Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, March 28, 2011

Looking Back

It’s weird to realize how much has happened over five years and how quickly it went. I’ve had a son go and almost come back from a mission, had a daughter get married, published five books—three with a publisher I’d never worked with at that point, changed jobs, visited over 400 schools, and changed agents.

The biggest recession since the great depression hit, e-books went crazy, a self-published author started making Twilight like waves—except that five years ago, most people were just hearing about Twilight, a huge book store chain declared bankruptcy, lots of people lost their houses and their jobs. One of the greatest prophets of my lifetime passed away and a great one took his place.

Yeah It’s been crazy.

So what have I learned personally?

First, I think, is that perseverance is key to whatever you want to accomplish. I’ve seen some of my good friends and family members go through some tough struggles. What kept them afloat was the fact that they didn’t quit. In the publishing field, people who were unknown five years ago have hit best seller status.

I’ve considered giving up writing many, many times over the last few years. I honestly think my lowest points in my publishing career have been during this period of time. At the moment I have no idea where things will lead me, but the future looks pretty bright and I’m glad I didn’t quit.

Second, the path we are following often takes truly unexpected turns but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Five years ago I’d never written a book for kids. Five years ago, I’d never even considered writing fantasy. Five years ago the big thing was Harry Potter. No one had heard of Hunger Games and only a few people knew much about this new vampire book except that it had received a huge advance and the author was Mormon.

I’d love to have a map that explained where things were going and why, but since I don’t, I’ve learned to be flexible and look for opportunities in places I might not have expected.

Lastly, I’ve learned that you really can’t do it alone. If it wasn’t for great friends, awesome family, and the support of many of the people who read, and write, this blog, I know I would not have achieved half of what I have. I hope I’ve been able to help some others along the way too.

So here’s to the amazing, annoying, unexpected last five years. I hope the next five bring you both wisdom and surprises, and that all your fondest wishes come true—even if it happens in ways you don’t expect. Happy anniversary!


At 3/29/2011 12:24 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Just testing to make sure comments are turned on.

At 3/29/2011 4:01 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

I think you might have turned them on somehow. :)

Really wild how much has happened in five years. I remember hearing about the Frog Blog around Michele Holmes's kitchen table--that would have been right about the time my first historical came out. Feels like a lifetime ago.

At 3/29/2011 4:45 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Okay, Jeff, it works now. Happy anniversary! I'm sure I signed on as a follower a long time ago, but since my picture didn't show up, I did it again. I miss Kerry's posts; they were always something to look forward to and savor. The rest of you have also provided a great service to the writing community. Here's to another five!

At 3/29/2011 9:50 PM, Blogger Becky said...

Happy Anniversary!!! It's crazy to think that I was just getting into the LDS book selling business 5 years ago. It has been a great 5 years full of all those ups and downs that Jeff mentioned. Keep up writing those great books that I get to sell!!! (p.s. I am definitely a follower!)

At 3/30/2011 1:20 PM, Blogger Kelsi Rose said...

I am a little behind on the frog blog, as I can only read blogs at odd moments at work. I tried to be a follower, but it won't let me.

At 3/30/2011 6:30 PM, Blogger David G. Woolley said...

My wish is that the frogs are all still here posting their hearts out five years from now.

At 3/31/2011 12:21 AM, Blogger Debra Erfert said...

I can't believe I was never a "follower" before now, and I've been reading y'alls posts for over three years--close to four years now.

Keep on blogging!

Happy Anniversary!!


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