Kathy Nickerson's Writing Journey

Thirty Days to Glory
by Kathy Nickerson

The Waiting Room 

In 1983, I stepped into a local bookshop and purchased my first copy of The Writer’s Market. I trembled at my own audacity. Who was I to aspire to such things? Yet, every afternoon while the children napped, I devoured the mysteries of query letters, book proposals, and the now-out-dated SASE.

Thirty years later, someone published my first novel. If you are an eager, young novelist, such news might seem dreadful. I might sound like a failure. But let me tell you what I did while I waited:

I Learned

The first thing you do in a waiting room is flip through magazines. The pictures are distracting, and sometimes you learn a thing or two. In 1986, I attended my first writers’ conference, and I learned a lot. An editor encouraged me to keep writing. A Pulitzer-winning author told me I showed promise, and the conference host signed me up for his college course. I kept attending conferences ever year and met lots of editors, authors, and friends. I read books about writing, subscribed to magazines, and followed several blogs in the writing world. Eventually, I took a twelve-month online course in writing fiction.

I Wrote

Reading magazines will only pass the time for so long, of course. Eventually, you have to get up and pace the floor. Attending conferences won’t get a book published if you haven’t stayed home long enough to write something. So, I started sending out freelance articles and proposals. To my surprise, editors started buying them! I’ve written three unpublished novels, ghosted five memoirs (two have been published so far), sold a few dozen articles, and written countless press releases, web stories, newspaper columns, and brochures, along with posting to my own blog every week. I still yearned to see my own novels on store shelves, but in the meantime, I wrote.

I Grew

Nothing tests one’s character or faith like waiting. Especially if you are waiting for the results of a biopsy or the birth of a grandchild. For a writer, waiting is a lifestyle. When I look back at early drafts of my novel, Thirty Days to Glory, I am so glad no one wanted to publish it ten years ago! That would have been a premature birth. As I grew, so did my characters. We are all better people than we were in those early days.

So, if you are in The Waiting Room as a writer, take heart. Keep learning, keep writing, and keep growing as you enjoy this process. Eventually, a nurse will step into the room and announce, “It’s a boy!”  Or a book. Or script. Or a poem.

You will be so glad you waited.


Kathy Nickerson writes from her home in rural Missouri, where she lives with her husband of nearly forty years. They are the parents of four children who grew up to become their best friends and who have given them a dozen grandchildren, so far.

 Kathy’s writing credits include magazines such as Discipleship Journal, Angels on Earth, Focus on the Family, Proto, and Kyria.com. Some of her stories have also been published in collected works by Bethany House and Guideposts Books. Her novel, Thirty Days to Glory, will be released by CrossRiver Media in October 2013. You may connect with Kathy at: 

Book Link


  1. Thanks so much for letting me come visit your blog today!

  2. Thank you for this post, Kathy. I loved your illustration of being in the waiting room. Being a new writer, I was really encouraged by it. Congratulations on your book coming out. I'm excited to read it! :) God bless.

  3. Thank you, Rachel. That is so encouraging to hear.

  4. In an instant-gratification, results-oriented culture, your post gives us permission to walk through the writing process instead of forcing it (or being pushed from behind). What a relief!

  5. You blog encouraged this writer. It took five years to finish my novel, Lady and the Sea, and in the process, my characters took on a personality of their own. Great news about your book! Can't wait to read. I wish you oceans of blessings!

  6. Thank you so much, Sharon! I'll take those blessing and hope you get to splash in a few yourself.