If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you write? The reality is, who has all the time and money to actually write? And to what end? I wish I had a time and money ATM tied to an unlimited balance.
The Challenges. Time. When we talk about getting the attention of gatekeepers to publishing, we must factor in all the time it takes to hone our craft, actualize our creativity, and write it down. With 8 hours of sleep, an hour and a half for meals, plus family and responsibilities, how can we eek out more hours to do what we love, and that’s to write?
It took me twelve years and four days to write my section for Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers. Twelve years experiencing and taking notes—four days to type it out. I work in five-minute stints because sometimes that’s all I have before some catastrophe happens, and I must go put out a brush fire. While it’s easy for me to say, “Schedule time to write and stick to it,” real life gets in the way.
Quiet Time. If I start each day with my Bible and a notebook, I find I have more time that day. Things just fall into place. Should I wake up late and miss my quiet time, I’m frazzled and before I know it, it’s 10PM, and I have nothing done. My quiet time is when I sit with the Lord and talk about life, plan my day, ask His guidance. Because Whose timing is it anyways?
Whenever and wherever inspiration strikes, write it down. Even if it’s just a phrase, take note of it and date it. I carry a small notebook in my purse for this purpose. I have a stack of small notebooks filled with my scribblings. Then, when it’s time to type it out, I have a physical reference of all my hard work and preparation.
Money. I wish I can say I earn all my income from the publishing industry, but I cannot. My goal was to have a job that I could do from my laptop, anywhere in the world. The truth is, I have multiple streams of income to survive. To those of us who have to sustain livelihoods outside of writing, we must prioritize daily tasks to juggle the demands of our careers. To attend writers conferences and have our work professionally edited, to take days off from our day jobs to write, to even invest in classes, educational books, and technology like laptops and software … all this takes money. Set your goals and allocate resources to those goals.
Aside from the publishing industry, I have a registered nursing license as well as a life and health insurance license. My publishing house supports my reading habit, my insurance license funds my writing habit, and my nursing license fuels my eating habit. As visionaries, we have to come up with innovative ways to integrate our skills into viable means of income.
I encourage all authors to state your goals and dreams. Declare them. Turn them from hobbies and wishes into sustainable careers. Get past the gatekeepers and publish your work. And I encourage you to do this as I have: through perseverance, persistence, and most of all, prayer.