Sunday, January 18, 2009

To Write Or Not To Write...

When I've gone to writers conferences in the past, I've seen one thing hold true in all of them: there's always one class the attendees depart from with heads hanging down, "I don't know if I can do this" looks painted across their faces. The class is always one that has to do with what it takes to get published, and the realities of this crowded writer's market hit hard in that conference room. This is the moment when so many have to ask, "Is this what the Lord's chosen for my life, or is this what I've chosen for my life?" It's an important question to ask since what we're really put on this earth to do has already been planned out for us in God's infinite wisdom. Do we really want to spend our time on something that isn't ordained by God?

I've had so many people ask me about my journey to publication, and I'd love to share some encouragements and ideas along the way through this blog. But none of that can start until I make it clear that my basis for writing, my inspiration for stories, and my ability to fight through the challenges of this career come strictly from the Lord. For all of you who have a personal relationship with Christ, I would encourage you to start by asking what He wants in your life. And for all of you who don't know Him personally, I pray you'll open your heart to seek the only One who knows you inside and out, and seeks to hold your hand through every step of life. (The best place to start is in His word, the Bible.)

I never had any dreams of being a writer. I wanted to be many things at one time or another, but a writer was never really one of those things. It wasn't until about five years ago that the desire hit, and it didn't take me too long to figure out where that desire came from. The Lord manages to surprise us sometimes, and I can't tell you how grateful I am He chose to surprise me with this new career.

But it wasn't easy. It was a true challenge to put aside whatever dreams I'd already conjured up for my life. I had my own ideas of how things should go, and I had to take a pretty long, tedious journey to get to a point where I knew that my life was simply about letting go and letting the Lord guide my steps. And I'm still on that journey now, having to fight to maintain proper perspective. I suppose I always will be as long as I live in this world.

So to all you hopeful writers out there, do yourself a huge favor and ask for His advice. Are you meant to be a writer, or does He have a surprise for you too? Maybe this is exactly what He wants for you, but then, maybe it isn't. Just open your ears and open your heart. Keep your eyes focused on Him, and trust Him to show you what you're meant to do each day. There is no better pursuit in life than to fulfill the very specific and perfect purpose God created you for. If part of your purpose is writing, then welcome on this journey! But if it's something else that He's chosen for you, enjoy the surprise of it all!

There's no greater way to live your life than by letting go of the edge and letting Him catch you.


Ethan M. said...

Well said...

funnyfarmjane said...

I think all of us have to let Him show us the way He wants us to go. You are exactly right when you say live on the edge and let Him catch us!
He has given all of us a talent and we should rely on Him to help us mold our very own talent.

C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks for these encouraging words. I think all those who aspire to write, or do anything really, would do well to read this post.

Jennifer Valent said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, funny farm Jane.(I had to write the full screen name out. It makes me smile!) It's scary to take the leap, but so worth it, isn't it?

Glad to see you here, too, C.J. You know exactly how big a leap this writing business is!