Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday's Writing on Writing

Check back here every Wednesday for a few thoughts on the craft. Here are today's:

I live a writer’s dream, but costs are associated with visibility. (I’d complain, but who’d listen?)

The major sacrifice has been less time to attend writers conferences. I have always enjoyed meeting other writers and editors and teaching and interacting with writing students. But as life has become busier and more complicated, time for such opportunities has nearly vanished.

That’s one of the reasons I bought the Christian Writers Guild. First, it’s a way to continue teaching and to bring together the best pros in the business to share the wealth of their experience with students.

But also, CWG activity forces me to carve out the time for our own writers conferences. We have a Writing for the Soul™ conference every February for hundreds of writers at all stages of their careers, from brand new beginners to accomplished professionals with long lists of credits.

Check out our upcoming one in Denver, which features Max Lucado (upper left) and Philip Yancey (upper right). It will be worth the time and the cost, believe me.
Details at:

We strive to be honest with beginners about the odds against selling their work while also encouraging them with the fact that every so-called “name” writer was once unpublished and merely hopeful.

There is always the danger of the learning writer becoming pessimistic. But negativity leads to complaining, and the spiral begins toward a me-against-the-world attitude. Succeeding then becomes all that much more unlikely.

We need to remind ourselves that very little worth doing comes easily. Yes, the odds are daunting, but that will make your success all the more satisfying. Remember that by committing yourself to studying, learning, listening, and being coachable, you have a leg up on all the competition you hear so much about.

While fighting your way to being published, remember that thousands upon thousands of hopefuls are dreaming and praying magic will happen. They want lightning to strike, and meanwhile, they take shortcuts.

Just remember:

While there is a sea of competition, few are committed to doing what it takes to reach the shore.

Stay positive, optimistic, and willing to work. That’ll make you most attractive to editors and publishers. Make your craft more than a hobby. Be dead serious about it, and that will increase your possibilities a hundredfold.

And join us in February to meet those editors, publishers, fellow writers – published and unpublished, and even agents. You’ll leave motivated to stay at the task.


Lori Mazzola said...

Thank you for the wonderful advice!

Christian Mommy Writer said...

This post was encouraging to me. Maybe I'll be able to get to the conference this year.

I look forward to reading more of your Wednesday series!

Jerry Jenkins said...

We'd love to have you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jerry. Good words. You certainly gave me an encouraging kick when I really needed one. Now my butt's back in the chair, and I'm writing again...

John Pazdziora

Tamika: said...

Mr. Jenkins I am a huge fan! I am so glad to have a blog to connect with your knowledge of the industry.

I've used the Critique Group with the Christian Writers Guild. It was extremely helpful. I still carry it in my briefcase to remind me of all the promise there is in working hard.

P.S. I have every Left Behind series!

I look forward to learning more.

Jerry Jenkins said...

Really, you have all 16 Left Behinds, including the three prequels (The Rising, The Regime, and The Rapture) and the final sequel, Kingdom Come?

Jeanne said...

Where there is a sea of competition, I want the confidence of Peter... To walk on water with the help of my Lord. Whether I reach the shore is in His hands, as long as I keep my eyes on Him I can keep on walking. His companionship means mire to me than my earthly success.

Norm Patriquin said...

I self published a book regarding a major Bible discovery and seek publishers but don't know if that's an appropriate activity for this conference? Discovery is real yet truly sounds impossible-- The Bible's verse text lines up with book, chap, verse ref nbrs. IE John 3:16 in the 1000th chapter. Ps 117 the shortest 2 verse chap is center chapter; Rev 14:4 (144) describes the 144,000… etc Should I attend the conference? Discovery at