Thursday, September 20, 2012

It’s All On Me, Right?


Writers’ conferences can be expensive. Hey everyone, Annette here. This week many of our dear SW reader-writers are attending American Christian Fiction Writers’ annual conference. (www.acfw.com) You’ve got appointments set up, opportunities all around you. You’ve prayed and planned, brainstormed and penned, organized and traveled, sacrificed and invested. Now, you’re here! You want to “get your money’s worth” and take advantage of every possibility before you—make the right connections, exude the right impression, say the right words. Seize the day. 

After all, it’s all on you.

Right?

For years, you’ve had books burning inside you, waiting to come out. You’ve got a thriving imagination full of characters, plot gems, twists, ideas swirling in creative juices. You love words and the rhythm of good prose. You love reading. 

Question: who gave you talent? 

Remember that stirring in your heart at some point, that urge to write? What was the catalyst? There was a time you knew you were supposed to somehow begin to put words down. You studied the craft of writing, connected with others on a similar journey. You paired strong characters with intriguing plots and offered your chapters for critique. 

Question: who called you to write? 

Somewhere during your life, you’ve had to find time to write. Late hours, early hours, leftover hours after a busy day. You prioritized and sacrificed and carved out productive minutes. 

Question: who created and manages time and seasons?

While you’re there at the writers’ conference, remember God gave you the talent, God called you to write for His glory, and God is sovereign. We can’t “make something happen” just by sheer will. If we try to sidestep what God is doing, we may find ourselves unprepared and failing. But if we wait for the correct time—God’s timing—and rest in Him, consider the benefits:

Peace—we no longer have to manufacture something. We have God’s assurance. He who called you will also make a way. 

Rest—the burden to open doors is not on us. God is our Father who opens doors for us. We don’t have to strive. When it’s time, the right door will open. And by then, God will have prepared us.

Joy—we’ve demanded a lot of ourselves, even the impossible. But when we hand our burden to the Lord, He gives us joy in its place. 

Freedom—sure, we continue the writerly disciplines of learning and growing in the craft. We remain good stewards of the gift and calling. But once we release the burden, we’re free to create and grow, because we no longer have to strive. We’re free to do our part—seek God first and let Him take care of the rest. 

When you sit down with editors and agents, know they’re people just like you. They’re professionals, just like you. But keep this truth in mind: they do not dictate your future in writing. They may become a tool in God’s hand, but God is the one who determines where your writing goes from here. Leave that with Him.

Aren't you glad it's not all on you?



Photo credits:

"Stairs" image by Adam Hickmott / freedigitalphotos.net 
"Door handle" image courtesy of Nattavut / freedigitalphotos.net
"Job interview" (meeting) photo courtesy of Ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing such an encouraging post, Annette. Enjoy the conference. I'm trying hard not to be jealous. :-)

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    1. Hi Dora, thanks for your kind words. Wish I could see you this week! Maybe next year?

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  2. Wow. Great words. I just shared about this at my writer's retreat last weekend. It's especially true when we are trying to climb a mountain at a conference.
    Jan

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    1. Thank you, Jan. I just chatted with a friend today about this very thing. So relatable, but thank God, He's got us! And He has the timeline in His hands.

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  3. What an inspiring post. Thank you.

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