DiAnn Mills recently asked me this question in an interview:
What are the most challenging problems for writers?
For most writers, the writing is easy—most writers can’t NOT write. But a lot of writers worry about if they’ll get published or if God wants them to be published and when.
I had the same fears before being contracted, and I still have the same fears now that my last contract has ended. The difference for me was that I’d already laid down my writing because God told me to, and He’d clearly given me permission to take it up again, so I knew for a fact that writing was what God wanted me to do.
I think writers need to CONSTANTLY examine themselves in prayer and with an open Bible.
If God asked you to, would you be willing to give up your writing? Would you be like Abraham, willing to trust God enough to sacrifice Isaac?
Your answer says a lot about your attitude about your writing—do you consider your writing yours or God’s?
If our writing is God’s, then we trust Him even if we don’t get a contract, even if it takes years, even if it looks like we’d only write articles, or only stories just for ourselves—simply because that’s God’s will for us.
If our writing is God’s, then we trust Him with the “when” of publication and try not to worry and angst about it. We grit our teeth and pray for patience, peace, and contentment no matter what happens.
If our writing is God’s, then we trust Him with each rejection, knowing He has a plan for us, for our stories. That story wasn’t right for that house, and God knows what’s best. Maybe we need a different story, maybe we just need to submit to a different house. God knows and molds our journey, and each rejection is another step forward on the path, not a step back.
For me, keeping an attitude of surrender has helped me be more at peace with each setback, has kept me from worrying too much about things I can’t control (like another contract).
This might not apply to you, but it might apply to some of you. I’ve gone through the worry and fear and insecurity, and the reminder that my writing is God’s, not mine, has helped me on my writing journey.