By Niki Turner
It was, in the scope of all things junior high, as traumatic and humiliating as it might sound (imagine Mean Girls on the ski slopes). The "cool" kids already knew how to ski. The rest of us were left to fend for ourselves.
But I did learn something...
I learned that after a particularly grueling, terrifying run, you stop, turn, and look back at what you've conquered without dying, breaking any significant bones, or shredding the inner seam of your ski pants on a mogul and finishing the run with one inner thigh exposed from knee to crotch (true story).
And so, after meeting back to back deadlines, and with two big new releases coming up, I'm taking a moment to look back up at the hill. Not just for myself but for all of the Inkies (check out our Pinterst page with all of our books: Our Books!).
When Gina Welborn inspired Inkwell Inspirations more than a million pageviews ago, only one of us was a published author (if I remember correctly.... I could be wrong, I've slept since then, at least twice). Today, we're all published authors. Back when we started (as contest finalists, not even necessarily winners, just finalists) that seemed like a lofty goal.
So when we look back, what have we learned?
- None of us have gotten rich. (Sorry, don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but it's true.)
- All of us have learned a lot. (About ourselves, about writing, about publishing, about life.)
- Seeing potential in others and taking a risk on them is one of the highest kinds of faith there is. (Thank you, Gina.)
- Building a community of believers who encourage one another is an important factor in success. (Everyone goes through dry spells, difficult seasons, and struggles. Friends keep you going.)
- Don't give up on your dreams.
- Don't minimize the importance of friends who pray, who love, who build up and encourage no matter what's going on in your life.
- Be flexible. Success might come in ways you never expected. Be open to opportunities that cross your path... just because you didn't come up with the idea doesn't mean it isn't God-inspired.
- Find joy in the process, not in the numbers. Writers write because they can't help themselves. It's easy to lose sight of that with the pressures of marketing, Amazon sales rankings, and royalty checks that barely cover the cost of a tank of gas. Write anyway. Ignore the sales, ignore the numbers, ignore marketing. Write because it's what you love and it's what keeps you sane... well, as sane as writers are, which is questionable on a good day.
Stop and look back at what you've accomplished today, whether it's starting your first story, finishing your first manuscript, finaling in a contest, self-publishing, finding an agent, or signing your first contract... you've make it this far! Now point your skis down the mountain and finish the run! And when you get done, head back to the lift (that support group you've established) and ride back to the top of the mountain for the next story.
Rio Blanco Herald Timeswww.inkwellinspirations.comACFW Colorado