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.

Connect with Sally:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sallyshupewritings/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SallyShupe1
Blog: http://sallyshupe.blogspot.com/
Email: sallyshupe1@gmail.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sallyshupe1/
Website: http://sallyshupeseditingservice.weebly.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sally-schreiner-shupe-8217a639?trk=hp-identity-name

21 comments:

  1. Thanks, Terri! So great to be here today!

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  2. I love this, Sally! I'm glad I read this early today. Just what I needed. Thank you so much for the reminder!

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  3. Nice post Sally. I hate getting lost, but maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I enjoyed where I was instead of wishing I was where I wanted to be. Same with writing as you so eloquently suggested. Lots of truth there, girlfriend. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Cindy. "enjoy where I was instead of wishing I was where I wanted to be"-my husband agrees with you. He does not like to get lost, no matter what we end up seeing lol.

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  4. Comment from Sandy Ingram: Sally, I love how you find so much help in the simple things in life. I am not a writer but your thoughts are an encouragement to me. We are so set on what we are trying to accomplish that we fail to follow your advice. Thank you for sharing and thank you for seeing all that life has to offer.

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    1. Sandy! We have such fun on our adventures. You are such an encouragement to me. I would not be where I am without you.

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  5. Yes! The journey and all that we learn and the people we meet along the way is a huge part of the fun!

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    1. Hi, Dawn! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I have to remind myself of this as well. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but look at everything I've gained along the way: friends, skills, contacts. It all works together.

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  6. I loved this, Sally! Sometimes we get so focused on the destination, we forget to enjoy the scenery. It's so true of life...and writing! Thanks for the reminder. ;)

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    1. Sherrinda, thanks for stopping by! Yes, when we only keep the end result in mind, we miss all the little steps along the way.

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  7. Sally, I'm so happy you joined us today. In the spirit of transparency I'll admit I haven't been enjoying the journey too much lately. I needed this reminder!

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    1. Terri, thanks for hosting me! Sometimes when we're in the midst of our journey, it's hard to look to the left or right to see what's going on around us. But keeping this in mind, you'll find at the end of the journey, how much richer you are. Hang in there!

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  8. Sally, thanks for your reminder to look around and enjoy the scenery and experiences on our writing ...and hiking...journeys. As you know, I love hiking. The trail is always more pleasant if I take time to smell the wildflowers, listen to the waterfalls, and pause to view the vistas.

    I love your comparison to our writing lives. When I look back at the path my journey to write a book has taken, I see I've come a long way from my beginning attempts. I've learned so much about crafting a novel. However, the best part of this trip is the relationships developed with other people who share the same publishing dream. It is a blessing to enjoy the journey with friends and sisters!

    Thank you for your thoughts, encouragement, and friendship!

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    1. Yes, the relationships formed on this journey are the best. It's been so great getting to know all of you! The prayers and encouragement really help with the bumps and bruises on this journey!

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  9. Thank you, Sally for this timely reminder! I'm struggling with a first draft and trying to get the "right" words on the page. So, I need to remember to enjoy the journey!

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    1. Hi Laurie! Yes, enjoy it! At the end of the journey, the published book, you'll be so glad you did!

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  10. Sally, I love this post!

    We'd get along real well. I don't mind getting lost. I'm at the slow running stage right now. I've always enjoyed being outdoors over going to a gym.

    Great thoughts!

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    1. Thanks, Connie! It's been so hot here. There's supposed to be a break starting tomorrow. I can't wait to get outside for a run!

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  11. Sally, thanks for the great reminder! It's so easy to get sidetracked with blinders on. How much more fun (and positive) to enjoy every unplanned moment--in life and in our writing or editing.

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    1. Vie! Thanks! Enjoy every unplanned moment-if you decide to do so, before they happen, you don't have to think about it. Just do it. Much more fun that way!

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