many things to see along the way.

Writing your first word, leads to two words, which leads to a complete sentence, a paragraph, a page, a chapter, a completed book. But at the end, what do you have? Words on paper. Now imagine that same journey, interacting with other writers, readers who enjoy the genre you write, writing blogs where you can interact with others in the industry. Do you know what you’ve done? Opened doors that can lead to friendships, a critique partner, encouraging tips, an agent, maybe even a publisher. If all you do is take a trip and not pay attention to the scenery you pass, you’ve missed half the journey. If you go for a run, a walk, a hike, but don’t actually see where you’re running, walking, or hiking, you’re missing the added benefits. It’s the same with writing. If all you do is put words on a page, you are missing what you can learn along the way: new editing skills, friendships with potential readers, maybe even an agent connection or a publishing contact. Writing can be a solitary journey, but it doesn’t have to be. And when you’re struggling, the best thing is to have encouragers around you, cheering you on. Who knows what you might find?

So, reach out to the ones around you. Enjoy the writing journey, how you get from point a to b, the people you encounter, the skills you acquire, and have fun!

How do you keep your writing journey from being a lonely experience? I’d love to hear from you.

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and three more in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze; a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and a PRO member of RWA; loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.

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