Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Giving It All to God

Net's Notations -- All About the Reader Series
Giving It All To God

Ten years of studying writing craft, penning novels, attending workshops, networking with editors and agents, and submitting proposals wasn’t panning out for Brynne. No publishing house wanted her work. She didn’t get bitter, though. She applied herself all the more fervently to “how-to” manuals, availing herself to general writing craft books as well as those specific to her genre.

She didn’t slack on praying, either, though she wondered why the Lord seemed to have a very different time line than she did.

As years passed, desperation grew. She would carefully analyze any feedback she received from editors (though specific advice was rare). She entered contests and opted for paid critiques. She faithfully attended her local critique group and tried to take their advice to heart.

Still, nothing.

But, she kept dreaming. She thought about the glory of that first contract. She thought about joining the ranks of newly published writers and of one day being a well-published, sought after author. She thought of all the kudos coming her way and of making a name for herself, all while praying God would bless this calling He’d given her.

She wondered why He wasn’t opening doors.

Desperation forced her to pray more fervently. Daily, she prayed over her current projects—her WIPs—and believed since God had given her the stories, He’d bring them to publication. She considered the advice of other writers—wait on God. His timing is best. He knows what He’s doing. Or, from another perspective, maybe you’re just writing for your own sake, or for those who will read the work in manuscript form—parents, cousins, children, whoever. Maybe those WIPs won’t be published.

Will you serve Me in the small, less noticed things? God asked.

“Okay . . .” Then, she rejoiced to see one of her parenting articles published. It’s a start, she thought, but it’s only an article.

Will you despise the day of small beginnings?

“No . . . Well,” she prayed, “I’ll try not to.”

Will you trust Me with your calling? With the timing and My plans?

“Well, I know they’re good plans. Jeremiah 29:11, right? Okay.”

Will you write solely for My glory, not yours? For My name, not yours?

Brynne thought on that a long time. The waiting, praying, working, striving and remaining teachable had worked her over. Finally, she bowed her head and said, “Yes. For Your glory, Lord. For Your kingdom. Not mine. For Your name, not mine, I’ll write.”

While you wait to be published (or published again), God is working on your character. While you create characters’ GMCs, God is working on your motivations, through conflict as you strive toward your goals.

The best way to minister to our readers is to be sure our writing lives, our calling to write, is submitting wholly to the Lord. That our goal is His glory, not our own. This way we facilitate connecting our readers with God, which is good, because it’s all about the reader.