I mean, what if I can’t do it? What if I can’t meet the deadlines of writing a big, honking book every six months? What if the first books were a fluke, and I can no longer string a sentence together to save my soul? What if my first series ends up sucking pond water, and Revell changes all their e-mail addresses so I can’t contact them?
What-ifs are deadly. But so are thoughts like “I’ve done it! I’m on my way! I’ve arrived!” Because at the end of the day, when all the contest wins are tucked away in a scrapbook, or all the accolades and great reviews are filed away, only one reality remains:
None of us can do it without God.
Not write, not win contests, not get published and not succeed as an author. Because He is the Alpha and the Omega … the Beginning and the End … the End All and the Be All.
Yes, there are other things that are important on the road to publication, and I highly recommend them. Things such as:
1.) Connecting with other like-minded writers and learning about your craft by joining organizations like ACFW, FHL and RWA.
2.) Taking fiction-writing classes or attending writing seminars or conferences.
3.) Joining a critique group.
4.) Purchasing and studying writing books such as Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King or Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas, AND investing in a great thesaurus such as The Synonym Finder by Rodale.
5.) Entering contests for invaluable feedback and confidence and WONDERFUL friends.
5.) And going for an agent first, publisher second.
6.) Then praying your heart out and putting it in God’s hands.
BUT, the most important thing of all is to remember the reason we write.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Which brings me back to my original need for an attitude adjustment. Trust me, I would pack up and go home right now if I believed for one moment that it was me alone who had to write these next three books. But it’s not. It’s God and His grace that I will be relying on -- HEAVILY. Which means, pure and simple, that if I want Him to answer my prayers for help, then I have to make sure my heart is … well, pure and simple. Why? Because:
Proverbs 15:29 “The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”
Psalm 66:18 “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”
Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
Call me crazy, but I’m not about to risk my prayers not being heard! For me, that means keeping my heart clean from murmuring, jealousy, backbiting, bitterness, greed, arrogance and any other gods my little ole heart tries to put before Him (i.e. my writing, my sales, my reviews). So I hope you don’t mind, but this blog today is my way of adjusting my attitude and getting my heart RIGHT so I can WRITE for Him. How? Well, by going through the following steps. And I invite you to go crazy and join me, because I guarantee you won’t regret it:
1.) First, a critical scripture to PRAY:
Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
2.) REPENT for those things He brings to mind.
3.) PRAY for those people or situations that caused us to sin or even get close to it.
Like the debut historical romance author whose numbers are better than mine on Amazon.com? Yep, I have been praying for that woman, a complete stranger, to go straight to the bestseller list. Why? Because I REFUSE to let jealousy thwart my prayers and the progress of my books.
And God is SO good! Because of that particular prayer I've been praying for that beautiful debut author, God did something wonderful for me in a Sheraton bathroom at the recent ACFW Conference. You see, I actually ran into said author (whose book is OUTSTANDING and whose friendship is now a joy), and that story remains for me, an amazing highlight from this year’s conference. But then … that’s another blog altogether!