Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Camy Tang (Advice for Novelists, Part 40)

For those new to this blog, this is part 40 of a series we're conducting here in which editors, authors, agents & publicists all respond to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Camy has a wonderful reply:

Never lose sight of Whom you are writing for.

This has recently been on my heart. Since I started writing seriously, I've gone to several writing conferences and always see a few writers who are incredibly focused on pitching to Agent ABC, or getting a seat at Editor XYZ's table, or worried about what Agent MNO will say about their manuscript, or devastated that Editor QRS wasn't interested in their story.

While I can completely relate to their pain, it also bothers me to see someone so focused and worried about their career that they seem to have lost sight of their Audience of One.

God directs our career. God plans our chance meetings with Agent ABC or Editor XYZ. God brings our manuscript to Agent MNO's attention, or closes the door at Editor QRS's publishing house.

I have sometimes been that writer stressing about meeting the right editor at the conference, or worried and impatient that an agent has had my manuscript for at least FOUR WHOLE DAYS and I haven't heard back yet. But God usually manages to give me a swift slap upside the head to remind me to stop trying to direct my own career.

And then those wonderful chance meetings happen, like sitting next to an agent in the conference general session and getting a chance to talk to her, and actually having HER ask ME what I'm writing. Or the one-in-a-million chance of having an editor at a house who has rejected my manuscript actually take a SECOND look at it and eventually contract the series.

God is directing your career. Stop stressing. Stop trying to take control. Trust me, things go much smoother when you do.

--Camy Tang, author of Sushi for One? and Only Uni (both with Zondervan). Visit her at her website here.


Merrie Destefano said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful advice from a writer I highly respect.

Blessings always, Camy, as you seek to follow God's path in your writing.


Robert Treskillard said...

Thanks, Camy. That is the best advice out there.

Susan Stitch said...

Amazing advice -- so simple and yet so hard to do! I'm being convicted of my lack of patience in waiting for God and I've been studying David's 20 - 30 year wait to become king after he'd been anointed. And I have trouble waiting a week!

michael snyder said...

Great reminders, Camy. I've lost sight of that all-too-important fact more than once.


Camy Tang said...

Thanks so much for letting me be part of your blog series, C.J.!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

God is in Control! Wow, what an amazing stress releaser. Thanks, Camy.

I need to be reminded of that often!!

Jessica said...