Are you called to write? How do you know? What are you doing to make that dream become a reality?
Recently, several writing friends received their score sheets for the Genesis writing contest through ACFW. Discouragement dealt a stinging blow to their egos and their dreams, causing some to question if they are truly called to write.
I’ve been there, so I know how they feel. However, if they truly want to write, they won’t let subjective scores determine the future of their dreams.
Writing is hard.
Currently I’m writing the second novel in my series, which has been a continuous struggle for almost a month. As a planner, I can’t write until I know who my characters are, what motivates them, and what keeps them from achieving their goals. Thanks to great writing pals, I’ve finally figured out the plot needed to start writing. Easy, right?
Not so much.
The words that have been swimming through my head like guppies in an aquarium have disappeared. Why did I think I could write? Did I mention this writing business is hard? Well, if writing was easy, there would be so many more published authors.
James 1 is a great chapter to encourage those who question the call and consider giving up their dreams of writing.
Verses 1-4 NIV state: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So how to we get through these writing challenges? Well, verses 5 & 6 provide the answers:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
If you are questioning your call to write, ask yourself why. Is it because of low contest scores? Is it because of the growing stack of rejections from agents and editors? Is it because of your circumstances?
Let me ask you this–do you WANT to write? If the answer is yes, then ask God for help. If you don’t ask, you can’t expect to get anywhere. God can read minds, but he wants us to come to him with full assurance of faith that he will answer our prayers. That’s not to say you’re going to be on the NY Times bestseller list overnight. But if you desire to write, ask God to provide you with the opportunity. Also, keep in mind that God could tell you it’s not the right timing for your dream.
A couple of years ago, I worked full-time (50 hours a week) in my home-based business, attended college to achieve my degree for my business and tried to write while working, going to school, teaching Sunday school, and caring for my family. Challenging is an understatement. God directed me to give up writing for six months–do not open my manuscripts, do not worry about my characters. I don’t remember, but I don’t think I did much blogging either. It was a struggle, but I gave up writing for six months.
The rewards for my faith in Him and my obedience were so much greater. The 2009 Genesis contest opened for entries. I prayerfully considered entering, but wasn’t sure if the timing was right. I entered my manuscript at the last minute. About six weeks later, I received a phone call that my entry had finaled in the contemporary romance category. My first utterances were “thank you, Lord” because He deserved the credit. God promises to give us the desires of our heart if we put our trust in him.