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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Do You Ever Want to Quit?

Once upon a time...long, long ago, all a writer did was to write and maybe go to a book signing here and there. Then came the MEDIA EXPLOSION and now writers are expected to have a blog and respond to comments, be a presence on Face Book, Tweet umpteen times a day, have interesting Pinterest boards, not to mention Flickr accounts and---wait a minute while I catch my breath. 

And get this: writer's are expected to do all of this BEFORE they are published.

Do you ever burn out? On one of the loops I'm on, a writer posted that she was ready to throw in the towel. She believed God had called her to write and she'd been doing just that for many years, submitting to publishers and getting zero response. She was tired of getting rejections and questioned that maybe she wasn't supposed to be writing at all if no one was going to ever read her book. She reasoned that perhaps her time could be better spent doing other things for God.

I know how she feels. I wrote for 34 years before being published in novel form. At times I questioned whether or not I was wasting my time, but in the end I kept writing. 

Why?

Because every time I was ready to give up, God sent some form of encouragement to me. And in my heart, I knew that was what I was supposed to be doing. He also promised me that my mother would hold my book in her hand before she died. My mother was 91 at the time. On January 13 of this year, my mom held my book in her hands and even read some of it. She passed away 18 days later. 

I discovered something else this year--it's not just the published books that make a difference in someone's life. I met a lady at a conference where I was speaking and she bought my book. After she read it, she emailed me, telling me how much she enjoyed it. Then she went on to tell me that she'd discovered a few errors and that I might want to fix them. While it was too late for this book, I was touched that she cared enough to point them out to me. Since she was experience in a area of my current heroine's expertise, I quickly emailed her back and asked her to proof my manuscript before I turned it in to my editor. And she did. 

What a difference her help made! After I turned the manuscript in, I wanted to do something nice her, and since she came to the writer's workshop, I thought she might like a book on the craft of writing. But she very nicely turned me down. Said after reading my manuscript, she realized how much work went into writing a book and thank-you-very-much-but no-thank you.

Then she went on to tell me that she believed God brought her to the workshop just to meet me and to get to read my manuscript. Turned out she had the same unresolved issues my heroine did and seeing it through the eyes of my fiction character helped her to come to terms with her problem. And her life would be richer for it. 

I read her email and cried. And I don't usually cry over ANYTHING. But in that instant, I knew why I write. If one person is changed or helped by my words, that's enough. 

How about you? Why do you write? Or do anything that you are passionate about? Share your thoughts in the comment box!

Patricia Bradley
www.patriciabradleyauthor.com
http://mbtponderers.blogspot.com/
Follow me on Twitter: @PTBradley1
Follow me on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor

Shadows of the Past from Revell February 2014 
Available at CBD: http://ow.ly/qIx2k and Amazon: http://ow.ly/qIx90 and B&N: http://ow.ly/qKdSL 


I asked God to teach me patience and He gave me a book to write

16 comments:

  1. At this moment, I'm writing because I'm in far too much pain to sleep, and I've got to do SOMETHING. May as well write.

    But in general...I write to encourage. The world, and life, can be cruel and vicious, and it's very easy to lose sight of God's purpose, or even His presence. Certainly I've seen things that have made me doubt...a pile of dead kids, killed to prove a political point, is a powerful argument against the Western concept of Divine Love.

    But I don't believe that cruelty and the deserts of nihilism are the end of the story. I believe that they exist as requirements for internal consistency in the world as it is, for reasons we can't fathom...but that they are opposed, balanced, and ultimately offset by the love that an ultimately good Creator has placed within us, as a reflection of His love for us.

    It's our decision to believe in that love, and let ourselves be a channel for it to flow in this world, and to trust that every small light we build and nurture against the gathering dark will become part of the Eternal Flame that marks the victory of Love, Honor, and Fair Play in sight of God.

    That's why I write.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-first-love-language.html

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    1. It does not surprise me why you write, Andrew. I always look forward to your comments, whether here or other blogs we both frequent. And I agree. We are to be a channel of love to a dark world.

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  2. Pat, How awesome that God used your novel to help your reader. I've heard your story but never realized you'd written for 34 years before publication. Wow. And now I hold your book in my hands. :-) Along my journey, God continues to whisper, "Don't give up. Keep writing." But I'd be happy to avoid social media if I could.

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    1. Thank you Roxanne. And one day I will hold your book in my hands. And I would rejoice with you if we could avoid social media. Although I do like to blog. :-)

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  3. That was such a wonderful story. I started writing because I wanted to reach out to people. I know I don't have the guts or the wherewithal to be a missionary. I think if God said, "Go hither", I'd just stand there and cry. But he knew me and gave me a passion to write stories about hurting people. Women, and men, who are going through trials and want to see a light at the end of the tunnel. One day, in God's timing, my books will get out there. I too ask for encouragement along the way, and God gives it to me through contests and friends. And stories such as yours!

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  4. Yes, Jennie, one day you and I both will read your books. And with my squeamish stomach, God didn't call me to be a missionary in a far away county, either. :-) Thank you for your encouragement!

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  5. Awesome & beautiful post. So sorry I didn't catch this yesterday, but appreciate every word and am thrilled for the life-giving experience shared--for both of you!

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    1. Thank you! I love being on this writing journey with you, Dee!

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  6. Pat,
    Thank you for writing this post. Second reminder of the week from my friends about this journey of writing. It's can be long and difficult but wells worth it when it ministers to people.

    Blessings!

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    1. So glad this encouraged you, Alena. And I wish I could have seen you when you were in Memphis!

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  7. What a beautiful story, Pat. Like Alena, it's a gentle but powerful reminder of the importance of why we write. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. So glad you stopped by, Elaine! It is so awesome when God reaches down and shows you how you've helped someone else.

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  9. What a fantastic story! God has given me many divine meetings and many an encouraging letter just when I needed them most. I'm glad you persevered. It is so cool that your mom got to see your book. I can so relate to the crying part. I never used to cry easily at all...writing has started to change that!

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    1. I so agree about the crying. I.AM.NOT.A.CRYER but I find myself in tears sometimes from things like the email or writing a heart wrenching scene. Thanks for stopping by, Sandra!

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  10. Thank you for sharing this story--and your heart--with us. Loved reading how your words touched that life! When the Lord closed the door on my teaching career several years ago, I knew He was opening the door for me to write (which had been a life-long dream). Although I'm still unpubbed, I'm loving this journey and have made some amazing friends along the way. Blessings, Patti Jo :)

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    1. I've discovered when God closes a door, he opens another one. It took me a long time to enjoy the journey. But about four years ago I did just that. Realized I would be published in His timing, not mine. Thanks for stopping by Patti Jo!

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