Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Writing: A Worthwhile Risk by Emily Conrad

journal
 
We each risk something when we write. The risk is different for each of us. It relates to our fears, who we are, and who we want to be.

As a people-pleaser, I risk rejection by writing. As a perfectionist, I risk showing my imperfections. As a believer, I risk conflict. As one who’s been broken, I risk showing my vulnerabilities. As one who’s being healed again each day, I risk raising questions I can’t answer. As one who is growing, I risk error. As one who needs to live within certain means, I risk investing in a career that will never pay me back financially. As one with numbered days, I risk my time on words that may never touch a reader.

Risk is penned into the curves and corners of each letter. When those risks become reality, that’s the cost of writing.

We can reap wonderful benefits as we write, too, but we can never know in advance what the outcome will be for any particular piece.

And so, we feel the risk when we make submissions. We feel it when our siblings/mothers/best friends read our manuscripts. We feel it when we field feedback, when we sit across from an agent as they read our pages, when we gulp and act on an editor’s request for a full.

writing in notebook


As drawn as we are to words, the risk whispers doubts. And when we must pay a cost—when we’re rejected or misunderstood or wrong or fill-in-the-blank, risk says, “I told you so.” The doubts shout that continuing isn’t worth risking more.

And then we have a choice.

Yes, a choice.

Though writers are drawn to words and sometimes claim we don’t have a choice about being writers, the truth is, we do.

We could quit. We could cut our losses, refuse to risk anything more or pay a price any higher than we already have.

Writing is a choice, and a brave one.

So why risk so much on words?

Because risk is inherent in touching hearts and changing lives. It’s inherent in attempting to make someone smile or sigh. Loving like Christ loves is a risk. He was rejected and despised, after all. And yet, to this kind of love we are called.

writing is a brave choice

When we focus on meeting someone else’s needs to the point that we’re willing to be vulnerable about our own struggles, we break down walls. When we risk words, we unbury our similarities despite our differences. Jesus can use words to illuminate truth with light that is somehow both gentle enough to get past defenses and searing enough to refine hearts. Our own hearts first, and then the hearts of others.

Words come with risk, but they also have magnificent power. As believers in the Word become flesh, we have access to the Spirit who can give us stories that will change eternities.

If God calls us to some other mission instead of (or in addition to) writing, so be it. But whatever that mission is, it will also come with risk. So when we consider our choice to continue writing or not, let’s never let the risk deter us.

Make the courageous choice. Write the story. Risk it all in the name of your Author’s love. Risk it all for the readers who need what Christ can say through your words. Risk it for the work Your Father will do in your own heart as you put His call before your worries.

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Though writers are drawn to words and sometimes claim we don’t have a choice about being writers, the truth is, we do. #Writing is a choice, and a brave one. @emilyrconrad on #seriouslywrite #faithwriter

Make the courageous choice. Write the story. Risk it all in the name of your Author’s love. A #writetip for the #Christianwriter from @emilyrconrad on #seriouslywrite

Words come with risk, but they also have magnificent power. As believers in the Word become flesh, we have access to the Spirit who can give us stories that will change eternities. @emilyrconrad on #seriouslywrite #faithwriter #writing


Rose and notebook photos by Emily Conrad

Graphics created on Canva.com


Emily Conrad headshotEmily Conrad writes Christian romance and a blog to encourage women of faith. Her debut novel, Justice, released from Pelican Book Group in 2018. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence Justice is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.

www.emilyconradauthor.com
Facebook.com/emilyconradauthor
Instagram.com/emilyrconrad
Twitter.com/emilyrconrad

https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Emily-Conrad-ebook/dp/B0792HGXQN/JUSTICE

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?


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13 comments:

  1. Good morning, Emily. Excellent post! I loved every word. It spoke volumes to me. Love this quote: "Risk is penned into the curves and corners of each letter. When those risks become reality, that’s the cost of writing." 😊

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    1. I'm so glad the post encouraged you, Gail! Thank you for letting me know--and of course, for reading :) Praying God blesses you in your writing!

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  2. Wonderful post, Emily. Writing is tough and we are putting ourselves out there, but the rewards can be pretty amazing.

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  3. Yes, take the risk. Write. You never know when the words will touch the heart of another person and brighten their day. :-)

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    1. So true, Melissa! And often times, we don't even know we've had an encouraging effect - not all readers let us know, which is perfectly fine, of course, but I mention it to encourage those who maybe haven't had a lot of positive responses to a piece that they likely have had a bigger impact than they know! :)

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  4. Lovely post, Emily - - and so true!
    Writing is a risk, for sure, but so worth taking.
    And sometimes we just don't realize the positive impact our words might have on someone. So we continue on!
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
    Blessings, Patti Jo :)

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    1. Yes, Patti Jo! We really can never know--this side of heaven at least ;) Thanks for reading!

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  5. Love this line: Risk it all in the name of your Author’s love. The word risk is a difficult one for me...so much that my current WIP features a heroine who is risk-averse, afraid to put herself out there. But without taking a risk we lose the very best God has for us. Great post!

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    1. I can identify with being afraid of risk. Sounds like an interesting story! Thanks so much for reading, Mary!

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  6. Such a beautiful post! So much truth in every word! Thank you so much for sharing this! ❤️

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