By Missy Tippens
When Christy first talked to me about guest blogging with the letter “V,” I told her if nothing else, I could talk about working Very hard. :) But that I would try to come up with something more creative. ;)
So I visited an online dictionary and it gave me to the top V words. Among them were vagabond, vector and volts. But then I smiled when I saw velocity (the speed at which something happens—pretty appropriate for writers), Verb and Vowel. Not so hard to find writing words after all! Another of the top words? VICTORY.
In the business of writing, we have to claim victories along the way or else we’ll be tempted to give up. As I think back to my victories along the way, I see how God was working. I thought I’d share a few…
One of my first victories was when my husband’s aunt, after reading my Christmas letter mailed to the family, told me I had found my voice. “That’s wonderful,” I said. “What’s voice??” :) She was in a Masters of Creative Writing program at the time, and filled me in. I was so thrilled. I had never considered writing until that moment. And it gave me the beginnings of a secret, barely-hoped-for dream. Victory!
I started taking online writing classes and joined organization like Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. In two different online classes, the teachers each told me I was good at one of my assignments. Victory!
Along the way I had several setbacks. Terrible contest scores (tied for 35th place out of 36 entries!). Rejections. But then, a critique group I had secretly longed to join asked me to join! (Smiling at Lindi, Meg and Maureen, here.) Victory!
After working through tough critiques that sometimes left me despondent, I improved my craft until I got the nerve to enter another contest. I was a finalist, then won the Laurie. Victory!
I started entering more and more contests. Began to final more often. But I sent a new manuscript and got painful feedback—made all the more painful because I knew the published author was right. I was devastated and decided it was time to throw in the towel. I’d spent way too much or our family money and time on the writing. Thirty minutes later, I got a call that the same manuscript had finaled in the Maggie (and it later won). Though I knew I needed to make changes to the mss as the author had suggested, it was enough encouragement to keep me going. Victory!
I tried different formats. Sent a short story to BelleBooks. And wonder of all wonders, they offered to buy it! My first sale! Victory!
A couple of years later, a manuscript I had given up on at my current publishing house got discovered by a new editorial assistant. After two sets of revisions, she bought it!! Victory!!
And that victory, the culmination of my dream, was almost 12 years after that first email from hubby’s aunt. Since that sale, I’ve had other victories that God has put in my life at just the right moment. Contest finals. A wonderful Agent! More sales. Positive comments and smiley faces on manuscripts just when I need them.
So many things can keep us moving ahead. Friends that encourage us. Professional recognition. Sales. Paychecks. But there are also the daily things that I also count as victories:
Making my daily word count.
Turning in blog posts.
Updating my website.
Making time for my husband and children.
Cooking a half decent meal! :)
Cooking a fully decent meal! Haha
Washing the underwear before someone runs out. (whoo hoo! Aren’t you glad?!)
Meeting my deadlines even if it takes staying up overnight a few times.
Coming up with a new story idea I love.
Surviving the writing of a synopsis without causing bodily harm to myself or anyone else.
Checking items off my to-do list.
I hope you’ll look for the small victories as well as the mile markers to help encourage you on the journey. What can you do each day to move closer to your dream, to your goals? I hope you’ll share some of your recent victories!
Missy Tippens, 2006 Golden Heart finalist, made her first sale to Steeple Hill Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been finalists in the Booksellers Best, ACFW Book of the Year and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her most recent from Love Inspired, A Family for Faith, was released in April. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com.
About the Book:
When Faith Hagin sees widower cop Gabe Reynolds every day in her coffee shop, she can't help but feel for the struggling single dad. She's raised a teenager of her own—and sadly, knows what not to do. But thanks to his matchmaking preteen daughter, Chelsea, the whole town's praying for Gabe to find a wife! Even though Faith thinks she's content being just friends, spending time with him and Chelsea starts to feel like a fresh start at having a family. And their love may be the answer to everyone's prayers.