March 25, 2011

If only... Dorothy Bentley

I used to think, 'If only I could get one story published, I will quit everything else, and focus on writing.'

I thought having one story published would officially announce to the world that I am a writer and I could be steadily employed thereafter.

I have learned some very important lessons since my first article was published.

1. Writers must work very hard. This saying is true: writing is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.

2. A few writers have editors and publishers approach them, but most, even published novelists, have to submit queries and book proposals and jump through all the same hoops as first time novelists.

3. No matter how wonderful writing is, there is still the nasty business part of the job. Why can't literary agents write book proposals, queries, and do record keeping? (I suppose successful writers employ assistants for a reason!)

4. The most important virtue for a writer is patience. Waiting to hear back from agents and editors may be the worse type of waiting, unless I keep busy writing something new.

5. No matter how little I earn as a writer, I will still write. I'm afraid my writing habits are sort of like a strange addiction, for which there is no cure.


Thankfully, as a Christian writer, regardless of how much I earn, I am working for the Lord.

Leo Tolstoy said:

"It is within my power either to serve God or not to serve him. Serving him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the world of that good, which was in my power to create."

Now, I think...

If only the Lord will allow me to write something to touch someone's heart and life, I will be pleased.


  1. Love the picture and it is so true that writing is a lot of work! I was also naive enough to think that once \i got published \i was set. Reality soon set in!

  2. Yes writing is a lot of work and I would add discipline is required to complete whatever we are working on. I recall the first time I had an article accepted for publication and the excitement of it. There is nothing quite like that first acceptance. But now it is a task that God has called me to, and I must obey.

  3. Your passion for writing, whatever the earthly outcome, is inspiring. The need to write for many of us is an inner compulsion that won't be denied.
    But it also reminds me of the conflict between writing for an audience, where most advice leads, or writing from the heart, whatever commercial interests might dictate.
    I was happily surprised to read on page 85 of my "Strunk and White" the following.
    "Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy yourself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one. Start sniffing the air, or glancing at the Trend Machine, and you are as good as dead, although you may make a nice living."
    Helpful advice for me. How about you?

  4. Love your journey of how you progressed from desperately wanting publication to wanting meaningful interaction with others, and wanting to touch other lives. At the end of the day, that's all that matters. And i love the pic!

  5. Thank you for the comments! And yes, I completely agree, Bryan. We, as Christians have a higher calling than to simply right for income, and trying to write for trends is a tricky business. Since God is truly creative, staying connected to Him will result in creativeness. If it touches my heart, it will touch someone else's.


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