Enthusiasm means “of the gods.” When you have an enthusiastic
heart, all the heavens can flow through it.
— Sonia Choquette
Do you remember when you first decided you wanted to write a novel? Do you recall the joy of creating
the story in your mind and transferring it to paper when you were still an aspiring author?
I spent months writing and rewriting the first three chapters of the proposal for what became my first
published book. Combined with the historical research, I spent at least a year developing the proposal. Each
day while at my full-time accounting position, I anticipated the joy of working on that proposal when I got
home. Perhaps writing was the place I went to get away from my “real,” everyday life. Fiction can be a form
of escapism for the writer as well as the reader.
When writing becomes our career, we soon learn we can’t play indefinitely with the plot or the best
words to use. Deadlines (one hopes, as that implies contracts, sometimes self-imposed in today’s indie market)
and bills require we write with regularity and perhaps be prolific.
Rejections, changes in lines, shifts in what’s “hot,” editors with revolving door syndrome, contracted
deadlines so close we feel on a carnival ride we can’t get off—all can leech our joy in writing.
I follow a blog by an indie author who appears to be doing quite well with her career. She published her
first novel in January 2011 and her third in December 2012. She now has an agent and is hoping to sell to a
traditional publisher. She is one busy lady. She’s working hard to gain the dream—the dream we’ve all
had—of spending her life writing fiction. One thing that comes through in her blog is her enthusiasm for
writing—no matter how harried her life.
I recall a television interview years ago with Victoria Principal, one of the stars of the original Dallas television
show. She was making a movie. The role required long hours in difficult outdoor conditions—twelve
to eighteen-hour days in the desert if I recall correctly. The interviewer asked how Principal handled these
demands. She replied that whenever things seemed difficult or her schedule over-full, she reminded herself
of when she was still struggling to become a paid actress. Night after night she would tell God that if He let
her have just one paying role, she’d never ask for anything more.
Before I was published in book-length fiction, I met another aspiring inspirational romance writer at a
conference. Soon after, she sold her first book. It was released to glowing reviews. She signed with an agent,
and soon a much larger publishing house was considering a proposal. While the proposal was under consideration,
the agent turned down a second proposal and then a third, refusing to submit them to editors. My
friend was understandably discouraged. Though I didn’t voice my feelings to her, I thought how happy I
would be to sell just one book—a goal she’d already accomplished. (Yes, she did become multi-published.)
Remember when seeing just one of your books in print was one of your greatest dreams?
Recently, I met a middle-aged man with a family and a truck repair business. One’s first impression isn’t
that this man is a story-teller. Yet he made up bedtime stories for his children during their growing-up
years. In a prior job he was in regular contact by computer with fellow workers at a distant location. “Just
for fun” he’d send them stories he wrote, thrillers, in serial form—off the cuff, no rewriting. If he allowed
too much time between serials, his co-workers would badger him for another. He was thrilled
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