The Bread of the Writer’s Life
I’m so happy to introduce a guest post by my friend Theresa Santy. Enjoy!
Recently, I won first place in the FaithWriters 2013 Page Turner Writing Contest for my novel-in-progress. Wow—what a rush! For days, I rode the writer’s high, giggling and smiling with abandon as happiness dashed through my veins. I felt the same way back in ’09 when I polished off an entire box of Samoas, each cookie topped with a generous swirl of whipped cream—purely euphoric.
But like that sugar buzz of ’09, my writer’s high of 2013 was temporary. As each new day brought on new batches of laundry and dishes to clean, the euphoria faded back to reality. I was still responsible for cleaning toilets, and the only thing that changed was that now I had a reason to work harder than ever to complete my unfinished novel.
And I’m good with that.
Cleaning toilets keeps me humble. Hard work keeps me grounded. And when I’m humble and grounded, I remember that whatever I’ve achieved, I haven’t achieved alone. Without God, my writing would be little more than dust. Without encouragement from loved ones, I would grope for the motivation to write. Without the support of writer buddies willing to critique my work, I would be writing in the dark.
I was told the contest was very close, so I know every bit counted. Every hour I sat in my writing chair, every writing class, book, or article I read made a difference. Professional editing services helped too, buffing away the rough edges, making my words shine. Every person who gave me an ounce of encouragement counted, and I’m grateful to them all.
I’m also grateful to Leslie Gould, a successful author who took time out of her busy schedule to reach out to me. Yes, I’m going to embarrass Leslie on her own blog! Please forgive me for getting sidetracked, but the story of how we met is a good one. It was at the FaithWriters Writing Conference in Portland back in June. Leslie was a speaker and I was an attendee. During one of the breaks, I browsed the table of books for sale and noticed that one of Leslie’s books had an unfortunate placing of the price sticker. The S in Scrap Everything was covered, giving the book an amusing new title. As I commented about it, someone suggested that Leslie be told. I volunteered without thinking twice. (Leslie here: I take full responsibility for placing the sticker–one of my many ditzy moments, I’m afraid, lol.)
I found Leslie, introduced myself, and told her about the mishap. She laughed so hard I knew we’d get along well. We talked more throughout the conference, and she has been encouraging and helping me with my writing ever since. My writing would be less than it is without people like Leslie in my life.
So I won the FaithWriters 2013 Page Turner Writing Contest—yay! But where do I go from there? Back to the writer’s chair, that’s where. Praise and reward are as delightful as whipped cream topped cookies, but they cannot sustain a writer for very long. Relationships, faith in Christ, and hard work at the laptop—these are the ingredients that bear the weight of continuity. Together, they make the bread of the writer’s life.
Link to the FaithWriters 2013 Page Turner Winner announcement: http://faithwriters.com/page-turner-winners2013.php
Theresa Santy lives on the sparkling coast of Southern California with her husband and two beautiful, fast-growing children. Find more about Theresa at theresasanty.com.
Thank you, Theresa! I love this post. You’re amazing writer with a fabulous story. I can’t wait to see what God has next for you. So thankful that our friendship started at the FaithWriters’ conference.
Ditzy moments do pay off.