American Christian Fiction Writers, where over 600 women and men gathered to hone their writing skills, be inspired, and try to convince an agent or editor in a 15 minute session that their book could be the next Twilight or The Shack. It was, to use the words of Charles Dickens, both the best and the worst of times.
It was wonderful to see old friends and meet new ones. Time after time someone would sneak a peek at my name badge and say, "I recognize you from your comments on so-and-so's blog" or "I love your book." Hugs and handshakes were the order of the day. That was great.
On the other hand, when you consider that a publishing house might launch twelve to twenty new books per year, many of them by previously published authors, the odds of a new author ever breaking into print seem pretty slim. In my own particular case, I wrote four books and tried for four years to market them, garnering forty rejections before I hit the right set of circumstances that resulted in the publication of not one but three books. Without sounding too pious about the whole thing, it truly is a matter of God's timing.
So why do we continue to write? Because it's what we do. If I knew I'd never have another book published (and there's no guarantee that's not the case), I'd still sit down at the computer as often as I could snatch the time and pound out another scene or chapter. Why? Because, as I've heard it put, "we can't not write." And if no one ever reads my words, at least one person--me-- will be affected by my efforts.
Is there something you do that may never pay tangible dividends? Do you sometimes think your efforts are in vain, but you keep plugging along? Good for you. Whatever it is, I hope you keep doing it.
CHANCE TO WIN A BUNDLE OF BOOKS: Friend and fellow author of Christian medical novels, Candace Calvert, is giving away copies of her works of medical romance and my books of medical suspense. Check out her blog and leave a comment for a chance to win. Deadline is October 4.