Monday, July 25, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Get Wet

A couple weeks ago we took our daughters and a bunch of their friends boating. Just as we got to the lake and paid to park my car (took 2 because we had so many kids with us), the sky opened up and it rained on us. Because we were at a reservoir surrounded by mountains, we didn’t have the advantage of being able to see very far in any direction, so there was no way to know if this was going to be a long storm, or if it would pass quickly.

At this point, we had a few choices. We could a) turn around and go home or b) huddle in the car and wait or c) take the travel covers off the boat and prepare to launch, hoping the storm would pass.

We chose to prepare for launch and hope for the best.

David Wolverton (aka Farland) once told me a story of a time when the publishing industry struggled to hold on. After several very lean, dry years, many authors gave up their craft and found other jobs. During that time, some authors stopped writing altogether, while others kept writing, but nothing of much value, believing that the opportunity to publish books had passed. One particular author never quit. Indeed, he kept writing as vigorously as he always had.

Many years passed. Guess what happened? The publishing industry pulled out of the funk it had been in, and agents and publishers looked hungrily for publishable works. While everyone else scrambled to get back into the writing game, the author who never quit now had something like 20 manuscripts polished and ready for submission.

Guess who had the best success rate?

At the lake that day, we ran through the rain, pulled the covers off the boat and loaded our gear. Wouldn’t you know it, ten minutes later, the rain let up and the sunshine came out to push the clouds away. We spent four or five hours as one of maybe 3 boats out there, and had some very happy kids.

Storms and famines will come. And it may take some time, but eventually they always pass. So today I ask a rhetorical question. Will you be the one packing up and leaving before you ever really started? Or will you get wet uncovering the boat while you wait?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Better get to work then!

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