Guideposts for a writer's journey, part 5
Welcome! We have been discussing the writer's journey. I likened it to climbing up the side of a Colorado mountain. In my case, I had started on a path that began easily then got more difficult the longer I climbed.
I believe that the uphill climb is similar to writing.
I have a theory when it comes to pursuing publication: I believe that every writer can have a satisfying writing journey by following five guideposts along their way.
The first guidepost we discussed was the STOP sign and the significance of why you needed to stop before you began. Read that post here.
The second guidepost was the ONE WAY sign, which discussed the importance of commitment. Read that post here.
The third guidepost was the WINDING ROAD sign. We talked about the twists and turns the writer's journey takes you on. Read that post here.
Last week's guidepost was the speed bump. Yeah, stuff happens. Read about that post here.
The guidepost we'll discuss this week is the yield sign.
This sign is probably the most important sign for Christian writers. The yield sign signifies the importance of yielding to God’s direction.
I had wanted to write a novel since I was in grade school. After my first child was born, I went out and bought notebooks and pens and pencils to begin writing my novel.
I put my baby down for a nap and collected my writing supplies and stopped to pray about my endeavor. Without a doubt, I knew that God told me, “No, not now.” I was disappointed, but I put my dream on hold and raised my family.
I did not persisted with my dream of writing a novel and instead waited for a time in my life when I could devote more energy to writing—and a time when I believe the Lord said, "Now!"
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8
I believed the Lord would guide me, and I also clung to Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”
To me, Psalm 32:8 does not make God my Daddy Starbucks dolling out goodies, it is a prayer that He instill those desires/His desires in my heart. My prayer was for God to guide my desires to be what He would have me desire.
You can’t let your writing career become your God. You must submit your writing to God. And that’s not as easy as it sounds.
There was a season when I was tearful before God, and I submitted my writing to Him. I wanted to be in the place where He wanted me—regardless of what that looked like. I believed that it was possible that I would never be a published author. I thought the emails and letters I wrote would be the only written words the world would see from me. But I believed those words had value. I had faithfully written to a dear auntie all my adult life. When she passed away, we found a box in her basement with all my letters. See? I made a difference in her life with my words.
I loved being a part of writers’ groups, and thought that perhaps my place in publishing was to be an encouragement to others as they pursued their dreams. And for many people, that’s what their involvement in publishing will be. Not all of us will get that writing contract. But many of us will.
At this point, I’m between contracts, as they say. In truth, I may never get another writing contract. But that won’t be end of the world. If I never get another contract, I’ll still have a great marriage, I’ll still be Mom to my wonderful children, still be Mimi to my grandkids, and I’ll still be blessed with amazing friends.
And I’ll still know that the most satisfying journey is one where I walk hand in hand with God and allow Him to be my guide.
I'm forever finding new "favorite" Bible verses. For the past few months, this one has spoken to me:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
And so, as always, I remain a prisoner of hope.
Write on, friends!