Friday, December 21, 2012

Lessons Learned Along the Writing Road in 2012 by Beth K. Vogt

As we journey towards publication and beyond, we may strive to gain as much knowledge as we can about writing, networking and the publishing industry. But we also might be surprised by other lessons that come our way. Author Beth K. Vogt shares some of her own. 
~ Dawn

Lessons Learned Along
the Writing Road in 2012
by Beth K. Vogt

There are certain practical lessons I’ve learned along the writing road, such as:

  1. My commitment to not read reviews? Tough to do when people forward reviews – both the good and the bad. Or when I wander onto Goodreads and Amazon and Barnes and Nobles …
  2. A reviewer’s opinion about my writing isn’t ’a judgment against me as a person – or even me as a writer. It’s an opinion. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Besides those two lessons, there is one lesson I learned in 2012 that changed me – emotionally, spiritually and mentally. And it’s this:

In God’s economy, my journey along the writing road is all
about making me look more like him and a whole lot less like me.

I am called to be a writer—enabled by God to be a writer. I am created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)—meant to reflect him to the world through my words, actions and interactions. (2 Cor. 3:18) One of the things God wants to do is transform me—change me from who I am into the woman he wants me to be. 

How does he do this? Through the circumstances of my life. Some of my circumstances relate to me as a woman, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend.

But this past year as I shifted under the weight of the title “debut author,” a whole new set of circumstances materialized. At times, I cared (too much) about reviews and stars and followers and blog comments.

Guess what?

God only cares about how all those things affect me on a soul-deep level. And they do. They do. 

Success revealed my good and not-so-good heart attitudes. Some days I handled success quite well. And some days … well, I didn’t. At times I envied other writers’ front and center stage moments, wondering why the spotlight wasn’t on me. At times I doubted myself, spending too much time focused on me, myself, and I. That is a whole other form of self-centeredness.

With 2012 drawing to a close, here’s the truth I’m taking with me into 2013, with its 365 unblemished days:

In God’s eternal mindset, writing is a means to an end.

Yes, I will continue to pray that he bless the work of my hands. (Psalm 90:17) But I will also ask him to use my journey along the writing road to rub off my rough edges, revealing both my strengths and my weaknesses. And when I reach the end of the road, I pray I don’t recognize myself. Instead, I hope my life reflects God to the world.

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Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.”  Her inspirational contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted May 2012 (Howard Books.) Her second novel, Catch a Falling Star, releases May 2013. Beth is also an established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International.  

To learn more about Beth, please visit