In Others’ Words: How’s It Working For You?

do they work quote Bradbury 2014

I like the freedom inherent in today’s quote:

Life is about trying things … and maybe they work, and maybe they don’t.

Life isn’t about getting it right the first time. And there are some seasons in our lives when it isnt about getting it right most of the time.

Life is about discovering what works for you.

So here’s a story for you:

I went to breakfast yesterday with a few writing friends. One of those friends was an early writing mentor. This is how my  former mentor  complimented me on Somebody Like You, my latest novel: Beth, I hope it’s okay for me to say this, but Somebody Like You is better than Catch a Falling Star. (Catch a Falling Star is the novel I wrote before SLY.)

My response: I hope so!

I try to up my game with every book I write. I want to discover what is working for me as a writer — and improve on it. And I also try to figure out what isn’t working — and fix it in the next book I write.

I wish I had learned the whole “how’s it working for you?” principle sooner in my life — instead of operating on the “let’s pretend I’ve got it all together and aim for perfectionism” theory. When I allow myself to learn — and leave room for both success and failure — then I grow in an atmosphere of grace.

In Your Words: So what have you tried lately — and discovered “Wow! This worked!” And what have you tried … and it didn’t work? And what did you learn from those experiences?

[Tweet “Life is about discovering what works for you #lifequotes “] [Tweet “Life: How’s It Working For You? #lifequotes”] [Tweet “”Help @bethvogt plan the the destination #wedding for her 2015 novella Can’t Buy Me Love! #Pinterest””]



You’re invited! Want to help me plan Bellamy’s wedding for my novella, Can’t Buy Me Love? The novella releases next May and I’m writing it this month. Visit this blog post for more details.


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  1. October 10, 2014, 6:54 am   /  Reply

    Good post…will try to comment later. Not quite up to it now.

    • October 10, 2014, 7:16 am   /  Reply

      Praying you feel better quickly, friend!

  2. October 10, 2014, 7:29 am   /  Reply

    Praying for you, Andrew.

    As for what’s working for me and what’s not…all I can say is that writing will keep you humble. And totally agree about each book hopefully is better than the last. When someone asks what is my favorite book that I’ve written, I always say, the last one. It’s done. And the one I don’t like? Whichever one I’m in the middle of. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever come together…but somehow it always does. Thank You, Lord!

    • October 10, 2014, 9:01 am   /  Reply

      I do believe writing will keep you humble, Pat. And I believe in God’s economy it is what God uses to conform me to his imagine — and sometimes that is not the most pleasant process.

  3. October 10, 2014, 12:02 pm   /  Reply

    Beth and Pat – thank you for the prayers.

    What hasn’t worked – trying to tune an ecumenical story into an evangelical one, to attract an agent and, hopefully, a publisher.

    The transition was okay – as well as I think it could be done. But including a faith arc that converted a main character from a an Irish Catholic into a Protestant is, at best problematical, since it works against creed, culture, and tradition. It was just unlikely.

    Now, realizing that I probably don’t have time, and certainly not the energy for several more rewrites plus the time to find an agent plus the time to get the MS shopped…I’ll go the SP route.

    It ‘works’ for me. I can put out the right version of the book, and even though sales will be miniscule at least some people might read it. Better than no one ever seeing the thing; because I do believe in the story.

    What’s also not working is Today. Will can carry you pretty far, but there’s a wall.

  4. Susan
    October 10, 2014, 12:44 pm   /  Reply

    This is so true, Beth! It’s a concept I’m constantly trying to pass to my kiddos as I wish I’d have learned it sooner. My oldest (at 14) thinks he needs to know what he’s supposed to do with his life! I keep telling him figuring out what he DOESN’T like or do well is just another way of getting closer to what he DOES want to do. And it’s ok to not be perfect at everything.

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