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Advance with Faith

Advance with Faith

This week we look at part three of When am I Going to Get Published? Last week I told you to be others focussed. It’s a practice most of us are into for some of the people around us, but not in a big way. Now let’s look at the next step…

3) Advance with Faith

I’m not trying to get religious on you, but you do need to have faith that you’re going to achieve the goal you’ve set. If you don’t then will you really keep at it? When trying to achieve something new, especially something big, there will be many challenges that come your way. Most authors will shrink from these challenges. Getting rejection letters is a normal part of the process. Don’t let them dishearten you. However, take note of the ones that aren’t form letters. Do they give any insights on problems with your book?

As I stated, ADVANCE with Faith. It’s not just a matter of believing you’ll get published, and it’s not just a matter of believing in your book. We all believe our books are great. That doesn’t make them great in everyone else’s eyes. I know an author out there with unwavering faith in his book, but the truth is that the book isn’t that good. It has potential. With a good developmental editor, he could produce a great novel. But, he believes he’s done. The book is perfection in his eyes. This is where humility would serve him well.

I should clarify what humility is. It is not the downplaying of yourself and your skills to other people. Humility is the acknowledgement that you don’t know everything there is to know even if you’re an expert on a subject. Humility means accepting that you are flawed and that your work may be in error, and doing this without throwing a hissy fit. You may have finished your book, but that doesn’t mean that your book is finished. Seek expert counsel, continue learning, improve your skills, and make changes as needed as long as it doesn’t compromise the story you want to tell.

There are other ways to advance as well. Lesley Livingston, a long time friend of mine, could not get her book Once Every Never published. After listening to her frustrated complaints about it too long, her boyfriend, Jon, to her to shut up and write something else. Being a wise woman, she took his advice and wrote Wondrous Strange which got picked up by Harper Collins and ended winning  the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year for 2010, the CBC Best Book award, was nominated for the 2011 Stellar Award and shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction. She followed it up with Darklight and Tempestuous, creating a trilogy I recommend reading. And now, Once Every Never has been picked up by Penguin Books. Lesley may have stopped work on her book, but she never lost faith and she continued to take action that moved her toward her goal.

The great thing about goals is that, even if you don’t know how you’ll get to your goal, that how will eventually show up if you keep advancing with faith.