Tuesday, January 26, 2016

An Author's Hope: Guest Post by Angie Dicken

Hi! This is Patricia. I am happy to introduce my writer friend Angie Dicken. You might know her from the popular writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Enjoy Angie's guest post.

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Over the past few years, I have understood the nature of hope, especially as an aspiring author. It's a funny thing—hope. It's an energy that might swell like a swollen ocean at one moment, or dissolve into a flimsy fragment that slips between your grasping fingers the next. Hope is ever-changing, and mostly, ever-present. And this ebb and flow is good, because it pushes us toward a dream, or calms us in the midst of a storm. 

During this writing journey, there have been a few times that I have felt hope vanish completely, only to realize it was hiding out around the next bend. It was still there. And the only way I could grasp it again was by moving forward. Taking those steps and finding my way toward it. Getting past the finite disappointment of this journey's pot holes, and remembering hope is infinite, as the good Martin Luther King Jr. once declared, 



It's difficult to accept and get past the disappointment, isn't it? The disappointment overwhelms me after writing that story that just misses the market, the one that I felt sure that God had placed on my heart and knew it was meant to be written. The shadow of a rejection chases my hope around the bend, leaving me breathless and unable to search for it again. 

What is the point of all those words, all that time? I don't want to accept it. 

The finite disappointment arrives in the sting of criticism, the harsh reality that I have a huge amount of work ahead of me, and I'll lose sight of the hope that flickers from beneath the effort needed. I grow weary and defeated. 

What is the point of wasting the energy now, after so much energy has been spent? 

Sometimes, I feel so completely hopeless that I wonder if it's this writing journey has come to an end. But, it's when I look back at all that I've learned, and then step forward toward that next bend, that I discover that pesky hope again, and all is not lost. 

Have you bought into the lie that once hope is out of sight, the journey is over? If this writing journey is truly ours, then our hope is infinite in what the future might hold for our words. 

If you are anything like me, clinging to hope, whether it be a kind word, a contest win, or a coveted request for a full manuscript, keeps me going forward no matter how small a glimmer. 

Hope is infinite. 

I look back on my ten year journey as an author and I don't just see baby steps and lessons, heartaches and rejections, friendships and business ventures, but I see a path chiseled and defined by that infinite hope. It's the fact that I got to that next page, the effort a friend took to critique my work as if it had potential, the agent taking a chance and adding me to her client list. It's the click in my brain when harsh contest feedback actually makes sense and pushes my story to a new level. It's the editor, who had turned down my book, and then decides to pick it up again and give it another chance (true story). 

I may not have arrived to the place where hope turns into that bright shiny future of publication that I expect, but I see hope all around me, and whether it growing bigger and brighter, or slips just around the bend, I am confident it is waiting for me to catch up. 

What more could a writer ask for, than hope? 

* MLK quote photo from Brainyquote.com. 


Angie Dicken first grew her love for story during her British education as an American transplant in the heart of East Anglia. She then “grew up” on the Shakespearean stage in high school and studied abroad in Europe during college. There's no doubt that her world travels inspire Angie to write fiction about strong women seeking God’s grace beyond cultural and social boundaries. Currently, Angie has completed six full-length novels. She has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and is a regular contributor for the popular writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Angie is an ACFW member, has attended six ACFW conferences, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. 

Follow Angie at: 
Writing Blog: www.thewritersalleyblog.com 
Personal Blog: www.angiedicken.blogspot.com 
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dicken.angie 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/angiedicken 
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/agdicken

18 comments:

  1. I love this post, Angie. Your patience and fruitfulness in your season of waiting are an inspiration to me.
    Late last year I really struggled with hopelessness. I've been studying psalms 32 and 42, and the study has been a great blessing.
    Thanks for stopping by today :)

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    1. Thank you for having me, Patricia! Sometimes I feel so hopeless that I spiral into self-doubt. For me, the Psalms are certainly a great place to remember that hope really is all around us!!

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  2. Amen, Angie. Knowing the Lord is in charge helps sooth the disappointments, perhaps not immediately, but with time.

    Well done on all those novels you've written. Fabulous achievement.

    Thanks, Patricia, for introducing us to Angie.

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    1. Thank you, Ian. Time is certainly a key component in this pursuit, isn't it? I am so glad I had the chance to post on here today!

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  3. You're welcome, Ian. It's still 1/26 in America, so I will just go ahead and say it: Happy Australia Day! Hope you enjoyed it :)

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  4. Hi Angie, welcome to ICFW :) I read your post thinking yes, yes, yes. I totally relate to your experiences and how we need to not lose hope as we travel along in our writing journey. It's hard when our publishing aspirations can seem like an impossible dream. Thanks for visiting with us.

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    1. So glad to post here today! Yes, the dream can seem impossible but there is always hope. The community of writers certainly does help spur on that hope!! Thank you!!

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  5. Thanks for this. Sometimes the seeds we plant on the "hopeless" days are the very ones that sprout. Best wishes for your writing!

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    1. Thank you Laurel! Very true. Wish it was easier to remind myself of the sprouts in the midst of the hopeless days! :)

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  6. Lovely thoughts, I shared this on social media to encourage others.

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    1. Oh, that's great Christine! Thank you!!

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  7. Thanks, Angie. We can never have too much encouragement.

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    1. Encouragement is a must in this journey! Glad to be here.:)

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  8. Thank you, Angie, and keep persevering -- and hoping!

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    1. I will, thank you, Janet! There's so much greatness in this writing venture that trumps the trials.

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  9. Angie is getting published!!! :)

    Angie on Facebook today: "So, my agent called today. THE CALL. The call I've been waiting for for a decade. I am getting PUBLISHED!!! Love Inspired Historical just offered me a contract!"

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    1. Thanks for letting us know, Patricia. Cheering loudly for Angie, and praying for this next step in the process!

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