The Wait

ACFW Advice, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing Leave a Comment

by Ian Acheson

We writers wait a lot.

I expect for most of us the production process of drafting a manuscript is an active one, however, there will be times we will be waiting for feedback from others before we proceed to the next stage.

When we’ve completed the manuscript we can expect to wait a lot. Critique groups, editors, agents, publishers all keep us waiting.

Finally a day may arrive when we have an illusive contract for that manuscript we have given so much of our heart and time to. After celebrating with our loved ones and those who’ve supported us through the journey, the publishing process commences. It takes time, in my experience a good 18 months after contract signing. There’s more editing, a cover design to create, even more edits, printing and distributing. So we wait some more.

Launch day arrives. We’re actively promoting our new baby in all manner of ways. Then we wait. For those first sales and then the first reviews.

I’ve laboured the point. But what do we do through the waiting?

Especially when none of what we wait for is a given? Will our proposal be accepted, will our editor like our work, will we make any sales and what will readers think of it?

But didn’t God birth this desire in our heart?

Biblical Lessons

It’s interesting how much of the Bible involves people waiting. Waiting for God to do what He said He would. Why did Moses spend 40 years herding goats in the wilderness, and Abraham 25 years before the son God promised him was born? Paul spent years in caves being transformed by the Holy Spirit before his ministry to the Gentiles commenced.

“How long, O Lord, how long?” (Psalm 6:3b)

I can’t recall how many times I’ve beseeched the Lord along similar lines through this writing life.

Why is waiting beneficial?

By all accounts the authors of the Psalms, including David, wrote them in periods of waiting. Most of David’s were written when he was in exile, a fugitive on the run from King Saul, before he could step into his God-anointed role as King.

Are you in one of those frustrating seasons of waiting? It may not be in a season that is related to your writing. I’d encourage you to take solace in the psalms. Waiting isn’t necessarily passive:

“It involves longing, anticipating, yearning. It is seeking. It is, in other words, the exercising of one’s desire for God.”1

A favorite verse for many of us is Psalm 37:4-

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

He wants us to desire Him the most and it’s in the waiting times we are able to spend more time being with Him, reading the Word and being especially grateful for all He has blessed us with.

“God invites our restless souls to find respite in him. Not only does he listen to our heart’s cries as we wait, but he blesses us, strengthens us, and renews us in the process.”2

Hang in there and keep pressing into the Lord.

Note: 1. “Deeper Places, Experiencing God in the Psalms”, Matthew Jacoby (Baker Books 2013) page 95. 2. “Scared Echo”, Margaret Feinberg (Zondervan 2008)

Ian AchesonIan Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Ian’s first novel, Angelguard is available in US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian’s website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter.

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