While we sweat bullets over our proposals, queries, etc, while we wonder and worry and wait, I thought I'd talk about what really matters in the writing business.
Great stories told well will certainly get you a slot in a publishing house's line-up of books, but what really matters is attitude.
Maybe you're surprised. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you're right on both counts, but this is my blog, so I'm going to call it like I see it and what I see is that attitude is a good part of what it takes to make it as an author (and in life).
Sure, sales matter. Sure getting those books sold matters. In the long run though, when we're at the end of this life, what's going to matter isn't how many books we sold, how much money we made, whether or not we were bestsellers or total flops. What is going to matter is how many lives we touched, how many people we loved, how many people loved us back, and (most importantly) how well we did the work God gave us. Many of us consider writing our gift and our calling. I can't argue that it isn't, but I will say that our most important calling is to love God and then to love others. That means having servant spirits, seeking ways to lift up those around us, working every job with good heart attitudes.
That's hard. So much harder than writing a book. So much harder than writing a synopsis. So much harder than crafting a beautiful story. Having that good attitude no matter the circumstances means sacrificing self, it means looking beyond now and seeing the future as God does.
Personally, I think hard is an understatement. Sometimes I find it nearly impossible. But it isn't. The Spirit that dwells in me is greater than anything the world dishes out.
So, while I work on my latest project, while I critique and listen and wonder at the way things work out, I strive to keep what's important foremost in my mind - serving God, serving others, having the kind of attitude that is a blessing to those around me.
In the end, that's all that will really matter. The rest will burn away. And when that happens, I pray we will all be left with the beautiful riches that come from a life lived for Him.