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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Are You Called to Write?

by Lisa Jordan

Are you called to write? 

How do you know?

What are you doing to make that dream become a reality?


Last year, when several 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 felt. 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 working on revisions for the fourth novel in my series, which hasn't been an easy book to write. I had to go back to the beginning and rethink the overall plot. Thanks to great writing pals, I have the revised focus I need to move forward. 
I admit to giving in to a self-defeating attitude. 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.
Five 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.

Your Turn: Are you struggling with your call to write? How are you dealing with it?

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Lisa. And I love how you referred back to James 1:1-6. Such great verses. God wants us to invite Him into this adventure, and sometimes I forget. If I forget too long, that's when I usually become discouraged about writing. But, He's given me stories, so I keep at it. :)

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne. I applaud your perseverance. It will pay off! Just remember--God's got this.

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  2. Boy do I identify with this post. Been there so many times and yet keep trudging on. I can't NOT write. It's in me too strong but that has not stopped the enemy from trying to convince me that it's not my calling. I have to give those days to the Lord so many times. Even now. I loved that quote by Ray Bradbury. I love to write. I love the story, the excitement of discovery and even the illumination God brings through it. This is a good post, Lisa. Thank you for the reminder :)

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    1. I know what you mean, G....I can't not write, either. Even during dark days, my characters wouldn't leave me alone. I'm glad you refuse to quit. The world needs to read your stories.

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  3. 7. This is a wonderful, timely, and spiritually refreshing post. You have done us a great favor by writing this just now, and, yes, some of my writing & P buds know this fits me well, too, though I'm back in the fray (or flood) and breasting the waves upstream w/ good effort and mostly enthusiasm right now. Thanks again!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story, Lisa! What an encouragement to any writer!

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  5. I love this encouragement! Thank you. I was reminded the other day, as I was researching writing, that I'm most inspired when I'm digging deep into God's Word. He's definitely the answer to all. Thanks again.

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  6. On the road to publication, I questioned God if this was what he wanted me to do. And every time I questioned Him, I usually received encouragement from somewhere. Now that I'm published, I don't question whether I should be writing, but sometimes I get stuck. That's where I am now. Stuck. And God is faithful. He is showing me where I need to go back to in order to get unstuck. :-) Great post! Can't wait to read your next book.

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  7. Great insights Lisa- It's hard to look at scores and rejections or acceptances as the basis for following the plan God has for you... I think of David hiding in caves when God told him he would be king.... kind of what we do when we follow man over God..

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  8. I'm struggling with quite a bit right now, and writing - actually sitting at the computer desk - is tough.

    I don;t know if I'll "make it" as a writer or not. But you know...it doesn't matter.

    What matters is that every moment is faced with clarity, and a determination to make it shine for God. Being a success is irrelevant.

    If the words I write reflect God's love, it'll have done its job and reached the people it was meant to reach.

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  9. Every time I get a rejection letter, I hear my English teacher's voice in my head--and the words aren't pretty. It makes me question my reason for doing this to myself. But I try to put it down, wait for God to take away the desire, but it doesn't go away. Its like an itch I can't scratch. I must write. I just have to trust that God's timing is perfect! Thanks for posting today (oooppps, yesterday). :-)

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