Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep by Patty Smith Hall

I almost quit writing last Wednesday. It wasn’t like I woke up that morning and decided ‘today, I’m going to quit writing’ though I will say it wasn’t too long after that. In fact, I had finished up my morning prayer and was going through everything that had to be done. Manuscript to my editor. An article for a friend. Edits for another friend’s story. Throw in a meeting with my critique group (online) and my mastermind group (again online!) and even I could tell I was in trouble. The weight of everything that needed to be done, along with my family responsibilities pressed down on me, and I couldn’t help but wonder:

Why am I doing all this?

It’s not the money. Most writers make less than $10,000, lots of them make less than $5000. When we were doing our taxes this year, I realized I was spending more on conferences, software and books than I made. Even in my best year, I only made just under that $10,000 mark. One time, a friend of mine figured out that for every word she wrote, she made a half of a penny. Most royalty statements go by without a check attached to it and if there is one, it may be enough to buy a sweet tea at McDonalds.

It’s not the fame. Do you have a clue how many books, both tradition and indie published are listed on Amazon? Hundreds of thousands, millions, and they’re all shooting for the top dog position, that number one slot. And then once you get there, there’s someone else just like you, trying to grab the brass ring from you.

Why am I still writing?

I could quit right now and be proud of the career I’ve had. Many people never see their book on the shelves of the local Barnes and Noble, and yet it’s happened fifteen times for me. I’ve been indie-published many times over, and have fans as far away as India (Cool, right?)

So why do I keep writing?

Because I can’t imagine a day without it. Because I find great joy in the creative process of discovering characters. Because my fingers itch to write each and every day. And if I’m really honest with myself—I didn’t start down this path to get money and fame (though these things are nice.) I write because I heard God’s still, small voice calling me to write. Sometimes, I lose my focus and all my failures come back to haunt me, but then I look up. I come across a verse that speaks to my situation. I get encouragement from an unexpected source. God has called me to write, and until He tells me to stop, I’ll continue writing my little stories.

Why do I write? I write for Him.


I almost quit writing last Wednesday. via @pattywrites #SeriouslyWrite




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Patty Smith Hall lives in North Georgia with her husband of 36+ years, Danny. Her passion is to write tender romances based in little-known historical moments. The winner of the 2008 ACFW Genesis award in historical romance, she is published with Love Inspired Historical, Barbour and Winged Publishing, and is a contributor to the Seriously Writing blog as well as Journey magazine. Patty is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. 

Hearts in Flight

Serving her country as one of the Women's Army Special Pilots is Maggie Daniels's dearest wish. But there are obstacles to overcome above and beyond the enemies in the Pacific, including her overprotective family, skeptical fellow pilots—and handsome, distant squadron leader Wesley Hicks. Whatever it takes, Maggie will prove herself to Wesley, until she succeeds in winning his admiration…and love.

Wesley can see that Maggie's a first-class pilot. She's also too fearless by half. The war has cost Wesley so much already. Can he let go of his guilt for a chance at happiness—and can he learn to trust in God…and Maggie…enough to believe in love for a lifetime?

9 comments:

  1. Writing is a business, but like you, Patty, if I were in this strictly for the money, I would have quit long ago.

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    1. Right? But you know the thought of not writing makes me physically sick! So, I've decided to make reading my books more personal for my readers. I send notes of encouragement to them or ask them what they'd like to see in a story. This may be a business but it's about getting our message to them.

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  2. I write because God has given me the desire to write. I pray before writing and ask Him to give me the words He wants me to share. Whether serious messages or messages filled with humor, I pray each word will draw people to Him. :-)

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    1. I start every day with Bible time and prayer, but even then, it's easy to get depressed about your book launch or that 1 star review. It's our response to those feelings--whether pull ourselves up and move forward--that's important. As it says in James 1:12, 'blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.'

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  3. Patty, thanks for sharing this struggle. I have a post it note near my computer to remind me "I will write to glorify God."

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  4. Thanks, Patty! I appreciate your heart-felt honesty. Like you, I sometimes have to go back to the "why" am I doing this? It's certainly not for the paycheck. LOL! It's because it fills a creative need that God has given me and a desire to somehow make a difference in other people's lives.

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    1. Absolutely! In times when I feel this way, I also have to remember that others would love to be where I'm at. A friend of mine who is unpublished was saying he'd love to have my 'career' and all I could think was 'this is a career?' In my heart, I've always thought of it as a ministry.

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  5. Patti, I identified with this post a 100%! Money - definitely not making a living writing. Fame - excuse while I lick myself up off the floor where I was laughing. I write because I feel God gave me this gift and I love it.

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