If you’ve been writing, editing, attending workshops, and refining your craft, and yet you still haven’t been published, let go of impatience, trust God, and try to relax and enjoy where you are. At this moment in time, you can craft numerous stories, find your voice, and hone your manuscripts with absolutely no pressure.
Lose yourself in your imaginary world and listen to the voices in your head. Take as long as you need to get everything exactly right, pausing momentarily whenever life interrupts. Enjoy this to the max. Once you publish, this won’t happen again.
While I was striving to get published, I received that advice.
No matter where we are in this journey, there are always writers farther down the writing road. They have wisdom we haven’t yet gleaned. Recognizing this, I applied that advice. Learning to relax and bask in the pleasure of an unrushed creative process, I drafted five novels before the first published. I’m glad I did.
For some reason—wishful thinking, inexperience, dreaming the dream, all of the above—human beings overlook significant facts when we visualize what lies ahead. Our daydreams never include the details of real life.
When we imagine the glorious day when our words will appear in print, the normal interruptions and crises that will simultaneously occur are forgotten. Instead, we imagine a smooth publishing process, hundreds of 5-star reviews, bestseller status, and a world stunned and impacted by our words. Maybe that will happen for some. However, rest assured, even if it does, real life will also happen.
During deadlines, important final edits, and last read-throughs, these will remain—the same illnesses and health crises, broken-down cars, teenage drivers stranded on nighttime roads, health needs of aging parents, family deaths, households of vomiting children, floods, and other life experiences that build our character and teach us to be Christ-like.
In fact, when we’re writing for the King of the universe, our character may need even more refining. Pressures may increase. They have in my life, and I know enough writers to notice that this is common.
We may not only find ourselves facing the normal realities, but also challenges that we never expected in our wildest dreams. We may learn more about suffering. As with all life experiences, the Lord will use these to equip us. Our writing will increase in depth and wisdom. We will grow.
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself….But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 NIV).
This writing ministry is not only about encouraging others. God also transforms us through it. As we press into our ministry, we learn to rely on the Lord, right in the midst of it. In this way, we grow to make the decisions required of published writers, just as we earlier learned to have greater faith and patience.
To impact God’s kingdom, we become familiar with the publishing process, so it becomes streamlined. We cull our commitments, prioritizing our families and leaving margin for crises. When a deadline looms as we experience family death or crisis, we give preference to what the Lord deems essential, relying on Him. As we grow, we can then comfort others with the wisdom gained in this writing life.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
How is this playing out in your life as a writer?
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