Friday, November 12, 2010

The Decision

I hate making decisions. Maybe this is something common to writers, or maybe it's something common to humanity, or maybe it's just something common to me. I don't like making decisions. This is one of the reasons I drifted in and out of majors in college. I knew what I wanted, but I was afraid it wasn't the right decision. I knew what I wanted, but I was afraid it wouldn't be practical.

I've wanted to be a writer.

And I spent the better part of my teenage years staring up at the ceiling waiting for a "holy lightning bolt from God" to tell me what I was supposed to do with my life.

It never came.

So it took me several years to realize I should just do what I have a passion to do. I should write because it's what I love to do. It's what God has given me to do--no lightning bolts--just the desire and ability to do it.

And in the past week, I've been trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with my writing. I didn't get a "holy lightning bolt from God," and I didn't expect one. I've learned that life just usually doesn't work that way.

Because sometimes there are things like ethics and morals that guide our decisions, and sometimes there's nothing there but options and opinions. I've prayed for wisdom and direction and guidance over this past week, but most of all, I've prayed for trust. I prayed for God to increase my faith--He's been faithful to do just that.

Because sometimes we're just not going to have a clear cut path in front of us. Sometimes we just have a crossroads and we have to figure out which one to take and just start walking.

A week ago, I was very strongly leaning towards going through a small publishing company. There are a lot of reasons why this would be a good idea. I would have more control over my story--as in, I wouldn't have a lot of people who don't know me and don't know my characters messing with my writing and making a lot of changes (I don't even care if that was a run-on sentence). I would have it published sooner than later and finally be able to call myself a published author. I would be able to help out a friend who's trying to get started in the publishing world.

But I would also have to market it myself. I would not have a lot of perks that an agent can provide. I might even prevent myself from getting an agent for future projects.

There are risks involved in whatever I do. I've prayed. I've asked for prayer from others. I've sought wisdom and direction and guidance.

But there have been no "holy lightning bolts from God," nor do I think any are going to come. So it's time to make a decision, choose a path, and just start walking.

Next week, I plan researching more agents and sending out more queries. I am putting book 4 on the back burner so I can start editing another completed project (aka book 2 aka Star). I want to try to sell it, too.

I am learning more all the time, and realistically, I know that even if I get an agent, I'm probably not going to be wildly famous or rich or anything. But I've got goals for my writing, and I'm not going to take the easy way out.

I'll see how it goes. This isn't the final say. If for whatever reason, this doesn't work out--if I just keep getting rejected and run out of options--yes, I will go small publishing. It's not that I see it as a "last resort." On the contrary, I am learning that small publishing is a worthy endeavor. I just would rather go traditionally because that's what I've always wanted. If that's not for me, then it won't work out, and I'll be THRILLED to be published under my friend's company--if he'll still have me. :-D

There are so many things that could happen. I don't know what they are. I'm just going to step out in faith right now and see. This is my decision. This is what I'm doing. I've just gotta trust that the Lord is going to direct my steps, though I can't see what's ahead.

Being decisive feels good.


  1. I'm so glad that you're able to see God faithfully guiding you in this moment. He is gracious to begin a good work in us, and He'll be the one to finish it! ;)

    Praying with you, my sweet friend!

  2. Yay for decision-making! I'm glad for you, friend!

  3. Good thoughts and what I think every author goes through. I tried for 23 years to get published and often leaned toward sel-publishing. But I knew I wanted my voice to reach a wide audience and would need a big publisher to do that. I prayed a lot for doors to open. So rather than "hear" God tell me to wait until a big pub picked me up, I faithfully did all I could to hone my craft, improve my writing, attend conferences, and pitch to agents and editors. God confirmed my leaning toward the big publishing option by opening doors--getting picked up by two top agents and winning a contest that gave me publication. So, that was the validation. Also my agents kept telling me I was perhaps the best writer they've seen in thirty years and my work was good enough to top the best-seller list. So that helped me keep on. I am still needing God's direction every day, trying to know what to write and for whom. But this is how he's worked for me. Thanks for the post!