Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On fear and what I learned in 2010

The dedication of my next YA novel, THE DAY BEFORE, reads:

This one is for all of you
who feel the fear and do it anyway,
in writing and in life

It's interesting to me, but perhaps not surprising, that my next book tackles the subject of fear when 2010 has been a year where I myself have had to, again and again, feel the fear and do it anyway.

A year ago, I had given notice at the day job and I can't even describe how scary that was for me. I'm not a bestselling author! Yes, I get royalty checks, but they are about ten to fifteen percent of what I made at the day job. I would have to sell not one, but TWO books in 2010 to make up for my loss of income. And the one and ONLY book I had completed had already garnered a number of rejections.

But I believe in listening to the still, small voice and trusting it. And it had whispered to me, after lots of discussions with my husband and prayerful consideration, "It's time."

I'm going to do a month-by-month look at 2010 tomorrow or Friday, but I've learned a lot about myself this year. I've learned trusting God is hard sometimes, but I'm getting better at it. I've learned over and over again, the only thing I can control is the writing, and it's not always easy, but the key is to keep writing. When something isn't working, it's okay to scrap it and start something new. No writing is wasted writing. It is a journey. As I started my new career of full-time writer, I had to shelf a completely good manuscript that took me an entire YEAR to write, because no one wanted it.

Was I afraid? Abso-freaking-lutely

But I dug deep, told myself I didn't have to understand why things happen but needed to trust it was for the best, went for walks, scribbled in my idea notebook, and after even more rejections on other projects, I began writing what would eventually become THE DAY BEFORE.

A book about fears - big and small - and how we can help each other through but ultimately, it's about confronting them straight on and not letting the fear win.

So, my biggest accomplishment this year?
Not that I wrote four books.
Not that two of them sold.

No. I think it might have been - I didn't let the fear win.

Remember this? One of the best movie scenes of all time.

"You must believe." Oh yeah.


  1. LOVE this Lisa. You are an inspiration to us all and here's hoping 2011 will bring much success for the books you sold this year. I know *I* can't wait for them.

  2. This is so true Lisa. Loved when you said that "No writing is wasted writing."

    Congratulations on not letting that fear conquer you.

    I wish you the best of things in 2011.

  3. That was beautiful, I can't wait to read The Day Before.

    It is hard to believe sometimes but God always comes through :-)

    I love that you wrote Abso-freaking-lutely, lol, I would so say that.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  4. I totally agree about knowing when to ditch an idea. Turning points and cross roads are so hard, but you rarely look back afterwards. Good luck in 2011!

  5. This is fabulous, Lisa. You are an inspiration.

  6. Lisa, I might have been blinking back a few tears. Thank YOU for keeping on.

    Happy New Year.

  7. You inspire me. I especially need to remember that no writing is wasted. This year, I set aside a project I'd worked on for a year, but now I'm having a great time with another. Gotta take that leap and believe.

  8. Thanks for sharing this Lisa. It is so easy to let fear get in the way of taking a leap of faith or doing something that might really lead to some great new opportunities. And congrats on all of your books.