Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Quitting Time? by Janet Sketchley

Ever feel like giving up? Me too. Often. I’ve even quit a few times, but my imagination always gets me started again. Through the long, unpublished years, I struggled with motivation, but mostly with “am I wasting my time?”
I knew God had given me a gift to write fiction, but there was a lot of second-guessing. Discouragement is insidious, and I wondered why I was spending such a huge amount of time writing fiction—for nothing. Eventually I decided to write anyway, even if it was just for me, and to enjoy the gift. I still hoped it would sell, so I could share my imaginary friends with the world.
Once I was published, and then decided to continue on as an indie author after my publisher closed, the temptations to quit changed. But they haven’t gone away.
Sometimes when the little voices ask, “Do you really want to keep doing this?” my only answer is “It’s better than cleaning toilets.” But then a character or plot point will surprise me, or a reader will tell me that something I wrote touched them, and I’m re-energized. Plus, God brought me this far. It would be ungrateful—and disobedient—to quit or to give less than my best. When it’s quitting time, He’ll tell me.
Looking back, I can see times where God positioned me in a spot to be encouraged to keep on. Perhaps most memorably, when I was at a very low, pre-published ebb, He nudged me into attending the 2012 Write Canada conference. I was feeling discouraged and directionless, but the conference challenged me to renew my sense of wonder and to carry on.
So I took that and ran, right?
No, I forgot and got discouraged again. Here’s the part I love: instead of letting me sulk, God got my attention while I was listening to Peter Furler’s song, “All in Your Head.” I’m sure that song was written for more important assignments than my writing, but God used it to challenge me. If you like rock music and need a bit of encouragement, here’s a YouTube link:
If you love writing, keep persevering. Even when it’s hard, and even when there’s no recognition. When God gives us a gift, He wants us to use it. And to leave the results up to Him. Some of us may become multi-published, best-selling authors. Others may publish a single book or article. Others’ words may only reach an editorial assistant deep in a publishing house. Or maybe the act of writing, listening, revising, will help others of us to work through issues we’re struggling with personally.
He will use our obedient words, in His way and in His time. May we persevere, so we’ll one day know the joy of hearing “well done” from the Master.
When have you been most tempted to quit? How does God encourage you to keep going?


Janet Sketchley is an Atlantic Canadian writer who likes her fiction with a splash of mystery or adventure and a dash of Christianity. Why leave faith out of our stories if it’s part of our lives? You can find Janet online at This summer, she’s celebrating the release of her suspense novella, Unknown Enemy.