by Lisa Jordan
NaNoWriMo is winding down. Many of you may be writing strong closing in on that word count. Some of you may have stopped. Others may want to continue, but you’re discouraged.
So what’s holding you back?
Novelist E. L. Doctorow said, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
Sometimes even seeing beyond the dashboard can be a challenge. So I’m giving you five reasons why you need to keep writing.
1. You have a dream. Cinderella sang, “A dream is a wish the heart makes.” If you’re like the majority of writers I know, you have a dream. A dream to be a writer. In order to fulfill that dream, you need to write.
2. You were created for this. God instilled the desire to write within you. He gave you the ability to create characters, come up with plots and put them together in a story to share with others. He did not say you have to go it alone. He didn’t give you this dream to take it away.
3. You have a voice. Like your handwriting or fingerprints, your writer’s voice is unique. You can learn the craft alongside your peers, but only you can write the same story in your voice. As literary agent Sandra Bishop says, “Voice is your personality on the page.” It’s how your characters are defined, how they speak, how you describe your storyworld, how you plot—that’s all about your voice. Keep writing to allow your Voice to be heard.
4. No one else will do it for you—unlike running the dishwasher, gassing up your car or folding your laundry, no one can write a book for you. Okay, yes, ghostwriters can, but those words aren’t yours. Your head is full of characters begging to be released onto the page. Give your head a rest and let your characters have their say. 😉
5. Personal satisfaction. Do it for yourself—if you stop writing, will it affect your family? Will your friends stop talking to you? Will time stand still? Most likely not. However, if you stop, how will you feel? Only you can answer that question. Believe in yourself and your abilities. You can do this.
Author Phyllis Whitney said, “You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist, you must learn your craft—then you can add all the genius you like.”
Once upon a time, a girl dreamed of writing novels. She tried and tried, but at times, wondered what was the point? Ten years ago, she challenged herself to attempt NaNoWriMo. In thirty days, she wrote a novel. A bad novel, but she still did it. She proved to herself she could do it. Two weeks later, her husband bought her a laptop since he realized this writing thing wasn’t going away.
She studied the craft, wrote, revised, screamed in frustration, deleted, quit for a day or two, joined My Book Therapy, revised, wrote and finally entered another contest, which became a turning point in her writing journey. She finaled and scored a top-notch agent who eventually sold her novel to the publisher of her choice. That NaNoWriMo manuscript released in August as her fifth published novel. She’s been where you are. She knows your pain. She believes you can do this.
Heart, home and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories with those elements come naturally. She is an award-winning author for Love Inspired, writing contemporary Christian romances that promise hope and happily ever after. Represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management, Lisa also serves on the My Book Therapy leadership team. Happily married to her own real-life hero for almost thirty years, Lisa and her husband have two grown sons. When she isn’t writing, Lisa enjoys family time, kayaking, good books, crafting with friends and binging on Netflix. Learn more about her at lisajordanbooks.comlisajordanbooks.com.