Some of you will recognize bits and pieces of this story as excerpts from my little ebook, Notes to Aspiring Writers: Your Dream, God's Plan. I wrote Notes about three years ago as an effort to understand what God was doing, or wasn't doing, in my life. It was my way of going deeper into the heart of Jesus and applying what I found to the writing life. I've felt for over a year now that Notes needed to be revamped and re-released. I stand by what I wrote during that season of my life, but over time, as with all things, God gave me a better understanding of what He was trying to teach me. There's just so much more to the story now, friends, and I know that what He's taught me is something all writers can benefit from as they seek to glorify God with their lives.
I know that last sentence is bold.
But I believe it's true. So I'd like to invite you to join me over the next few months as I tell my story on Tuesdays. Hopefully, there will be a seed of truth for you on your writing journey too.
Welcome to the deepest, most personal parts of my heart.
The writing dream lives in many hearts. It took me years to realize it, but sitting in a room of 500 other women who were all hoping for a chance to be seen, heard, and noticed ... the message was loud and clear.
God may not plan to use me in the way I dreamed He would.
In the summer of 2010 I found my way to the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference. I bought my ticket from the sales of an old, but apparently valuable baseball bat my husband found in the basement of our home. (To be clear, it was ours. He'd just forgotten he had it!) We put it on eBay to see what it was worth, and 24 hours later sealed a $600 deal with some man all the way across the country.
My husband promised that if God provided the money in a miraculous way I could go, and I couldn't see how getting $600 from a baseball bat could be more miraculous. So I went. Book proposal in hand, and as nervous as I've ever been in my life, I drove to Charlotte, NC determined to come back with an offer from an agent or publisher. I knew my book idea was good, and knew the people there would think so too.
Notes to Aspiring Writers
They did think it was good. I never received even one piece of negative feedback about my proposal, but I still came back empty-handed, and stayed that way for another two years.
Discouraged, I set the book aside for a time and sulked. I wondered if maybe God didn't want me to have a career as an author, or if He simply didn't care about the dream in my heart to lead women to Him. Moreover, I realized that the 500 other women in attendance that weekend had the same dream as me, and it made me feel very small.
My Dream, God's Plan
I know I’m not the only aspiring writer to have felt this way. Others too numerous to count have felt the sting of rejection, the sheer devastation of handing what amounts to your very soul, written in black and stamped “book proposal” to a person who has the power to make or break your dreams.
Some give up and never try again--the pain of rejection just too difficult to bear. Others continue trying, refusing to give up on what they believe is the next best-seller. And still others become content to write for an audience of One, learning valuable lessons along the way that have more to do with life than writing.
This story is that—a story about life lessons—the writer's sanctification on the road to publication. It is not a tips-and-tricks-of-the-trade kind of resource, but rather a look at the writer’s heart--the very thing our God cares about the most. The message rings true for anyone hungry to see her name on a book, or with a dream in her heart to write.
But before we go any further on our journey, I'd like for you to know this:
God sees you and hears you and you are more precious to Him than priceless jewels. In fact, He will go to any length, move any mountain, swim any ocean in pursuit of your heart. Perhaps this writing journey, and all of its failures and flops, is the very means He has chosen to make you more like His Son.