Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Be Discouraged

Thursdays - Devotions for Writers

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
(Deu 31:8 NIV)

Have you noticed that creative people need affirmation about their work? A LOT of affirmation.

Without positive feedback, it’s easy to allow negative thoughts to fill our head and cause us to doubt our abilities. It’s also way too easy to let one criticism overshadow many words of praise. And because of that, we may become discouraged.

Music has always been important in my life. I’ve played various instruments and sung in front of people since I was four years old. For fifteen years, I’ve served my church as a vocalist on a contemporary worship team, and have received heartwarming words of affirmation.

So when there was recent discussion during a meeting of the church music department about switching people around in the three worship bands, I was stunned to hear about a comment made from a member of one of the other bands. That member didn’t want me—or another vocalist—to be a part of her band because of not liking how we sound. (I wasn't able to be present at the meeting, nor was the other person mentioned.)

My guess is there are deeper reasons for her comment. But knowing she felt strong enough about her feelings to make that statement in public, threw me.

It caused me to doubt my ability and worth as a singer. I wondered if other people felt the same way. For a moment I even questioned whether I should leave the music ministry at my church.

I almost allowed one negative comment to be a factor as to whether I serve God with my gift—or not.

As writers, we may experience the same thing.

Not everyone is going to like what we write, or how we write it.

Multi-published authors will tell you it still stings when they get a letter or email from a reader who bashes one of their books.

An editor – or our critique partners - may express that our story isn’t believable, our protagonist isn’t likeable, or they just can’t get into the character’s head. They may tell us that we need a stronger hook for the first line, the middle section of the book is boring, or the ending isn’t satisfying.

We have a choice.

We can become discouraged and give up.

Or we can work harder, believing that God has called us to be writers for a reason. That in due season, our work will bear fruit.

Don’t be afraid.
Don’t be discouraged.
God goes before us and with us.
And He will never leave us.

Write on, fellow writers. Write on.

Dawn

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for these words today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful words of encouragement! Thank You!!!

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  3. Thanks, that is just what I needed to hear today!

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  4. Cindy,Eileen,and Wendy ~

    Thank YOU for visiting and letting me know my words have been helpful.

    I appreciate the "affirmation!" ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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