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ACFW 2016: What is Success? Part 1

the trouble with writing


Steve Laube of The Steve Laube Agency taught one of the ACFW sessions. This session was the last Saturday sessions and it was really quite eye-opening. If any fledgling writer could be persuaded not to be an author, then Steve’s class would have done the job. He left the twenty or thirty of us with this challenge:

“If you can define success for yourself very quickly, then you’re on your way to being successful.” — Steve Laube

This week, in one of the Agency’s post, Steve offered a piece of advice that seems to counteract the thrust of the writing today. In the post “Praise Slow Writing,” Steve presents the idea of writing slower, choosing each word carefully, making sure that each sentence is precise in describing a scene or character description, or even plot idea.

Below is my reply:

For ten years, as I kept researching, writing, and editing my novel, I wondered: Why is it taking me so long to write just one book? Surely, while other authors are publishing a book a year, I will never accomplish very much in my lifetime.

Success is in the small things–sometimes–because it is the deliberate delay of writing and the careful study of the craft that will resonate deeply with readers after they’ve read a well-written sentence-by-sentence, scene-by-scene novel, causing them sink back into their couch and sigh and reflect and grow. So I must continue to stop and evaluate what I’m writing, why I’m writing, and how I’m writing.

Do I want to simply be that author who churns out book after book in haphazard fashion, or do I want to be the author who prays over each written word, until God has helped me to write a masterpiece to share with the world?

I may never be a Susan May Warren or Janette Oke or Ted Dekker, but perhaps I might be a Harper Lee or Margaret Mitchell or Elizabeth Gaskell, encouraging the world one word–book–at a time. Slowly.

I made a glaring mistake in my above reply to the post! What do you think it is? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post, and what I learned from replying to a blog post.