For those of us who consider writing a ministry and the main person we want to please is the Lord, staying humble while people rave about our latest book can be a struggle. On the other hand, some of us are easily discouraged when comparing ourselves to others or even comparing our first novel to our latest one. When I wrote my debut novel, I knew very little about creative writing. I also self-edited my book. I’ve educated myself since then and find I’m often ashamed of my first publication.
During my trip to Montana, my friend introduced me to a woman who read my first novel. She was so excited to meet me and with great enthusiasm, told me how much she loved my book. Needless to say, I was encouraged. Her accolades took away my shame.
The Lord wants us to be humble. All we have and all we are is because of Him. Without Christ, we are nothing. But He also wants us to be happy and content. Feeling sorry for ourselves, harboring guilt or shame, puts the focus on us and not on God. If we live our life in a pity party, the world will not see Jesus in us.
How can we be the best writer we can be while walking the Jesus road as humble servants?
- Pray each time you sit down to write, asking God to give you the right words.
- Join a critique group of like-minded people who write for the Lord.
- Never stop learning. Read books and blogs about writing. Attend workshops and conferences.
- Read other people’s books to get inspired.
- If you get discouraged, take a break from writing or write something silly, or try a different genre.
- Network with positive people who share your faith, in person or online. You’ll gain prayer warriors, make friends, and find you’re not alone in your writing journey.
Fellow writers, what do you do when you get discouraged with your writing? Please share your experience and advice.
I've been writing since I was 11 or 12 years old. . .back when there was no such thing as Word and we actually put pen to paper! I've kept all those manuscripts and if I were to compare what I wrote at 12 to what I write now I have to laugh at myself. Yet it's encouraging as well to see how far I've come. Those first manuscripts show my immaturity, both in age and experience. But we never gain maturity or experience if we don't write. I finished my first "real" novel when I was a freshman in college and since then have completed three more. Even looking back over the span of those 15 years (yes, I've been out of college that long!) there has been tremendous growth and maturity in my writing. So don't be ashamed of your firsts. We all have to start somewhere and writing is no different than the rest of our life. We learn and we change and we grow so that our first will never be the same as our last. I know that what I'm writing now still has room for improvement and polishing but the readers and encouragement I get is what keeps me moving forward with the desire to hone this craft even further. Be proud that you had the guts to start somewhere and grateful that you've had the chance to get where you are now.
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