The Writing Road–Detours Aplenty

My husband has a saying that begins our every road trip, “When we’re lost, enjoy the scenery.”

That used to drive my let’s-just-drive-from-Point-A-to-Point-B nature crazy, but I’ve come to see that I can either embrace the journey that is—with all its twists and turns—or make myself miserable by wishing everything was different, shorter, clearer.

I think that’s true for writers, too.

Rather than think of the writing journey as meandering or long, I like to think of it as just what it is—a process.  By counting literary detours as opportunities, and obstacles—even rejection slips—as stepping stones leading toward stones of remembrance, we gain new insights and have much-needed time to learn and polish our  craft, build relationships, build platform, and significantly—find our unique voice.

It took many years before I ventured into writing novel length fiction, even though I’d always wanted to do just that.  And then it took me a long time to conceive, write, rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite the book.  I remember a  friend saying, after asking if I’d completed my first novel (and I hadn’t), “Wow—you’ve been working on that forever!”

Only to me it didn’t seem like forever.  It was just how long it took to learn to write a book, and then to learn how to polish and hone that manuscript.  In the end it was a good book, a book worthy of being published and read by readers justifiably loathe to part with their hard-earned money.

Planning is a good thing.  Every journey begins with a route leading toward a destination.  But there are times we find ourselves traveling unfamiliar or winding roads.  It’s far too easy to get stuck in the mire of “this isn’t the way I’d planned it.”  By willingly embracing those inevitable detours and persisting in our journey–by “enjoying the scenery”–we’re sure to discover unique adventures designed for the unique and determined writers that we are.  And that makes for great stories–stories worth writing, stories worth reading.

May is off to a beautiful start in Maryland.  My peonies are budding and the bridal wreath is stunning.  Even tiny blueberries peek beneath their caps!

Which reminds me—the mints have returned.  Brush against the spearmint and let its fragrance fill the morning!  We’ll brew a fresh pot, shall we?

I look forward to seeing you here, in the garden, next week.

God’s rich blessings,


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  • Carrie says:

    Hi Cathy, these are encouraging thoughts as I look back at my writing journey. Sometimes I feel like the turtle in the writing race….but I am persistent and that seems to pay off. : )

    Blessings to you and Dan today,

    • Cathy Gohlke says:

      It’s that wonderful persistence that makes all the difference, Carrie! You’re writing is in full bloom!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. God’s blessings today!

  • Hi Cathy,

    You must have asked God for wisdom because He gave you an abundance. 🙂

    When I started writing fiction, I had no clue what awaited me. Every day, I learn a bit more and put it into practice.


    • Cathy Gohlke says:

      Isn’t the journey wonderful, Susan? The moment we embrace it we find treasures we never expected–and so many of those treasures have more to do with the process than the culmination of the writing journey. God’s mercies are new every morning!

      Thank you for stopping by! God’s blessings!

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