Friday, May 20, 2011

Trusting the Author of All Things by Jennifer Erin Valent

Welcome to Fortifying Friday, the day here at Seriously Write when guest authors share encouraging words and pieces of their personal journeys to publication. Dawn here. I’m excited to have Jennifer Erin Valent with us today. Her article, “Trusting the Author of All Things,” spoke to my heart. I have a feeling it will touch many of you, as well. Thanks, Jennifer.

Trusting the Author of All Things
by Jennifer Erin Valent

There are a lot of books out there about how to write and get published. If you’re a writer, you’ve probably got a stack of them on your desk. And while they can provide a ton of useful information on anything from composing query letters to executing strong manuscript formatting, there’s one thing you’ll never find on the shelf at Barnes and Noble… how to find and follow your specific path as a writer.

Each of us was created with individual personalities, ways of communicating, and abilities; and, all of that was put together by a Creator who knows exactly why He made us the way He did, why He placed us here, and what we’re meant to do while we inhabit this planet.

It’s easy, when we love writing as we do, to search for our niche rather than to pray for it. We become so actively involved in this business of writing that it’s difficult to keep our focus on why we’re pursuing it in the first place.

But just like anything, when we don’t focus on the important stuff, the little stuff gets blown all out of proportion and we begin to rely on ourselves for things we aren’t capable of. And that leads to burn-out.

And trust me, in the six or so years it took me to get my foot in the door of publishing, I had plenty of experience with being burnt out! There is nothing easy about becoming a writer. In fact, there’s nothing easy about staying a writer. There are endless disappointments, frustrations, rejections and doors slammed in the face. It’s part of the package.

But what kept me ticking (and still does!) was refocusing on why I was writing in the first place. I was led there, plain and simple. I didn’t grow up wanting to write. The desire came to me out of the blue in my twenties and pestered me until I had given up full-time work—and my own personal goals—to throw myself into an entirely new field, because I knew it was what the Lord was leading me to do.

What I can tell you from experience as an aspiring author is that each move I’ve made because I felt led by the Holy Spirit has developed into some form of progress in my career or personal growth. But the things I’ve pursued because I felt I should, or because someone else said I should, did nothing but waste time and energy and end in frustration.

So my encouragement to all of you who are trying to break through that publishing barrier is to take this journey and place it at the Lord’s feet. Ask Him to provide you with His vision each step of the way. Spend time in prayer, and when you don’t know for certain how to act, don’t. Just wait. “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him” (Lamentations , NAS).

In a world where it seems your life is at the whim of faceless editors, harsh critics, and economic impact, remember that it’s not. Your life is in the hands of the One who breathed it into existence. What better place to go for guidance than the One who calls, directs, equips, and never breaks His promises?

Jennifer Erin Valent is the winner of the 2007 Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest and a 2010 Christy Award. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to color the scenes and characters she writes. She has spent the past 17 years working as a nanny and has dabbled in freelance, writing articles for various Christian women's magazines. She lives in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

To find out more about Jennifer
and her books, please visit

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