Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Truth About the Writers We All Admire by Emily Conrad

stack of books
 
I have a friend who has a knack for writing striking devotionals. Despite their short length, she manages to pack memorable images and messages into just a few lines with finesse I admire (and honestly envy a bit).

Ironically, last week this friend surprised me by saying that when she writes a short non-fiction piece she’s happy with, she calls it “doing an Emily.”

Um, what?

I laughed and told her I have a document on my computer where I have over twenty pages of started and (so far) failed blog posts. (Since I’m drafting this post in said document right now, I can report that the true number of pages is thirty-five.)

I don’t remember exactly why I named this working document August, but I think I had ambitions of writing my posts for the month of August early one year, so I created a file in which to do so.

Word tells me that since I created the file in July, 2016, I’ve spent over 1000 hours editing it. I have no count of the hours I’ve spent editing directly in Blogger, where both Seriously Write and my personal blog are hosted, but they are many.


handwritten notebook


Writing is a way of life. A way of processing. But not every word is worth sharing, and those that are often do not come easy or fast.

As well as I know this about my own writing, I can forget when I read others' work.

We often only see the end result of each other's efforts. The heavily edited words, the final drafts.

Even between close friends who routinely help each other with critiques, sometimes we're unaware of what happens behind the scenes. My own friend, one who's heard my complaints about coming up with topics for posts and whom I believe I knew when I created August, didn't know such a file existed.

So, for the record, I have pages and pages of failed blog posts. I have entire novels on my hard drive that will likely never see publication. Poems. Stories. At least one essay.

So. Many. Documents.

I haven't gone rummaging through other writers' hard drives, but I don't have to see the deleted or ignored documents to know that those whose words I value also try and fail.

Writing is a struggle, and none of us are immune.

Behind each admirable piece, there’s an awful lot of work, false starts, and undeserved grace.

You may feel like you’re trying hard. Why does it come so easy to everyone else?

For the most part, it doesn't.

string of lights in open book


Good writing comes through God’s empowering grace. It comes through perseverance. It comes through showing up and putting in the hours quietly, in spaces no one will see.

No one but God, that is.

Jesus sees what we do in secret and will reward us for being faithful. When we submit to the humility of trying and failing, of working behind the scenes, of learning one word at a time, He does a work in us we cannot force. He sharpens skills and brings out the vibrant colors of a masterpiece.

Resting in this, we can set aside jealousy and comparison. We don't have the full picture of others' journeys to really compare to anyway.

On the level playing field of grace, writers are free to help and support each other, knowing that in due time, God will use everything we submit to Him.

Even that file of false starts.

Writing is a struggle, and none of us are immune. Behind each admirable piece, there’s an awful lot of work, false starts, and undeserved grace. via @emilyrconrad #amwriting #amediting #seriouslywrite @MaryAFelkins

On the level playing field of grace, writers are free to help and support each other, knowing that in due time, God will use everything we submit to Him. @emilyrconrad #writing #faithwriter #seriouslywrite @MaryAFelkins

Good writing comes through God’s empowering grace. It comes through perseverance. It comes through showing up and putting in the hours quietly, in spaces no one will see. @emilyrconrad #seriouslywrite #writetip #writing @MaryAFelkins

Photo credits
String of lights on open book photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash
Stack of books photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Handwritten book photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash
_______________________

Emily Conrad headshotEmily Conrad writes Christian romance and a blog to encourage women of faith. 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 her novel 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

The love of a lifetime, a quest for justice, and redemption that can only be found by faith.

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?

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

10 comments:

  1. "Behind each admirable piece, there’s an awful lot of work, false starts, and undeserved grace." So true, Emily.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you. I needed this message today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, yes ... those stored documents. I have my own files that I just can't seem to delete. LOL!

    Writing is hard work. Even when it's fun, it's still hard work. Readers may enjoy an article, a devotion, or a novel and never comprehend all that's gone into placing it before their eyes. It may take them less than 5 minutes to read a piece that took 5 hours to write and polish.

    I'm so grateful for a community of fellow writers who support each other in the work - and in our lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right! We can spend a year or more on a novel, but it only takes enthusiastic readers a day or two to devour the story! Which, of course, is a huge compliment, but so much work goes into that. That writer support is so important. I'm certainly glad to be a part of this writing community!

      Delete
  4. "Writing is a struggle, and none of us are immune. Behind each admirable piece, there’s an awful lot of work, false starts, and undeserved grace." And so true that not everything we write is something God wants "published". Just the process of writing can achieve a significant purpose in our hearts, one meant to be kept between us and the Lord. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Mary! Sometimes, I think the point of a piece is what we learned while writing it, not necessarily what might happen if the piece were published. It's all valuable!

      Delete
  5. Great post Emily! Writing accomplishes so much for those of us who do so.
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couldn't agree more, Pam! Thanks so much for dropping by today.

      Delete

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!