Tuesday, May 8, 2018

All for One and One for All by Marie Wells Coutu

Marie Wells Coutu
Do you know Paul’s instruction about spiritual gifts applies to writers, too?

We hear a lot about writing being a team sport. And it’s true—to achieve success as an author, you need critique partners, encouragers, editors, (possibly) an agent, publisher, cover designer, promotions team, influencers, retailers, etc.

In a letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul wrote this about followers of Christ: “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body” (1 Cor. 12: 18-20, ESV).

To adapt the verses that follow to the writing world, the author cannot say to the editor, “I have no need of you,” nor again the publisher to the designer, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the team that seem to be invisible are indispensable.

But not only does an author need a “team,” he or she needs other writers. There are many examples in Christian fiction of writers who have banded together to learn and grow, resulting in each one of them getting published.

Jealousy and competition may be prevalent (so I’ve heard) at secular writers’ conferences, but they have no place among Christians. Now, I’ll be the first to confess the green monster inhabits me when I hear of certain other writers signing with a fabulous agent or winning a contest I entered or getting a multi-book deal with a big publisher, especially if they’ve not been writing as long as I have. At those times, I have to adjust my attitude and be happy for my fellow author.

Because Paul goes on to say this in verse 26: “If one member [author] suffers, all suffer together; if one member [author] is honored, all rejoice together.”

I’ve seen this attitude displayed in full force in ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Members pray for other members who are going through hard times, whether physically, financially, or career-wise. And members celebrate the finalists and winners in the various contests. I’m sure that’s true of other groups, too.

When one Christian author is lifted up, God is glorified. When one book sells well, it means people are reading, and readers want more books of excellent quality.

Awards season is beginning and, with God’s help, I’ll swallow my ego and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. We are a writing community as well as the body of Christ, and each writer is a valuable part of the body.

All for one and one for all, right?

How have you been encouraged by other writers? Leave a comment below and encourage our readers. 

About the Author
The Secret Heart
by Marie Wells Coutu
Marie Wells Coutu began making up stories soon after she began talking. Her most recent title, The Secret Heart, and its prequel, an e-book novelette titled The Divided Heart, are published by Write Integrity Press, along with the award-winning For Such a Moment and Thirsting for More. She and her husband divide their time between Iowa, near their two children and four grandchildren, and Florida, where it’s warm all winter. Marie is working on a historical novel set in western Kentucky, her home state.

Marie is a regular contributor to Seriously WriteFor more posts by Marie, click here.