By Julia Kay
Being a women’s fiction writer, I’m a big fan of spiritual leaders who teach and champion other women. Specifically, Lisa Bevere is one of my favorites. I recently read a comment on social media from someone saying that her hand motions were annoying in one of her videos. As writers, we’ve been there, right? Rude comments. Random criticism. Bad reviews. Sometimes responding to them benefits no one. However, Lisa chose to respond in a way worthy of us to emulate. It reminded me of the characters in the Wizard of Oz.
First, like the Tin Woodman—she found her heart in this situation. She kindly acknowledged the person’s complaint, saying her hand movements are always annoying.
Being able to see past someone’s rude opinions takes a kind heart. It takes love. It’s easy for us to become emotionally defensive against someone’s offensive words or actions. We want to explain or justify or rebuke, but a heart of love provides a soft lens to see deeper and farther into situations. It allows us to respond to the human on the other end who might be having a bad day, or month, or year. Like the Tin Woodman, we writers need a heart that hears more than what’s being said because sometimes people, like the wicked witch of the west, take out their emotions on others because they don’t have anywhere else to throw them.
Secondly, like the Scarecrow looking for a brain, she showed a renewed mind. Confident in knowing that she is uniquely and wonderfully made, Lisa explained that she’s Italian, and her way of communicating with her hands wasn’t going to change.
It’s okay to be okay with the way the Lord created us. Not rebellious, unchangeable, immovable sticks in the mud, but committed to being the best writer we can be. This means we allow God to renew our minds to know what needs changed and what can’t be changed. We must have minds that unapologetically know who we are and whose we are.
And last, like the lion who wanted courage. She found the courage to say, “Please feel free to unfollow me.”
Not everyone is going to like my literary voice or my characters. That needs to be okay. Sometimes I don’t like my characters. (Those are the ones I kill off. Haha, just kidding! But, I digress.) If I could invite you over to my home for a cup of coffee or tea, I would grab your hands and encourage you to remember that you are not a beggar needing approval from the masses. I would remind you that at the end of the story, the Wizard behind the curtain is just a man. You, on the other hand, are a co-heir with Christ. Write the story the Lord inspires you to tell. Water the story-seeds that He’s planted within you. Hold on tightly to your courage little lion, because some will like it, some will love it, and some won’t.
As writers, we need readers. The approval of others will tickle our toes and their disapproval will sting, but it’s possible with God to bless them all with a kind heart and a renewed mind. Then, we can courageously free them to be our fan or someone else’s.We must have minds that unapologetically know who we are and whose we are. @juliakayauthor #ACFWBlogs #writetips #encouragement #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Julia Kay graduated from Southwest Baptist University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Writing. She lives in Missouri with her husband. They have four children. She currently serves as President of Exodus Ministry of Missouri, Inc., helping women released from prison find transformative freedom. She regularly contributes faith articles to a local newspaper column, and continues learning how to wield her pen to best explore and illuminate the human condition through fiction. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter: @juliakayauthor, and Instagram.