By Cheryl Wyatt
Writing is hard. Seriously, those who don’t believe the publishing industry can be brutal either haven’t been in it long enough to experience the lows and blows, or they are way more optimistic than I. Yes, even in the Christian writing community, disillusionment and discouragement comes. Why?
I think because words matter. They matter a lot. Yours. Mine. That author you love and that author or writer whose words ruffle, baffle and make you cringe.
The fact is it’s not a human decision. It’s God’s. We’re quick to be critical sometimes but the truth is none of us are perfect writers. None.
My purpose for this post is to encourage those of you so battered you feel like you could walk away from writing and never look back. If you want to quit, this post is for you.
First of all, please stay. Someone in the world needs to hear what you have to say. If you have the desire to write, chances are God intends you to. Negative reviews, discouraging critiques, the voice inside making you feel as though you’ll never be good enough, never catch on to the craft, never be published, never be a contest winner or a bestseller, never be known or loved by readers like so-and so.
Those voices don’t matter. Yes, be teachable. Yes, strive to learn and grow.
But I promise you there will be opposition, whether inadvertent or intentional, to make you feel like you don’t have a clue and never will. If you’re feeling that way right now, the only voice you need to listen to is the Lord’s. Seek him first and foremost and constantly with your writing. Commit your work to him. Ask him to help you write as worship. Ask what his plan is for you.
I hope you caught that. God’s journey for you is unique to you. I pray freedom from unruly self-expectation and from coveting the path of others. May God clear brambles of discouragement and restore hope and perseverance.
There are so many amazing, inspiring, encouraging voices in the writing community via social media, blogs, writing groups, loops and communities. However, when we’re not taking time to hear The One voice that matters most, the rest become nothing but noise.
God has something for you. Take time to know what that is. Ask God for the next step FOR YOU. Then take it, no matter how inadequate or unqualified you feel.
Obedience matters more than numbers, sales, contracts, accolades, reviews, reputation and results that are mostly out of your control anyway.
It may help to remember that God had to call Hosea into a wonderful, peaceful, all-inclusive, no-stress seaside resort in order to speak to and have Hosea hear him. No, actually. Where did he call Hosea?
Into the wilderness. (Hosea 2)
Lord, help us remember the hard places are not bad places to be, especially if hard places are where you are. Thank you that you remain with us in the highs and in the lows.
May God magnify himself to you in his ability to open doors no one can shut and shut doors we don’t need to walk through. He guides us in his mercy. He always does what is right and good. Don’t give up. Your readership is waiting.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV)
USA Today bestselling author and RN Cheryl Wyatt writes romance with virtue themed with rescue. She’s grateful to be a mom, wife, orphan/troop advocate, worshipper of Jesus plus wrangler of words and spoiled Yorkies. She loves readers and cherishes interaction at: https://www.facebook.com/CherylWyattAuthor. View booklist and join her newsletter at: https://www.cherylwyatt.com.