I’m quite confident that every writer has, at one time or another, struggled with envy. I’m also confident that many young mothers, especially the writing-variety, feel overwhelmed at times.
Not only does award-winning author, Susan Meissner, have some advice on avoiding the ugly green-eyed monster and balancing our busy schedules, she’s giving away a copy of her newest release, The Girl in the Glass.
To be eligible to win, all you have to do is leave a comment. A winner will be chosen by 9 pm CST on Thursday.
Without further ado, let’s dive in…
Susan, what would say if you could travel back in time and give your unpublished or newly-published self one or two pieces of advice?
First, be assured that if you write, you’re a writer. Getting published doesn’t make you a writer, it makes you published. You became a serious writer the moment you got serious about writing.
Second, I confess I’ve struggled with envy. I can sugar-coat it and say I just want God to favor me with book sales like he has other people, but I know deep down what it is. And I am sure the hard-working unpublished person who has done their homework and paid their dues and has waited patiently knows this feeling, too. I am learning to not let envy spoil the joy of writing. In the end a writer needs to write for the joy of writing. There are too many aspects of the publishing side of writing that you simply cannot control, just as there is in your unpublished life.
You and I can only control how much effort we expend at the craft, how much we are willing to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite to get it right. That’s what we can control. Envying someone else’s book sales is like envying their height. It’s pointless. It doesn’t change how tall I am. And I am learning to be happy for those whose books sell way better than mine. Being happy is so much nicer than being envious. I like it.
I agree. Jealousy is no fun. Neither is feeling overwhelmed. Any tips for busy mamas trying to balance a career, a family, and ministry?
The hardest part of balancing family, career, and ministry is keeping God at the forefront. When my relationship with Him is my first priority it’s pretty amazing how everything else falls into place. I’ve discovered having time to nurture your relationship with God is not something you find, it’s something you make. There are always too many things to do and not enough time. I really do get to choose how I divvy up the minutes of my day. I can spend 20 minutes dialoguing with God or 20 minutes doing just about anything else. I always have a better day and a better outlook on my day when I’ve connected with God before I dive into it.
Since we’re giving away a copy of your newest release, could you tell us what the novel is about?
Meg Pomeroy is a disenchanted travel book editor unsure of her father’s love, still smarting from a broken engagement, and whose normally cautious mother is suddenly dating a much younger man. Her perspective on everything that matters is skewed. She escapes to Florence, Italy, on a long-promised trip, believing her father will meet her there. True to form, he’s a no-show, but the trip allows her to connect with Lorenzo DiSantis, a writer she’s met only via Skype and e-mail, and Sofia Borelli, a tour guide and aspiring writer who claims she’s one of the last Medici, and that a sixteenth-century Medici granddaughter, Nora Orsini, speaks to her through Florence’s amazing statues and paintings. When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives are indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what it has to be?
Where did the story come from?
For our 25th wedding anniversary a few years ago my husband and I took a much-anticipated eight-day Mediterranean cruise. One of the ports of call on the Italy side was close enough to Florence to hop on a bus and spend the day there. When I stepped onto Florentine pavement I fell head over heels in love. No joke. There is something magical about Florence that I didn’t see in Rome, or even Paris if you can believe that. The beauty created by the masters of the Italian Renaissance is jaw-dropping and it meets your eye no matter which direction your turn. Florence was the perfect place to bring a disillusioned present-day character who needs to re-invent her life. That’s what Renaissance means: rebirth. I went back a couple years later with my mom, daughter, sisters and nieces and knew I just had to set a story there and somehow involve the infamous Medici family.
I can’t wait to read it! I absolutely loved The Shape of Mercy and A Sound Amongst the Trees. Thanks for visiting today, Susan. And for sharing your wisdom with those of us attempting to follow in your footsteps.
Let’s Talk: If you could travel back in time and give yourself advice, what year would you travel to and what would you say?
You can find Susan on her website, her blog, Facebook, and on Twitter (@SusanMeissner). She sends out a newsletter via email four times a year. You can sign up for it on her website. She loves connecting with readers! You are the reason she writes.
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