That was probably the most famous and often repeated line in the old I Love Lucy TV show. (I’m sure I just lost most of my readers under the age of fifty). Anyway, it was spoken by the character Ricky Ricardo when his irrepressible wife Lucy would once again be up to her red hair in some self-inflicted conundrum.
As I bang this out on my keyboard I feel much like Lucy—“I got some ‘splainin’ to do.” I can hear people ask, “Where have you been? What happened to your blogs? Why are your books no longer for sale on Amazon and other sites? Did you die and I missed the obituary?”
I’ll not answer the last question. As for the others, I’ll bring you up to speed and the answer is quite simple. My writing wasn’t good enough for publication. Before you think this is me sinking into the morass of self-deprecation, let me explain. Five years ago I was bitten by the writing bug. I left my good paying job and bunkered in my home to crank out my first novel, THE KEY. While at it, I wrote two more books, THEY SOW THE WIND and SEASON OF JUSTICE. My wife joined me in premature retirement and became my editor and publisher. There was only one problem. We both knew virtually nothing about the art and skill of writing. Needless to say, we both went back to work when the bank account went on life support.
After five years I finally wised up and had a professional editor take a look at my work. “OUCH!” Besides her honest assessment, she did me another huge favor by sending me a list of books on writing that would help me learn the craft.
Of all the mistakes I made in trying to become an author, two stand out. First, I was woefully undereducated in the skills required for writing fiction novels. Admitting you don’t know what you’re doing is sometimes the hardest first step. Second, I thought I could do it on my own. To remedy this major blunder Joyce and I have joined a national writers group, American Christian Fiction Writers. We are attending the local writers group and will attend the ACFW national convention later this month. As a result of these associations, I now have other authors who will review the books and give suggestions for improvement. We also are having professional editors review the re-write of THE KEY, and eventually all the works I write for publication. No more Lone Ranger. (Another dated TV reference.)
I Love Lucy was such a funny show because she always leaped before she looked. But the reality of that show was a full staff of writers and editors poured skill and knowledge and inspiration into every storyline and word. Lucy had the pretty face and the skills as an actress, but there was a full staff of people behind her.
I’m pretty jazzed these days about the connections I’m making in the writing world and looking forward to all God has for me in that world. So… I have a question for you. Is there something in your life you need help with? It probably isn’t writing a novel, but I’ll wager there’s something you’ve been trying to do that someone with a little more education, or skill, or training could help you with. Why not ask? Otherwise you may end up like me and Lucy— with a lot of “splainin’” to do.