Friday, March 31, 2006

Camy Got a Contract! ----Lessons From Her Writer's Journey

Any aspiring writer out there--Christian fiction or otherwise--who wants to see how you "git-r-done" needs to drop by Camy's Loft, the terrific blog of writer Camy Tang, and read her March 29 post on her Writer's Journey. It's her roadmap from her first (bad) novel to her first contract in publishing.

It's a long post, but it's worth the time. You'll learn from it, and, maybe, as I did, you'll gain some motivation from it, something to push you (me!) to work harder and smarter as a wannabe-published writer.

The Lessons of Her Journey:

You, the unpublished or newbie writer, should commit yourself to--

1. hard, hard work (Writing may be creative, but it's also tough labor.)

2. a humble attitude of learning (You never know it all. Other people have stuff to teach you.)

3. attaining higher and higher levels of proficiency in the craft (Never settle for okay.)

4. holding on to a go-for-it attitude that won't quit despite setbacks (And setbacks will come, unless God showers you with miraculous move-past-roadblock cards for a lifetime.)

5. developing a network: giving and accepting help, joining groups, etc. (It's not about always taking. It's not about always giving.)

6. finding the joy in the work and the journey (Have fun with it, cause money and awards may be elusive.)

7. finding God's path for you in publishing (God may tell you to stop for a while, before He leads down a better path.)

8. appreciating the hard work of others (It's not all about memememe!)

9. seeking ways to promote others, not just yourself (Did I mention it's not all about youyouyouyou?)

10. knowing that setbacks may actually be part of how God will move you forward (Even a lost job or a torn ligament.)

11. constant prayer (You knew this was coming. Does anything not benefit from a lot of praying and maybe some fasting?)

12. the Word, because truth and beauty live there, and it will feed you in the lean times. (And all Christian writers should learn from the Master, who did a lot of writing Himself, ya know?)

Camy is a sweetiepie of the highest order. How could anyone who's spent time online or IRL with her not just adore her to bits? But she's also a tigress. She's got big teeth and sharp claws when it comes to going after what she wants. That's a GOOD thing, when it's mixed, as it is in her, with enough respect for the Holy Spirit's leading to be willing to set aside personal desires if called to do so. That is a powerful combination--ferocity of will with humility of spirit.

She set a goal, and she worked like mad to achieve it. That's an old formula. It still works, as you see.

(I admit it. I'm not as ferocious or as hardworking. I need to pump it up.)

I know Camy will set bigger and bigger goals, now that she clinched a multi-book contract with Zondervan for her Asian Chick Lit series. (That sounds like oodles of reading fun!) And you can bet that Camykins won't be satisfied with "good enough." She'll keep going for the gold.

I congratulate her as my pal. I admire her as a role model for aspiring writers. I am so proud of her. I hope I can follow her example with as much grace and fun and a third of the vivacity and energy that she's shown on her writer's journey this far.

Love ya, Camylamydingdongdoodlenoodle!

(Squirly-girly is next, I bet!)


Camy Tang said...

OH MY GOSH! Mirster, I'm in total tears here. See what you did??? You made me cry.

I have to say, I love you as much as you love me, Mirster. You're so incredibly encouraging! And you know exactly when to trade in your cheerleader pom-poms for some "Shut up and put up, cupcake!"

Yes, the post on my blog is a bit long because Camy just doesn't know when to shut up.


Lynette Sowell said...

Mir, I totally agree with this! I'm so excited for Camy and have seen her working hard and studying for a long time. I knew this was on the horizon for her when we both won our categories in Noble Theme last year. The only thing I would add is: not comparing your journey to another writer's path. "No one is ever told any story but their own," as Aslan said. :) And I agree she is an awesome encourager!

Mirtika said...

Lynette, you're totally on target about not comparing journey to journey and expect exact results. God has different timelines for us all. And not everyone is on the same level at the start of the journey in terms of financial flexibility (ie able to quit a day job to write full-time), or energy, or health, or even just craft-level. Everyone starts at a different place.

And all literary genres are not as "viable" or marketable as romantic suspense or Chick Lit are right now. Someone writing a medieval novel or a literary work, hey, the odds are tougher. Soemone writing science fiction and fantasy will have few publishing houses willing to look at the manuscript.

So, right. Everyone's journey has it's unique components.

I wanted everyone to focus on what they CAN do that Camy did. Things that I think are just common sense and biblical and universal for the aspiring-to-publication Christian writer. :)

And God bless us everyone! :)


Kathy Holmes said...

Excellent, excellent post about not comparing yourself to others - especially since some of our genres aren't as "hungry" as others. I found your blog from Cole's Tracker and then went on to read Camy's blog from your blog and it's amazing how we can all connect through blogging. Love it!