Friday, March 19, 2021

Writing: Hard Work, Perseverance, and A Bit Of Luck

I'm a published author! It's hard to realize, sometimes. Of course, it  may not mean as much to me as to some others. I wrote or edited a number of textbooks as well as over 100 articles in refereed journals before retiring from medicine. I still recall when I started my practice that it would be kind of neat to be invited to speak before my county medical society. When I retired from medicine, I had been invited to speak all over the world, written the textbooks and articles I already mentioned, was considered an expert in my area of practice, and in general had gone well beyond the hopes and aspirations I had when I started out. However--I've said this before, and I'll stick by it--the biggest thrill I had during all those years was seeing the expression on the face of a patient I'd helped back to normalcy.

My transition to writing began with the death of my wife, Cynthia. I read just about everything I could get my hands on about then, but couldn't find anything that captured my emotions adequately and gave me hope for the future. So I wrote The Tender Scar, which is at present in its second printing and has helped many others going through what I did. While I was trying to get that published, several people suggested I try my hand at writing fiction. I took up the challenge, and thought after four attempts that gained forty rejections that I'd failed. But then an agent and an editor decided I was worth their efforts, and that was the beginning of my writing "career."

Was it the result of hard work and perseverance? Certainly these played a major role. Several times along the way, I was ready to quit, but God had other plans. Eventually, these came to fruition.

So should you read? Definitely. Study the craft? Certainly. Write, write, write? Every day. Follow the BIC, FOK mantra? Yes, put your behind in your chair, fingers on the keyboard, and keep at it. But do you need to be at the right place in the right time? Yes--and only God knows where and when that is. Meanwhile, if you feel that you have a book inside you, by all means let it come out. The rest really isn't up to you.


Priscilla Bettis said...

I agree. A writer should write the books that are inside him/her and leave the timing to God.

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, that's how it worked for me--nothing magic, just continued work and eventually it came to fruition. Just be ready to accept the answer, even if it's"no."

Patricia Bradley said...

I always told new writers their job is to do the work--learn the craft, write the stories--so that when God opens a door, they're ready to walk through it. Good post, Richard!

Richard Mabry said...

Good advice, Patricia.