Monday, April 8, 2013

THE IMPORTANCE OF A CHEERING SECTION


 
Sharon Dunn writes both humorous mysteries and romantic suspense. Her book Night Prey (Love Inspired Suspense) won a Carol award for 2011. Her first book Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves was a Romantic Times top pick and finalist in the inspirational Novel of the Year. Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante, the second book in that same series (The Ruby Taylor mysteries) was voted book of the year by ACFW. Zero Visibility is her fifth Love Inspired Suspense with another one scheduled for release in March 2013 titled Guard Duty. When she is not writing, Sharon spends time with her husband, three children, two cats and a nervous little border collie named Bart. You can read more about Sharon and her books by visiting her website.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A CHEERING SECTION
I grew up in a home that, because of my father’s alcoholism and all the baggage that comes with it, I became what I called a self-contained unit. I had very little expectation of support, encouragement or advice free of judgment; I learned to accomplish things and make decisions in isolation. It never occurred to me how much more I could accomplish if I had a cheering section in my life.
Along with my husband, ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) has been the “cheering section” for my writing. If it hadn’t been for ACFW, I may not have continued to try to get my first book, Romance Rustlers, published. At one point, my first book almost sold; all the lights were green and it looked like the publisher would pick it up. Then after much waiting, they decided not to. I was devastated and I wanted to quit.

I went through all the usual stuff we Christians go through when faced with failure. Wondering if I was in God’s plan. Had I heard his voice clearly? I questioned why he would give me a talent and then not open doors for me to use it?
I’m not one who shares failure and pain easily. I posted what had happened to the ACFW email loop thinking it was mostly an exercise in me taking a risk and learning to share my feelings and my failure. The response I got was overwhelming. I had people pray for me and offer encouragement.  The thing that helped the most was that other writers who were now published shared their stories of the first books that almost sold. What is that old saying, that Satan’s greatest weapon is to make us feel like we are alone in our pain?

It might not be a writer’s group for you. It might be a support group for addiction or a weight loss group or a quilting group that is about way more than quilting, but all of us need places where we can take our masks off and share our deepest pain. And all of us need a “cheering section” in the stands. I encourage you to seek that out in your life.

 

 

2 comments:

  1. Sharon, you are SO RIGHT! We all need a cheering section. For me, it was my parents. My mom and dad both supported me while I was growing up. And now they're two of my biggest fans. But before I was published, I'm sure they wondered why on earth I was spending so much time working on something that appeared to be going nowhere! And now, it's such a thrill to share in the success of others and cheer them on toward publication or share in a new sale of an established author. It's fun to be in the cheering section too!! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Lynette, I agree, there is a pay it forward aspect for having found a cheering section. Since I found encouragement and support. I feel the need to also offer that support to other writers or to people who have had struggles similiar to my own.

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