"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©
Sunday, March 12, 2006
DAY SEVEN—W. Terry Whalin, Editor / Writer
God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger
It’s been a repeated lesson in my life. If you don’t change, then change will happen around you—whether you want it to change or not. Let’s take technology. It keeps advancing and only a few years ago, no one knew about the word “blog.” Yet today a new blog is created every second.
The weather vane is a metaphor of this type of life change. It shifts back and forth in the wind. You either lean into it and move ahead or you are blown back from it. We have many points in life where we are brought to a choice. Because God didn’t make us as robots but gave us free will, we chose the story that makes our life. Allison Bottke has called this key point God Allows U-Turns.
I’ve had many of them in my life. Several years ago, I neglected my personal health. My job as an editor was consuming every waking moment of my day—and I loved it. Instead of making time for exercise, I discounted it saying, “I can’t get it done.” Instead of thinking about what I was eating and making good choice, I ate anything that appealed to me. My weight ballooned and every six months or less I needed to purchase larger pants. I was making poor choices in my life and not choosing to change.
Over two years ago, my wife, Christine purchased a South Beach Diet book at Bed, Bath and Beyond. (It’s not where I have ever purchased a book and I regularly buy books.) I made a u-turn or change in my life and began to eat differently. Also I added a consistent exercise component to my diet (currently at least three and some times as high as six times a week). My weight began to drop and I’ve consistently kept off 40 pounds. It wasn’t easy yet I’ve discovered many goals require loads of work to accomplish. Are you willing to do the work? If so, then you can often accomplish your goal.
Many people dream of writing a book. They long to hold that printed book in their hand and show it to friends and new people. It is a huge accomplishment and something that I longed to accomplish as well. The world of publishing has its own unique twists and turns. To understand it requires effort and I’ve found most people would rather do their own thing (and get consistently rejected) than learn the system and move within the system. When they want to write a book, they simply sit down and begin with page one and persevere until they complete the final page. Let’s cheer those people because they have managed to complete a task yet far too often, these manuscripts are consistently rejected and the only way they appear in print is if they are self-published.
If you have a dream of publishing a book with a traditional publisher, I’ve got some help for you. Over the last four years, I’ve read thousands of manuscripts and proposals. Also as an acquisitions editor, I’ve been the person to champion a manuscript within a publishing house and ultimately issue a book contract to an author. Far too often, I’ve not had the material from the writer to be able to champion their cause. I’ve not had the time (no editor does) to write each of these authors and tell them about the specific elements they are missing. Instead these authors get a form rejection letter. I wrote Book Proposals That Sell to help writers understand how publishing works, then shape their material so the editor can champion it and it will have the best chance of appearing in print.
With the choices ahead in your life, I’d encourage you to turn to the Lord of the Universe for guidance. Don’t make those choices on your own strength. Over the last few days, I celebrate the chance to bring you a few stories of significant change. May God guide you in those choices. Terry Whalin signing off at God Allows U-Turns.