Reaching for Your Dream

What is it about a dream–that something we would dearly love to accomplish … if only? I wrote this piece as I struggled toward my dream almost eleven years before Her Deadly Inheritance appeared in print and e-book.

Maybe you’ve felt this way–or feel this way now–as you reach for your dream.

The Frustration

I slumped at my desk and closed my eyes in an effort to trap the tears that threatened to escape. “I’m ready to give up, Lord! I’ve worked on this novel and worked on it some more. It’s just not getting anywhere.”

“I’m weary of the battle, Lord. I don’t think I’ll ever finish it.” Tears traced wet paths down my face.

Oh, great! I palmed them away. “Please, Lord, if you have an idea to share, I could sure use it now.”

Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.  ~ Proverbs 16:3 (TLB)

What? Surely God knew I had dedicated each piece of my writing dream to him from the very beginning. Obviously, I was missing something behind those twelve short words.

Something important.

Several hours later, I pushed aside my concordances, commentaries, and dictionaries and picked up what I had distilled from them. I stared at the pages.

So that was the problem.

Committing my work to the Lord involved more than offering a quick prayer before I barreled ahead with my plan. It was spreading everything before the Lord each morning — my manuscript, plans, deadline schedules — and most of all, myself. It was sharing my difficulties and delights with him, both writing and otherwise. It was praying, “Lord, here am I. Use me. What do you want me to accomplish today?”

I knelt down to do that very thing.

Before long I saw significant progress in the novel’s development. Excitement about the project returned! I couldn’t wait to get to my desk each morning and boot up my computer.

How glad I am to have learned this valuable lesson: Being a Christian writer isn’t a simple matter of being a Christian and writing. It’s being a Christian who lays her dream at the feet of the Lord and obeys him. As I look back, every one of my published manuscripts was a fruit of God’s plan, not mine. Painful as all the years of struggle have been, I am grateful that God continues to preserve that precious pattern.

Dear Reader, this piece has been a long time coming, and now you know why. Until next time . . . look to the Lord. He will help you overcome your frustrations!

Copyright 2005 Beth Ann Ziarnik

Are you reaching for your dream? May I encourage you to work at it and stick with it until it’s accomplished in the Lord’s timing? It truly will be worth it all.

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Aspiring Writer – The Big Dream

I remember what it was like back In 2003 when I dreamed of seeing my first romantic suspense novel in print. Today, so many ask the “What’s it like?” questions that I wondered if you might enjoy a look at the heart of a typical aspiring author and her persistent journey toward publication.

THE DREAM

We all have dreams right? My dad used to say, “You might as well dream big. They don’t cost anything.”

autumn-color-along-a-riverTrue–when you’re only dreaming. But venture out to achieve your dream, and the “cost” soon makes itself known.

So, what does it cost to become the author of a novel? Here is a small portion of what I’ve learned so far:

  • reading tons of the kind of novels you long to write
  • studying endless books, magazine articles, and CDs on writing (which, by the way, also cost $)
  • investing in equipment (computer, laptop, software, etc) to produce editor-friendly manuscripts
  • participating in local and online writers’ groups to share much-needed fellowship, information, and encouragement with others who understand your desire to write
  • setting up an Internet presence–website, blog, facebook, and more
  • attending writers’ conferences, seminars, and workshops to network and to learn from talented experts
  • spending months–maybe years–getting to know your novel’s characters and learning how to capture them on the page through endless practice
  • sitting long hours alone at your computer or laptop crafting your stories
  • drinking deeply at the fountain of life’s inevitable joys and sorows, then praying for the words–and the courage–to pour out what you have learned for all the world to see
  • laboring over your manuscript, writing and rewriting until your words sing on the page
  • finding the courage to endure as you submit and resubmit your manuscript at writer’s conferences, online, and through the U.S. mail (if requested)–until your story finds a home.

Is the price too high? Not when, finally, it all comes together. Your book is born. Your dream becomes a reality, and there is nothing like holding that first copy of your new book dreams-come-truein your hands.

Or so I’m told.

For I have yet to hold that frist copy of my novel in my hands. Though I’m well past the dreaming stage … and a great distance through the cost stage … I continue to labor.

Right now, I’m preparing the proposal for my first romantic suspense novel. Very soon I will launch a campaign to catch the interest of agents and publishers … and enter the endurance stage.

Only our beloved God knows if and when Her Rightful Inheritance (later renamed Her Deadly Inheritance) will take shape as a published novel.

In the meantime, with your permission, I will share my journey with you. Who knows? One day we may share a joyous cuber-shriek as I announce the arrival of Her Rightful Inheritance in the “Promised Land” of published novels!

***

Dear Reader, thank you for accompanying me on my journey this far. Until next time … Dream big and go with God’s blessing!

~ Beth

Copyright 2003 Beth Ann Ziarnik

Do you have a writer’s dream? Please share!

 journey this far. Until the next time . . . Dream big and go with God’s blessing!

~ Beth

Copyright 2003 Beth Ann Ziarnik

Such Is a Novel Writer’s Life!

Ever wondered what your favorite novel writer’s life is like aside from the actual writing?

hydrangea-1635541__180 blue hydrangeaThe truth is, we’re often involved in mind-boggling tons of promotion. Speaking, answering interview questions, keeping up with our websites, writing guest blogs, posting on Facebook–the list is endless. Such is a novelist’s life. But it’s also fun!

Because those are the ways we get to chat with and to know you, our dear readers. What could be better than that?

So, in case you missed these two behind-the-scenes glimpses into my novel writer’s life, Anne Garboczi Evans and Sandra Ardoin each posted these guest blogs this week:

Did anything in these posts surprise you? If so, what and why? (Please don’t be shy. I’d love to hear what you have to say!)