Friday, August 30, 2013

Give Your Hope a Voice by Melissa Tagg


Melissa Tagg

A favorite song of mine focuses on knowing that “hope changes everything.” It’s certainly one of the reasons I write—to give hope. But what about us as writers? Ever have a day when you feel discouraged and want to give up? Take heart! Author Melissa Tagg shares part of her personal journey to publication and offers encouraging words. ~ Dawn


Give Your Hope a Voice
by Melissa Tagg

Summer 2012 will go down as one of my favorites of all time. It started with car-shopping.

Now, I am not a car person. Give me four doors and moonroof and I’m set. At the start of June 2012, I really just wanted to avoid actually having to do the “shopping” part of “car-shopping.” I sorta hoped a car would land in my lap.

It sorta did.

But here’s the fun part: When I made the decision to buy my car, I said to my parents, “Hey, maybe later on this summer I’ll land a book contract—maybe even a two-book contract!—and then I won’t feel bad about spending this money on a pretty car.”

Two weeks after I bought the car, I signed with my agent. Less than a month after that, we received the two-book contract offer from Bethany House.

Now let me be clear: I don’t believe in magic words. I don’t believe that hopeful “maybe” I threw out was the key to unlocking my dream-turned-reality. Oh no, that was all God opening the right doors at the right time.

BUT…I love this personal story because when I look back on that summer, I realize that my joy over getting that book contract was extra-big because of the hope that preceded it.

Does that make sense?

It was exciting enough receiving that phone call, hearing from my agent that a publisher was willing to take a chance on me. But there was an extra thrill attached to that excitement. A hope I’d given voice to now sang with fulfillment.

And I guess I write this because I so often hear writers say, “I don’t want to get my hopes up…because I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.”

But you know what? Your dream deserves to have some emotion attached to it—ups and downs and all. Goodness, if a dream is that important to us, why wouldn’t we be disappointed when we encounter a bump in the road? I’m not saying we should go all crazy emotional roller coastery. But I do think sometimes we get so busy trying to stay even-keeled and “realistic” that we become a little shielded and stoic…and our dreams, a little dispassionate.

But if we want to talk “reality,” let’s try this on for size:

God is faithful to finish what He’s started in us. He doesn’t give us creative spark and passion and talent for no reason. He doesn’t give us a dream only to say, “Don’t hope too much, kid.” 

I say, let yourself hope. Yeah, there are going to be disappointments along the way.  Goodness knows I’ve had mine. And maybe sometimes a dream doesn’t pan out exactly the way we’d planned. But the unexpected twists and even the disappointments hold so much less power over us when we’ve nurtured a hopeful, expectant outlook.

Let’s hope. And let’s give our hope a voice. Our God-given dreams deserve it.

So…what are you hoping for?



Tweetables:

God doesn’t give us creative spark and passion and talent for no reason. Click to tweet.

Let’s give our hope a voice. Our God-given dreams deserve it. Click to tweet.

Your dream deserves to have some emotion attached to it—ups and downs and all. Click to tweet.





Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiancé who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?  




Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.

You can find Melissa . . .

Website/blog: www.melissatagg.com
 

19 comments:

  1. I put voice to my dream earlier this year. I have, next to my computer, a 3x5 card that reads "If I could have my wish, (Name of WIP) would be published through (name of publishing house) with representation from (name of agent)." I'm working toward that goal - learning craft, editing, polishing - and I can't imagine how excited I'll be if I get my wish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christina, I love that you actually wrote out your dream. There is something both gratifying and inspiring in that. Just love it. Learning the craft, editing and polishing...those are awesome steps forward. Can't wait to hear it when you get your wish. :)

      Delete
    2. I think entering the Genesis contest will be another great step forward. Thank you for the encouragement!

      Delete
  2. What a great post, Melissa! Thanks so much for those words of encouragement. We were just talking about this at Bible study last night. It took Moses 40 years to realize his dream, but all that time God was preparing him for a great journey.

    You're right: hope and disappointments are all part of the dream. Congratulations on the contract and your new release!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, I tried to reply to this earlier...but somehow messed up. Love your Bible study discussion...and yeah, hope and disappointment so often go together. I keep thinking the more I hope, the less disappointment has the opportunity to get ahold of me. :)

      Delete
  3. Very encouraging, Melissa. I particularly focused on the following: He doesn’t give us creative spark and passion and talent for no reason. He doesn’t give us a dream only to say, “Don’t hope too much, kid.” Loved that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sandra. I think God likes for us to hope. :)

      Delete
  4. Melissa, What a fantastic story. If we have a chance at ACFW, I'll share my equally God inspired and ridiculously wonderful tale with you. I do like hope :) and the God who surpasses it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine, I would love to chat with you and hear your story at ACFW!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the inspiring message, Melissa. I needed to hear this.

    I loved the line: "Your dream deserves to have some emotion attached to it—ups and downs and all." The writer's life isn't smooth sailing. There are times when waves of doubt, discouragement, and disillusionment knock us down; times when we're awash with worry, wondering if we can keep on keeping on despite the rejections, l-o-n-g waits, and less-than-encouraging feedback; and times when it feels as though our creativity is caught in a rip current, drifting further and further away from us.

    But there are other times when we're riding waves of joy resulting from a contest final, an offer of representation, or making that much-anticipated sale. Even though there's a temptation to avoid the downside by not allowing ourselves to hope, doing so can dim the thrill when good news comes our way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right, Keli...not at all smooth sailing. But I just know, I would rather deal with disappointment now and then than foster a sort of stoic, "I won't hope too much" demeanor. I want to hope big. Maybe it's the Anne of Green Gables side of me. :) But yeah, I so agree with you...refusing to hope beforehand dims the joy of the journey.

      Delete
  6. "He doesn’t give us a dream only to say, 'Don’t hope too much, kid.'" LOVE IT! You're so right, Melissa. God is the God of hope and faithfulness. Our dreams might not be fulfilled the way we anticipate--but we can rest assured that they will be perfect, because He is perfect. I think God is saying: "Hope as much as you are able, kid! I'll surpass that hope and bring you into a place beyond your wildest dreams!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Gabe!! I love it...because it's SO true. Things may not look the way we expect, but when our hope is in God, the disappointments are temporary and unable to control us. And amen to this: "God is the God of hope and faithfulness." :)

      Delete
  7. Melissa, I love this. I confess, I'm a person who has struggled at times with allowing myself to hope God might make one of my dreams actually come true. Silly me. He's brought other dreams from dream to reality. Why wouldn't He with my dream of being published?

    Thank you for reminding me to allow emotion to attach to my dream. And for the reminder that God doesn't plant a dream in me and then not help it become reality. This is such a hope-filled post. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found it to be a hope-filled post, Jeanne. :) Here's the thing with hoping--I think it's a matter of how we're hoping, yeah? We hope "for" a dream...we hope "in" God. And I think that makes all the difference. Because even if what we've hoped for takes a long time to come about or shapes up differently than we expected, what we're hoping "in" never changes, never fails us and never let's us go. And that's just awesome!

      Delete
  8. I love this post, Melissa. We understand the importance of speaking encouraging words to others, but we're reluctant to speak encouragement to ourselves! Congratulations on your contract and on your new release!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the congratulations, Susan. You're right, it's important to encourage ourselves, too. :)

      Delete
  9. Great medicine, Melissa. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!