Sunday, December 30, 2007
Do We Really Want to Know the Future Before It Becomes the Present?
As we come to the last day of 2007, I find myself spending this Sunday afternoon thinking about 2007 and looking forward to 2008.
It's hard to believe it's already been eight years since we went into this new millennium. It seems like yesterday we were thinking about Y2K and some people were stockpiling hard cash and water. I was not one of them, but I knew people who were. I remember opening a friend's pantry and seeing gallon upon gallon of water filling the bottom shelf. She insisted I would be sorry when she had water and I didn't. Funny, I never heard a word of what happened to all that water. She probably spent all of 2000 drinking it. :-)
Back then I was just starting to learn the rudiments of fiction writing, ACFW was not yet formed, and my writing was mostly relegated to articles and stories required by the writing classes I was taking.
Eight years later I've sold a few articles, but am still looking for that elusive fiction contract. Will 2008 be my year? A year from now will I be looking back on the past 12 months and rejoicing that God has finally blessed me in such a way. Only He knows, and I'd rather keep it that way. If I knew for sure I was going to sell my story this coming year, I might slack off on learning to write better and making the story better. And, if I knew already that I wouldn't gain a fiction contract or an agent in 2008, I may be tempted to slack off, stop querying agents, and maybe even shelve the story.
Isn't that true about most things in our life? Do we really want to know the future before it becomes the present? I don't.
As I end 2007, my hopefully-final revision is just about done. On New Year's Day I hope to send a copy of the full manuscript out to several volunteer readers for them to read. Now, that's really laying it on the line! They've never read my work or critiqued anything I've done. My crit partner loves the story, but will they? Difficult as it is, I'd rather have them read it first than an editor or agent who holds the key to my story's future by the decisions they make. If my readers come back loving it, I will rejoice and send it out. If they suggest weaknesses and confusion, then I have time to fix it before I send. Either way I'm a winner.
What better way to begin the new year? I can't think of a one.
Happy New Year!