Friday, July 3, 2015

Writer Fear by Melinda Viergever Inman


Melinda Viergever

I’m a pretty tough chick. Not only do I come from pioneer stock, a hardy breed, but also the Lord has used our family tragedies to instill strength I would never have chosen to learn. Even with all that, some of my efforts as a writer have been the scariest deeds I’ve ever personally attempted.

This isn’t about wife-strength or mother-strength. This is solely about me, just as your writer struggles are entirely about you. The writing journey prompts us to chase after some of the bravest feats we've ever pursued as individuals.

Over and over we have to push past fear.

Early on we have to overcome shyness about allowing others to read what we’ve written, and we must move rapidly to accepting criticism of our work. We’re not building cars here. We’re gushing our hearts onto the page, so criticism often feels very personal. We must learn to separate our craft from our person. It’s tough.

We have to learn an entire industry that was previously unknown—new terms, new rules, new formats for presenting our work. Our social fears come to bear. We’re afraid one little mistake might cost us a contract, and it might. Still we must press on.

Developing a thick skin progresses from taking criticism to being rejected through silence. No response to queries and messages feels very personal. Will we give up or will we press on? Learning to move forward, because God has given us a message to share, produces courage and strength.

Overcoming fear never stops, even after we’re published. Then the criticism becomes public. As businesswomen, we must market our fiction without fear that others will think we’re brazen. And we must do it all again when we present our next novel to the public.

Recently I stared down yet another scary publishing endeavor. I launched out into indie publishing and utilized a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. It was far more intense than a book launch!

This campaign caused me to realize I still had fear lurking below the surface. If the fund request was not met totally, no funds would be received. No funds equals no novel. Fear enlarged when I took my eyes off the Lord, and fastened them onto people and expectations.

Thankfully, God is with me, and he is with you! That is the crucial reality.

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

The Lord enables us to hit that “send” button, just as surely as he enables us to care for a sick child or to say goodbye to a parent. He empowers us to broadcast our words, so he can direct them to the readers he knows need them. His promises sustain us. Just as they apply to the other parts of our lives, so they also apply to our writing.

God met me in miraculous ways in my latest challenge. He helped me not to be afraid as I worked so hard to achieve the outcome, even if I might not gain success.

As Romans 8:31 says, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Regardless of the outcome, nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35), not a scary publisher, slow sales, or Kickstarter.

These realities provide power for life. They sustain us. So hit that “send” button, attend that conference, query that big-name agent, or go indie. God is with you!




Nudged toward evil by Satan, Cain 's hard-hearted hubris results in Abel's murder and Lilith's broken heart when he is banished, splitting the family and propelling mankind toward ever-increasing violence as their siblings seek revenge. Crushed by what he's done, Cain runs, certain he's destroyed Lilith, his parents, and the entire family. With Satan hounding his every move and no idea of the forces arrayed against him, can Cain ever find God after he's committed a sin of such magnitude? Can he ever be forgiven?



Melinda Viergever Inman was raised in the tornado capital of the U.S.—Wakita, Oklahoma, of "Twister" fame. There her parents met. There her roots were sunk in a storytelling family. During years of relocation, tragedy struck. Wounded and heartbroken, Melinda forsook her roots and ran from herself and from God. A journey of trial and heartache brought her home again. A prodigal now returned to her secure foundation, she writes with passion, illustrating God's love for wounded people as he makes beauty from ashes. Refuge is her first novel. Melinda shepherds women in church and in prison ministry and writes inspirational material on her biweekly blog at http://melindainman.com/blog/. With her family she is involved with Mission India, rescuing orphans and providing theological and job training for impoverished students— http://rimi.org/.

You can learn more and connect with Melinda here:



 

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for these words, Melinda. You've perfectly articulated the doubts and wonders at every stage of the game. I can hardly imagine this writing journey without the Lord to strengthen and enable us to overcome the fears we hardly new existed before we started. Thank you for your encouragement to continue in His strength.

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    1. Tiffany, I often feel that way, too! Who knew all this would be so scary? Not me! What would we do without Jesus!

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  2. Melinda, thank you for putting in words the thoughts that often surround me in my writing journey. You put it so well when you said, "His promises sustain us. Just as they apply to the other parts of our lives, so they also apply to our writing." I need to always remember that...especially when I begin to doubt.

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    1. Sandy, it took me a while to realize that all those lessons I learned as a mommy and wife had actually prepared me to conquer fear as a writer. They seemed different categories, or unrelated somehow. Yet, the only difference is that they're entirely personal. The only one at risk is me. After so many years as a mother and wife, this felt new and strange. Personalizing God's promises to me and me alone brought so much more intimacy with Christ! Isn't God good to teach us lessons of various kinds along this life journey, all aimed at causing him to grow even dearer to us!

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    2. Melinda, that is exactly it. I didn't make the connection between what I was capable and an "expert" at in other areas of my life could translate to my writing. God is indeed good...all the time. Beyond good. Amazing. He only shows us what we can absorb at the time. Thanks again for pointing this out.

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