I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, November 28, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there lived a fair writer who dreamed of reigning over the Writer’s Kingdom. She toiled night and day to perfect her craft. Her charges read and admired her words. They bowed and lavished her with compliments when she waltzed through the immaculately sculpted gardens or in the village bookstore.

On the day the princess was to take the throne, the ceremony was interrupted by an ugly ogre who forced his way into the palace. In his hand he held the parchment containing the very words the princess had written by candlelight in the watch tower. Tears of love and passion had smeared circular blotches on the parchment.

“Rubbish.” The ogre shouted. “These are the worst words I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading! You have butchered the King’s language and defiled this parchment. You are unfit to rule the Writer’s Kingdom.”

“But, but I worked all my life for this moment.” The princess meekly offered. “I deserve to wear the crown.”

The ogre took the pages in his hand and flung them at the princess. “With these words, you only deserve to be strung up by your toes and stoned until dead.”

Fiery red bubbled up her neck and onto her cheeks as the Princess tried to understand why she was so close, and yet so far away from ruling the Writer’s Kingdom. At long last she asked, “Who are you ogre?”

The evil wretched being approached her, laughing and taunting her. “I am YOU!”

“But, but I don’t understand.”

“I am every fear you ever had. Every doubt you had in your ability to write. The words I speak are those that trampled through your heart all those nights you sat with a quill. I am only repeating the words you so eloquently spoke.”

The princess covered her face with her hands as the crowd gasped and shrieked in horror. She knew the ogre was right. She did not believe in herself. She had doubts about being able to rule over words. While she should be thinking of how she was going to rule the Writer’s Kingdom, she allowed herself to believe she would fail. Her ugly thoughts prevented her from taking her rightful place in the kingdom.

The moral of the story? The thoughts you entertain will affect your career as a writer. If you want to rule, make sure you think good ones!

Reba J. Hoffman


  1. Oh, Reba! I so needed this today. This weekend I've been thinking the ogre's very words, that my story was rubbish, the words the worst words ever. Thank you.

    Now, taking a deep breath, I will go back to the story with a better attitude.

  2. So timely. I submitted my official initial query to the agent very interested in my WIP at ACFW--her site says, "If we don't repy in 2 weeks, the answer is no," though she knows one editor wants to see once I have an agent. Tonight, it will be 3 weeks, though of course we also had a holiday. I'll write a follow-up email asking--and keep working. Your post helps--thanks.

  3. Reba, such a great post. You are right.We need to watch where we allow our thoughts to lead us. Such a tricky line to walk. One thing that has been helpful is having friends who speak words of life into our hearts. I find myself going back to those words of light when my thoughts try to condemn.

    Dee, I'm praying for you during the waiting time. Good for you in waiting actively.

    Pat, I'll pray for you today as you work your amazing story. It's not rubbish. :)

  4. Awesome, Reebs! You storyteller, you.

    My morning devotional today talked about mind-binding spirits. Whatever people's take on spiritual warfare and the like, I so totally think it's true that satan tries to keep us from our dreams by infiltrating our minds. Thing is, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we have the capacity to control our thoughts - which ones we let in and which ones we reject. Fear and doubt WILL creep in, but we get to choose whether or not we entertain them, let them fester or grow or make themselves at home. Or, with God's help, we can banish them from the kingdom. :)

  5. REBA!
    Great post. Yesterday my husband had to caution me on the words I speak. They are only a reflection of our own thoughts.

    I guess that's one of the reasons God tells us to think on good things!

    We are created in the image of God, and He is the author and finisher of our faith. With Him, we can accomplish anything...even writing!

    I'm praying for us to run this race with faith and grace.

    Alena T.

  6. Reba, I've been mulling over a brand new story so this was not only timely, but such a fun read!

  7. "For as he thinks within himself, so is he ..." Proverbs 23:7 (NASB)

    A most excellent way to share a most-needed truth, Reba.

    And I needed this today.
    Thank you.

  8. When I wrote this blog post, I wanted a fun way to proclaim a truth. I didn't realize it would impact so many people. To have these heartfelt comments from so many of you confirms that we all have ogres in our lives that we need each other to conquer the ogre in our lives.
    Want more? Stop by the MBT Voices chat tonight at 7pm. We'll talk about it more! :-)

  9. Fantastic post! I just learned so much from you on the MBT chat. Thanks for speaking truth into my life.

  10. Awesome story/post, Reba! That's something I won't soon forget!! Thank you, thank you!!

    I keep finding more and more great MBT sites! Wow! You all are amazing.